This homeowner saved £100s transforming their home with upcycled vintage finds

Having a good eye for the best secondhand or vintage buy saved the owner hundreds of pounds when furnishing this Victorian home

living room with log burner overmantel mirror blue and cream painted walls and pink sofa
(Image credit: Future PLC / Kasia Fiszer)

Brought up in an old farmhouse brimming with vintage furniture, the homeowner says she was predestined to eventually own a period property herself one day. 

The three-bedroom Victorian terrace where she and her husband live with their three young children, like her childhood home, is also filled with vintage decor

The home has been refurbished on a budget. Having a good eye for the right vintage or secondhand buy for upcycled furniture ideas to complete a room, has saved her hundreds of pounds on furniture over the years. 

spring wreath hanging on a sage green front door of a Victorian terrace with

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

‘I was drawn to the house because lots of things needed to be restored, and I wanted to bring it closer to how it would have looked in its heyday,’ she says.

She approached the renovation conscientiously, researching Victorian paint colours and interior styles before settling on her choices. ‘I wanted the decor to be true to the period, but I still gave it a modern twist,’ she explains.

Living room

living room with log burner overmantel mirror blue and cream painted walls and pink sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC / Kasia Fiszer)

'The decor was not to our taste,’ she says. 'The colours were too bright and everything needed a refresh.’

An important element of the redecoration was to cover up the dark purple walls in the living room. The couple started by painting the walls green but recently repainted them in shades of blue for a more contemporary look, painting the chimney breast a darker blue with a lighter shade in the alcoves on either side as a blue living room idea.

They added a wood burner and new hearth as a living room fireplace idea, and a painted dresser that she found secondhand on eBay, fits snugly in one of the alcoves.

view towards bay window in living room with pink sofa, blue and white walls and window shutters

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

They replaced the draughty bay window with new double-glazed units and added window shutters that allow light to flood in while also offering privacy.

Every brush stroke in every room has been applied by the homeowner and her partner, working in the evenings and around children’s nap times. It has been a slow and thoughtful process. ‘I’m glad we did the work ourselves,’ she says. ‘It gives us a great sense of pride. I love our living room and the colours in there, and the finished look reflects my taste.’


vintage style kitchen with old table and mismatched chairs and cream painted units

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

The money-saving and sustainable touches that give this home its unique appeal include the 1990s kitchen cabinets, which she refreshed with heritage paint and new handles, rather than ripping them out. It is easy to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets to use this idea in your own home.

As a galley kitchen idea, the couple reconfigured the existing layout of cupboards, then added new wooden worktops and new handles, fitted a new sink and taps, and added tiles as a splashback idea.

vintage kitchen table and mismatched chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

The homeowner bought the original Victorian kitchen table from a vintage shop. 'I love it. It has all the knocks and dents acquired over time. I've lightly sanded it, but I’ve left those tell-tale marks; they’re all part of the joy of sourcing vintage pieces. These things all have stories to tell,’ she says.

As a kitchen table paint idea, the mismatched chairs are all charity shop finds, and she painted the benches to add more colour to the space.

Wooden wall panelling and feature toile wallpaper on the far wall add extra period detail. She says their budget easy kitchen updates added up to just £1,500.


blue painted in a playroom with mirrors over a fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

A charity shop piano upcycled with chalk paint for a fun touch is the star of the playroom ideas

‘It wasn’t a pretty piano, but it sounds ok, so I lived with it for a bit, before plucking up the courage to paint and stencil it,’ she says. ‘It’s really brightened up the room and people always comment on it. It’s got to be one of my favourite bargain buys at just £30.’

Master bedroom

Blue and pink painted walls and vintage furniture in a vintage style bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

Doing things slowly has meant there’s been time to change their minds about the decor. 

They first painted all the walls white in the master bedroom and lived with them like that for a while before opting for a deep blue shade. ‘I think part of it was building up the confidence to go with the darker shade,’ she says. 

Seeing the vintage-style bedroom now, with its moody blue walls and furnished with the homeowner's vintage family treasures, it's hard to imagine it decorated any other way.

The dark blue walls contrast with pale pink above the picture rail, lighter blue on the skirting boards, and cream-painted floorboards, for a creative blue bedroom idea.

Children's bedrooms

childrens room with wall painted mluntain scene, bunting and animal head wall art

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

This bedroom for a young adventurer features a mountain scene handpainted by the homeowner in a combination of Farrow & Ball shades as a great budget children's room design idea.

Adding fun animal head wall art, bunting and rugs are extra quick and easy children's room ideas.

detail shot of alcove in childrens room with shelves and mixed wall art

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

She refreshed the original cast iron fireplace in this room with paint and upcycled the chest of drawers, another charity shop buy, with chalk paint. 

Fun fox storage boxes are a creative way to clear the clutter.


bathroom with green tiles and pink vanity

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fiszer)

Even in this house of vintage finds and family heirlooms, there’s a time and place for modern convenience and a little luxury. The compact family bathroom has recently been refurbished, and although there’s still a nod to Victorian style, the emphasis is on comfort and contemporary colourways, 

They called in space planner Natalie Nicholson to help with the bathroom layout ideas, and in the reconfigured space, dark green tiles contrast wonderfully with pink walls and the bathroom vanity unit.

Next on their renovation plan is a loft extension, which no doubt she will furnish with an eclectic mix of bargain finds. Whether it’s items inherited from family or finds from charity shops where the imagination has to fill in the provenance, she enjoys adding another chapter to the stories of these pieces, keeping them going for another generation to enjoy.