When the homeowner bought their East London Victorian terrace home over 20 years ago, her parents thought she was 'a bit mad'- and not without reason. 'It was the kind of property a builder would buy to do up, because it needed to much work,' she says. 'But I could see the potential of this place, even though I knew it was going to be a long, hard slog.'
Over the next three years, she worked her way through the house within the constraints of her budget, but in that time managed to replace electrics, plumbing and heating. 'I often referred to it as, "the house that Jack built really badly," but it had its saving graces,' she says.
'For example, underneath the hardboard panels that covered each door, was the original Victorian detailing that clearly wasn't very trendy in the 1970s.' 'But thanks to some budget living room ideas, I was able to transform the space.'
While the homeowner took pride and satisfaction in bringing her house up to scratch, there was one area she knew would have to wait to update until funds allowed.
'So many aspects of the kitchen didn't work, not least the lack of cupboard space- the only storage was a 1950's upright kitchenette cabinet with fluted-glass doors and a pull-down work surface,' she says.
But finally, in 2016, she was able to remortgage to raise the money for a rear kitchen extension. The new space meant she could now have the storage she'd been missing all those years, and she struck lucky when she came across some stunning kitchen base units on display at the Ideal Home exhibition, which she managed to buy 'for a song'. Paired with self-designed plywood wall cupboards and a splashback made of floor tiles in a metallic finish, her dream kitchen was becoming a reality.
A plumber made the unique, one of a kind light on the kitchen ceiling of this East London Victorian terrace.
So many aspects of this house have come about as a result of the homeowner's clever, budget decorating ideas, resourcefulness and ingenuity, and the lighting in the kitchen is just one example. 'One day while the plumber was working here, I asked him if he could use some of his copper pipes to construct a ceiling lighting system based on the London tube map,' she explains. 'He obliged and I think the finished result is pretty unique.'
Equally distinctive is the kitchen flooring. 'I was going to go for polished concrete until I came across a company that specialises in rubber surfaces,' she says. 'To have this type of finish meant I had to have the floor rescreeded to get it perfectly smooth, otherwise every tiny bump would show. But once down, the bright yellow lifted the room to another level and it's now the biggest taking point when people come round.'
The sitting room
The latest ares to enjoy a makeover is the sitting room, where the homeowner gives a lot of the credit to her decorator who displayed an incredible degree of patience.
'I knew I wanted to colour block here using my favourite greens and yellows, but it took us hours to get the geometric wall pattern marked out using a tape measure, spirit level and masking tape,' she says. 'But the finished scheme was exactly as I'd hoped when I planned it out, and it's one of my favourite living room wall decor ideas.'
Colour blocking the walls has given this room a unique identity, which works wonderfully in this East London Victorian terrace and is a great clever living room paint idea.
The striking colour blocking continues onto the floor, almost acting as a space divider. 'My favourite item is my Ikea sofa which I reupholstered in a lush olive green velvet, making it look like a designer piece,' says the homeowner.
'This is where I come to read my book and chill out,' says the homeowner. The painted ceiling adds to the room's sense of luxury.
The main bedroom
Sumptuous furnishings create a relaxed, hygge feel.
This is a home that us undoubtedly impressive and the homeowners daughter will often bring home friends who will all vouch for the street cred of this East London Victorian terrace. Being a creative soul, the homeowner is always itching for the chance to use her interiors talents and shares her design ideas on Instagram account @Untillemonsrsweet.
Buy now: Roll-top bath, £200, Preloved.
'This scheme is reminiscent of my auntie's 1970s-style avocado bathroom, perfect for a Victorian terrace.' says the homeowner. 'I wasn't sure how to paint a bath, but quickly learnt it was an easy makeover.'
'My dream project is to build a home abroad, but I'd never sell this place,' she says. 'This house will be my daughters and is my legacy to her.'
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Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.
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