DIY-savvy couple transform dated property with just £6,000

Couple transform dated Edwardian terrace into a stylish and colourful home with just £6,000 in one year – despite having ‘zero DIY experience’ before makeover

  • Jenny, 33, and husband Sam, 31, from London, bought their first home in 2019 
  • Despite having no experience pair set out to make over home during lockdown 
  • Couple transformed their house from drab and dated property into stylish home 

A DIY savvy couple have transformed their dark and gloomy property into a stylish home over the last year with just £6,000.

Jenny, 33, and husband Sam, 31, from London, bought their first home, a 1907 Edwardian terrace house, in September 2019 for £550,000.

After renting for several years, the pair were thrilled to have their own place and eagerly set about giving it a makeover during lockdown, despite having no prior DIY experience. 

Jenny, who is a surgeon at a London children’s hospital, has been documenting their journey on Instagram to the couple’s 13K followers – who have been blown away by the results.

Jenny, 33, and husband Sam, 31, from London, (both pictured) transformed their dark and gloomy property into a stylish home over the last year with just £6,000

After renting for several years, the pair were thrilled to have their own place and eagerly set about giving it a makeover during lockdown. Pictured, their living room during renovation

Jenny, who is a surgeon at a London children’s hospital, has been documenting their journey on Instagram to the couple’s 13K followers. Pictured, their living room after the renovation

‘We had zero DIY experience, and only owned a screwdriver when we moved in but we were keen to learn and do as much as we could along the way,’ she said. 

‘We made a long list of things that we wanted to change in each room and started work straight away.

‘The bathroom was already beautiful when we moved in, so we were lucky that we didn’t have to do that.’

Firstly, the pair tackled the living room where they discovered 110-year-old floorboards covered in dirt and dust, and stripped back the dated wallpaper before painting the wall stylish teal colour. 

The couple were keen to update their dull and dated bedroom. Pictured, the couples bedroom before renovation

The pair revamped the bedroom of their 1907 Edwardian terrace house, pictured after the couple’s transformation 


A big challenge was the hallway, which the pair revamped with Victorian mosaic tiles. pictured, L-R, the hallway before and after the renovation

‘We started on the sitting room first and the first job was to pull up the black carpet, which was a very messy job.

‘We discovered 110-year-old floorboards underneath and set to sanding them back. They were dark brown and covered in dirt and dust.

‘Next up, we stripped back the textured wallpaper, definitely one of our most hated jobs.’

The couple did most of the work by themselves, barring hiring a builder to skim the walls and build shelving on either side of the chimney breast, which they then primed and painted.

Firstly, the pair tackled the living room, pictured before renovation, they stripped back the dated wallpaper before painting the wall stylish teal colour 


While stripping back the carpet the couple discovered 110-year-old floorboard covered in dirt and dust before they added new wooden flooring

The couple hired a builder to skim the walls and build shelving on either side of the chimney breast, which they then primed and painted 

The couple styled their renovated living room with with a Laura Ashley sofa, a mustard ottoman and a West Elm coffee table as well as two antique French button back armchairs

Jenny said: ‘I love painting so decided to paint the walls and do all the paintwork white. We love dark colours and the room is so light – it works really well we think.

‘We styled it with a Laura Ashley sofa, a mustard ottoman and a West Elm coffee table.

‘We also found two French button back armchairs in our local antique shop in Blackheath and had them reupholstered to finish off the bay window.’

A big challenge was the hallway, which the pair revamped with Victorian mosaic tiles – but struggled to find matching border tiles.

‘Sam spent hours cutting and templating the tiles and we laid them ourselves, ‘said Jenny’, which was quite tricky but totally worth it.

‘Every time we walk downstairs we smile as it was our first big DIY job.’


Sam spent hours cutting and templating the tiles for the hallway before the couple laid the new the new matching border tiles themselves 

The pair painted the woodwork white and the walls ammonite and say the hallway is the ‘favourite part’ of their transformation, pictured after the renovation 

Sam then set about panelling the hallway and stairs, painting the walls before moving on to the bedroom where they recreated the hearth around the fireplace with monochrome tiles.

Jenny said: ‘We painted the woodwork white and the walls ammonite. We finished it off with a wool herringbone carpet with matt black binding along the sides. 

‘It’s is our favourite part of our transformation so far.

‘For our bedroom, we wanted a change from the blue walls and grey carpet. We chose Farrow and Ball Oxford Stone for the walls and wardrobes.

‘I made roman blinds and headboard in a fabric we bought from Laura Ashley. We bought tiles and recreated the hearth around the fireplace to complement the black and stone colour theme.’  

The couple have spent a total of £6,000 on the makeover so far. Pictured, their drab home office before renovation

The entire process took place over the course of one year. Pictured, their colourful home office after renovation

The couple have spent a total of £6,000 on the makeover so far and most of the transformation took place during the past year.

Jenny said: ‘It was the perfect lockdown project but the templating, cutting the tiles and making sure they were central was definitely the hardest part.’

‘We find painting the walls makes such a difference and for rooms like our office and bedroom, just changing the colour had such an impact.

‘The fact we have done it all ourselves makes it that bit more special, too.’

The couple are beyond delighted with their home, with their favourite room the hallway, as it was very dark when they purchased the house.

They plan on renovating the kitchen and dining room in coming months, which they expect to be a very big project, and look forward to having friends and family over to showcase their new home.

Luckily, the home’s bathroom (pictured) was ‘beautiful’ when the pair moved in and so needed no renovation 

The couple are beyond delighted with their home and plan on renovating the kitchen and dining room in coming months. Pictured, the home’s exterior 

Jenny said: ‘Ironically, no one has seen it in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.

‘They have loved seeing the transformations on Instagram but we really cannot wait for people to come when it is safe to do so.’

For others who are thinking of doing a bit of home DIY, Jenny added: ‘Speak to your neighbours and find a good team of local tradespeople – this is essential.

‘Next, make a list, and tackle each room one at a time.

‘Instagram is perfect for inspiration, and people are generally very helpful at giving you tips etc., we have learnt so much along the way.’

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