Woman, 40, spends £8,000 transforming drab home into stylish pad

Woman who had ‘never picked up a paintbrush before lockdown’ transforms her drab detached home into stylish pad for £8,000 complete with bright colourful walls, bold prints and a disco-themed loo

  • Joanne McCauley, 40, made-over five-bed home in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Civil servant filled her home with bold prints, vibrant walls and pastel colours
  • House decor came to £3,000 and she spent further £5,000 on outdoor kitchen

A homeowner has given her tired detached home a new lease of life in a stunning £8,000 makeover. 

Civil servant Joanne McCauley, 40, transformed the five-bed home she shares with husband Deryl, 40, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland into a stylish pad decorated with vibrant and pastel colours. 

Prior to the renovation, Joanne’s ‘dull and uninspiring’ home was beige, magnolia and grey – but has since been revamped with ombre walls, bold prints and even a disco-themed loo. 

Joanne spent around £3,000 on decor before carrying out all the work herself and spent a further £5,000 on building an outdoor kitchen ‘perfect for entertaining guests’.

A homeowner has given her tired detached home a new lease of life in a stunning £8,000 makeover. Pictured, a brand new pastel blue outdoor kitchen for entertaining costing £5,000

The home been revamped with bright colours and statement prints, including the vibrant guest room which features a bold pink wall, crocheted pastel pink headboard and various lively graphic artworks 

The downstairs toilet is known as the ‘disco loo’ because it has wallpaper with boomboxes on, a disco ball, Cabbage Patch dolls and a Rubik’s cube

‘I have lived in this house for nine years but it was so dull and uninspiring,’ said Joanne. ‘I always wear colourful clothing so the house didn’t reflect me at all.

‘Before starting the renovation in the first lockdown, I had barely picked up a paint brush.

‘But I learnt as I went along and even created a pastel ombre effect in one of the spare rooms.

‘It’s OK to make mistakes because I could always go over it. I feel so much better waking up to a colourful home every day.’

Prior to the renovation, the ‘dull and uninspiring’ home was beige, magnolia and grey. Pictured, the detached home’s tired guest bedroom before the transformation 

Before the make-over, the home featured grey flooring, ‘dull and uninspiring’ furniture and minimal decor (pictured, the home’s sun room prior to renovation) 

One of the home’s guest bedrooms was transformed from a boring room with a magnolia and beige colour scheme to a bright and airy living space with pastel coloured ombre walls 

Joanne recalls once feeling ‘scared’ to add colour to her home but now she couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Her downstairs toilet is known as the ‘disco loo’ as it has wallpaper with boomboxes on, a disco ball, cabbage patch dolls and a Rubik’s cube.

She said: ‘It is a wacky toilet but I love it. My favourite room in the house is my beauty room, it’s pink and yellow.

‘I instantly feel joy as I walk into it. It is the first room I decorated and then I got the colour bug.

‘There is a lot of pink and purple in my house but I have tried to compromise by making the living room with green and darker tones. It is a calm space.

Civil servant Joanne McCauley, 40,transformed the five-bed home she shares with husband Deryl, 40, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland to reflect her vibrant personality 

One of the five-bed home’s spare bedrooms (pictured) looked tired and uninspiring with a grey carpet, dark furniture and twee floral curtains  

The ‘beauty room’ was transformed from a drab space with minimalist decor to a colourful beauty room featuring a bold pink wall and trendy decor, including lights around the mirror 

Joanne, pictured enjoying a drink in her revamped kitchen, which boasts its own bar cupboard, is thrilled with her home’s trendy renovation 

‘I am mindful that my husband Deryl, 40, lives here too. But he is happy as long as I am happy and he loves seeing the final outcome.’

Joanne’s home aesthetics consist of some new, old and up-cycled items One of many prints are from charity shops or pieces of wrapping paper in a frame.

All of the rugs, which include statement zebra, aztec and rainbow prints, were purchased from online furniture store Wayfair.

She adds: ‘Most of my spending was on paint as I needed lots of it. My walls before were grey, magnolia or white and now they’re completed transformed.

‘The hall is orange with an art gallery filled with prints, and a clothing patch from when I travelled in a frame.

The living room before renovation featured mismatched sofas, a dull grey rug, wooden flooring and traditional decor 

The beauty room features a Scandi-style rug, deep red sofa, bold pink wall and eclectic decor and artwork 

‘My shoe wall for example cost me only £45 by using a sheet of MDF for £26, the wall brackets were £13 and then screws and leftover paint made up the rest,’ Joanne said. She also introduced a yellow and pink statement wall and rainbow-themed decor 

The hallway after renovation features a purple and orange colour scheme, statement zebra print rug and various vibrant artworks. Joanne bought the radiator cover and painted it her desired shade 

‘I also purchased a radiator cover and painted it purple. Our home is definitely a fun space.

‘The house décor came to about £3,000 – taking into account the new sofa and chairs, paint for each room, some faux plants and a lot of prints.

‘I also bought a the red sofa bed in my beauty room, but I sold my bed and some furniture so that halved the cost to around £150.

‘My shoe wall for example cost me only £45 by using a sheet of MDF for £26, the wall brackets were £13 and then screws and leftover paint made up the rest.

‘Everyone’s favourite cupboard is in the kitchen which looks like an ordinary cupboard but it is a mini bar.

The renovated guest room features a vibrant purple and mint green ombre chest of drawers and statement pink walls. Although she’d never picked up a paintbrush before, Joanne managed to create the ombre effect herself 

Pictured, Joanne’s garden before renovation featuring simple decor, no outdoor lighting and plain brown fencing  

After renovation, the garden features outdoor lighting, a vibrant green and pink fence, an outdoor umbrella and flamingo ornaments 

‘I have learnt that decor doesn’t have to be so serious, matching and perfect. You can’t go wrong as long as you like it.’

Despite going against the ‘norm’, Joanne is certain her quirky decorating has added value to the house.

She said: ‘I know my house isn’t to everyones taste but I don’t think it has decreased in value. We spent a further £5,000 on an outdoor kitchen which is painted light blue.

‘It is perfect for entertaining guests. The colours aren’t for everyone but anyone who sees my house can appreciate it.’

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