A thrifty woman saved £30k by renovating her home from scratch - to showroom standard - using Facebook Marketplace, car boots and DIY.
Nine years ago Louise Jones, 37, a mental health nurse, and husband James, software developer, 42, bought a fixer-upper in Bristol.
The front of the house was brown and every room had yellow and orange walls and bright blue carpets.
The pink three-bedroom Victorian terrace is now unrecognisable thanks to the couple who used YouTube videos to help them.
Louise is a bargain-buying queen and says research and planning is key to creating your dream beautiful bargain home.
Her favourite feature is her designer table which would have cost her £700 if she'd bought it at John Lewis- but she did her own dupe for £30.
Louise said: “When we first moved in nine years ago, it was absolutely disgusting.
“We didn’t have the money to splash out on expensive tradesmen and decided to do everything ourselves.
“When we started, we couldn’t even paint a wall.
“But anything is possible with the guidance of a YouTube tutorial.
“We laid all the tiles, and painted and decorated our entire home.”
Transforming her home made Louise realise her passion for interior design which she is now trying to pursue as her full time occupation.
She spends hours trawling Facebook Marketplace and using her creative eye to look for steals that can be upcycled with a bit of sandpaper, paint and TLC.
The star of the home is Louise’s upcycled table modelled off an expensive £700 wooden piece she had found online.
“I had spent months trying to find a round table that would do the job.
“I had trawled all the charity shops but had had no luck, then one day I came across a round wooden table on Facebook market for £50.
“I haggled them down to £30 and then got to work sanding it down to reveal a beautiful design below the surface.
“It still needs waxing but the table is the love of my life.”
The money-saving mother of two swears by a mantra of being patient and not being afraid to go wrong.
“Tiling was one of the most difficult things we had to learn to do but if something goes wrong, you can always start again!”
“We have created our dream family home all without breaking the bank."
The DIY duo laid all the tiles themselves on the fireplace, in the front room and on the splash back in the kitchen.
Instead of opting for tiles she had seen for £70 a box from tops tiles she found dupe ones from B&Q at £23.
Louise swears by Facebook marketplace and recently bagged a brand new kettle and toaster worth £200 for £30.
The mum-of-two says you can use paint to create the illusion of having a bigger room, by sectioning the wall and using different coloured paints.
Although she is never afraid of going wrong, Louise admits to one disaster:
"We attempted to install our own underfloor heating and lay the tiles in our hall, let's just say it didn't go to plan and we are waiting to get the professionals in to fix it for us."
Louise’s top tips for transforming your home on a budget are -
- Go to carboot sales, charity shops and tip shops. I have found so many vintage chairs that are worth a lot of money.
- Always look in the clearance sections of shops.
- Facebook marketplace is the holy grail of saving money- look there before anything else.
- Have a go at DIY- anything is possible with a YouTube tutorial, before moving in to my home I couldn’t even paint a wall.
- Try and re-use and re-purpose items you already have, it’s amazing what a bit of paint and sandpaper can do.