Before and after photos show how homeowner transformed ‘neglected’ home on a budget

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Claire’s gorgeous home would sit comfortably in the pages of an interior design magazine. The 37-year-old who lives in Tunbridge Wells, has managed to amass an impressive following on Instagram after sharing her home improvement tips. But Claire’s home didn’t always look this stunning.

“The house was in a real state when we bought it,” she said.

“It had been empty for a long time and it was sad to see that it had been so neglected over the years.”

Claire said she has managed to do a lot of the work herself apart from the plumbing, gas and electrics.

The home improvement process has seen her hone impressive DIY and decorating skills and create a beautiful family home without spending a fortune.

Claire’s strong belief is that homeowners don’t need to break the bank to make a big impact in your home.


Claire’s once dated kitchen is now a sleek, modern room with gorgeous pendant lights and a monochrome theme.

The home improvement whizz said the kitchen was fitted by professionals but she did the tiling herself after watching YouTube tutorials, saving her potentially hundreds of pounds.

She made the extractor fan hood herself out of old wood and found the pendant lights, cup cupboard handles and light switches online.

To make sure she got the best price she could, she said she shopped around.

The slick black worktops were revamped using Granite Transformations which she said are more cost effective than solid granite or quartz.

Her vintage dining table was a charity shop find which she upcycled by sanding off toehold varnish.

She picked up the dining bench from Facebook marketplace for under £50.

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Front room

Claire’s front room used to be a frumpy affair with old plaster, white walls and brown carpets.

The room has since been transformed using panels, paint and alcove shelving.

The chimney breast was built by professionals but the fireplace was another secondhand find, costing Claire just £20.

She gave the fireplace a lick of paint, and it now looks like brand new.

The DIY enthusiast painted the whole room herself and added a picture rail using inexpensive decorative mouldings from B&Q.

The on-trend panelling is made from MDF strips which can be purchased cheaply from places like B&Q and Homebase.

Claire added: “I built the alcove shelving using MDF from an old wardrobe that we dismantled, and fitted the bargain blinds which were £4 from The Range.”


Claire’s bedroom is truly unique and includes a colour gradient mountain mural on the wall.

During lockdown, Claire decided to change up her “very dull and uninspiring” bedroom to “to create the feeling of being on an exciting holiday in a far flung destination” every time she entered the room.

Claire researched wall murals and chose the mountains which suited her “limited artistic abilities”.

She plotted out the layers of mountains by hand marking the walls with chalk and then began painting the darkest layer using a small paint brush.

She then added some of the pale pink paint to the dark grey paint and hand painted some of the mountains in that hue.

She then mixed more of this pink shade with another paler, more grey pink shade and did the same.

She repeated this process until she reached the top half of the wall where she predominantly used the pale grey pink to create an ombre effect.

Claire continued: “I painted the wall panelling on two of the walls with the soft dusky pink but I knew I didn’t want the whole room in this shade and in order to contrast with the black frame of the bed I painted the panelling on the main wall in a pale grey.

“I added some detail to the mountains to create depth and finally painted the door and architrave in the pale grey pink to continue the soft relaxing feel.”

Claire added wooden pegs, which she found on eBay, to the panelling at the foot of the bed.

She found the bed scandi-style four-poster bed online after shopping around for a bargain.

Living room

Claire’s living room used to be dark and dull with dated fixtures and grey carpets.

The room has since been transformed with bifold doors which open out onto her decking to create an indoor-outdoor feel, adding not only light to the room but colour too.

While the doors were expensive, Claire said she thought they were a “worthy investment”.

The trendy black radiators were from eBay, and the laminate flooring was bought and fitted by Howdens which she said is “great quality and value for money and looks very like real wood.”

She fitted the panelling and built-in shelving herself.


Claire’s main bathroom suite and tiles were fitted by a professional but she managed to shop around online to find a “real bargain”.

However, the small details and personal touches were all implemented by Claire.

She explained: “I painted and added some black accents to the door architrave, shower screen shelf and door handles to add a bit of interest.

“I used up old paint that I already had to save money and I’m planning to stencil the floor tiles soon – another project on the never ending list!”


Small toilets are the perfect way to explore with bold colours, patterns and designs, which is exactly what Claire has done.

Claire decorated the entire room herself except for the plumbing which was done by professionals.

The room includes a black ceiling, bold wallpaper and decorative moulding

The DIY fanatic said she managed to paint the entire bathroom ceiling using a tester pot for £3.99 from The Decorating Centre Online.

The pale wooden trim around the room cost around £12 in total and adds another dimension to the small WC.

Claire added: “The mirror was a £10 bargain from Homesense.

“It was dented and marked so I bashed the dent out of it and painted it and it lifts the whole space now.”

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