My rental was looking dingy so I transformed it into a four-bed rainbow home using bargain buys from eBay and Gumtree | The Sun

My rental was looking dingy so I transformed it into a four-bed rainbow home using bargain buys from eBay and Gumtree | The Sun

April 12, 2023

TEACHING assistant who took to DIY to survive the stress of lockdown has revealed exactly how she transformed her four-bedroom rental for just over £1K.

Teaching Assistant Sophie Alsop, 34, from Swindon, Wiltshire, UK, spent just over £1,091 to revamp her estimated £200k three-storey town house into her personal paradise in order to survive the anxious times.

She undertook a lengthy DIY project to revamp and enliven her living room, hallway and kitchen and personalised it by up-cycling and smart expenditure which she did with a lot of painting, designing, decorating and smart up-cycling of products.

From up-cycling cabinets to painting walls, from using colourful stickers to attaching shelves, Sophie's DIY project cost her £935 for her living room, £124.50 for her kitchen and £32 for her hallway.

Sophie started DIY because her anxiety was on an all-time high during the pandemic and the precariousness of the world around her.

As an individual with a degree in journalism and over eight years of marketing experience she has always had a quirky and creative personality which she quickly turned to her home projects during lockdown.

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Her husband Simon, 36, is laid back and lets her do whatever she wants with her house and her two children, daughter Penelope, 4, and son Noah, 6, also cheer her on.

Her days during peak Covid felt really long with home schooling her young kids, so to clear her mind off her mundane routine, Sophie took to decorating and upcycling her home.

She did everything by herself and only took her husband's help in putting up the shelves.

''It started off as something to pass the time,'' said Sophie.

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''But it then became a genuine passion as these decor projects gave me some routine, especially in the evenings, when I would feel bored and fed up, they would cheer me up.''

Sophie started to do some changes in her living room, but went on to alter her kitchen and hallway too, spending not more than £1000.

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''The living room was a blank canvas with just grey walls,'' said Sophie.

''I decided to add some prints to the wall spending just about £100 with the rest being gifted to me.

''I then decided to do an ice cream themed feature wall with Neapolitan stripes and ice cream accessories like bunting that cost me just about £149.50.

''I also got a radiator cover off eBay and made another feature wall with it.

''I put some Dalmatian spot wall stickers on the feature wall along with some little shelves.

''I painted a giant ice cream to accompany my ice cream wall print and mini-ice cream accessories.

''I found a sideboard unit and a set of drawers on Gumtree, which I then up-cycled.

Sophie's expense on the revamp of her kitchen cost her a mere £125.

''The kitchen was very small and plain and had one grey wall which I couldn't stand to look at any longer,'' she said.

''I decided to get a pink shelf and use it to store plates, painted the wall pastel purple and put some cute biscuit wall prints.

''I wanted a food theme so I put a biscuit bunting and biscuit themed stickers around the shelf.

''I'm always looking for biscuit themed items to add to it, it's one of my favourite walls, I also upgraded my hallway from plain grey and lifeless to full of life.

''I got hold of a bureau that someone was getting rid of for free.

''I up-cycled it and now use it as a great storage for shoes.''

Sophie has got some amazing support apart from her husband from her family and even online.

''My husband just laughs and lets me get on with it,'' she said.

''My mum has always had quite a quirky edge to her so she loves what I've done and my children too love the fun and colourful decor.

''The interiors community on Instagram are very supportive and I get positive comments about my decor and up-cycling projects.

"A few people have said I should do interior design, it was a lovely compliment.''

Sophie even has some advice for people who want to undertake DIY and up-cycling.

''Do it, don't doubt yourself,'' she said.

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''If you want a rainbow-coloured house, then go create one.

''If you don't know where to start, make small changes at first and then move onto the bigger jobs like painting.''

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