Woman transforms her four-bedroom house from dreary to dynamic – spending less than £600


After buying a new £600,000 home in Surrey, Shelley Hammond wasn’t totally satisfied so set about making the new build just what she wanted – and spent just a few hundred pounds on the project

Shelley Hammond
Shelley Hammond’s new home needed a colour injection – and fast!

A thrifty woman has explained exactly how she totally transformed her new family home for little more than £500.

Shelley Hammond, 38, moved into her £600,000 new-build Surrey property in October 2020 and didn’t hang around when it came to making it her own.

She decided straight away that it needed an infusion of personality, but was determined to do it all on a budget.

The human resources worker decided to do all the DIY herself so she could keep costs low.

In the master bedroom, she spent just £101, buying two cans of paint for £76 and eggshell wood paint for £15.

The office came in just above that with £123 spent on wallpaper and £20 on paint, totalling £143, and the living room was £180 for two cans of paint.

She loved her new build but wanted a more dynamic look
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So she set herself a budget – and got down to work
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The kitchen saw £100 worth of tiles added, along with one can of paint for £38, bringing the total spent on finished rooms so far to £542.

Shelley’s current project is the hallway, adding in paint, panelling and wallpaper throughout the house.

“The hallway is definitely a project to finish and it’s a townhouse which means carrying the hallway theme up,” she said.

“I’d also love to turn my en-suite into a spa-like sanctuary and move well away from the grey and white it currently is.

“It’s north-facing so I will embrace the lack of natural light and maybe create a moody, relaxing space, but let’s see.”


The kitchen looks trendy and it cost her next to nothing to revamp
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The house was originally entirely white inside and Shelley’s creative side kicked in – itching to get going since the pandemic had made her other creative outlet – dancing – more difficult.

“I’m drawn to colour and living in a blank, white house was very draining,” said Shelley.

“Working from home most of the time, the white colour just wasn’t helping my moods or how I coped with the isolation of working at home.

“So it’s important to me to use colour that helps with mood, feel and how your home makes you feel.

The bedroom wasn’t to her style, so she did something about it
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She totally turned the rooms around and the results speak for themselves
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“It was never in question that I would leave it as it was. To me, that was a blank canvas waiting to be brought to life.

“I’ve done five out of the ten spaces in a year and can’t wait to keep going. Using colour can affect how it makes you feel so it’s important not to overlook.”

Shelley added that colour is important to her, especially as it affects how people feel.

“It matches my personality,” she said.


Shelley shared her secrets – and explained how easy the transformation was
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“I’m an energetic extrovert and so colour is always a thing. You won’t see me wearing black or white and my home matches that.

“I’m a big believer that colour impacts your mood and energy levels – so I have a calming pink bedroom where the sun hits and makes me feel calm and ready for my day.

“I have a blue living room that becomes all cosy and warm at night, a fun and vibrant wallpaper print in my office to energise and motivate me.

“A dark grey and pink kitchen makes the room feel fresh and inspiring for cooking. Colour makes me happy. I can’t imagine not using colour in any part of my life.”


Her stylish master bedroom upgrade cost just £101
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And although she lives alone, she has her cat Healy for company – and he likes to get involved in the house transformation process.

“Healy has lived with me for eleven months and he 100 percent gets in the way.

“He’s the most curious cat I’ve ever known and being bright white, he’s ended up with blue ears or pink paws where he’s stepped in my paint tray.

“He also loves the dust sheets I lay down and jumps and runs all amongst them which just stops me from getting on.

“He will often fall asleep watching me work away and is always close by when things are going on.”

The full list of Shelley’s DIY costs

Master bedroom: £101, two cans of paint (£76) and eggshell wood paint ( £15).
Office: £143, wallpaper ( £123), paint ( £20)
Living room: £80, two cans of paint.
Kitchen: £138, tiles ( £100), one can of paint ( £38).

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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