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I did up my whole house on a budget with Amazon and B&Q bargains, not it’s too bright for some but it’s my dream home

ADDING a splash of colour to your home can be daunting as most of us think it's safer to stick with trusty off-white.

But one woman's gamble paid off, as she transformed her home into a zebra-inspired paradise with vibrant colour pops throughout.

Emma McAllister, 35, from Tyne and Wear, was shielding throughout lockdown so took the opportunity to redo her home herself.

The mum-of-three, who works as a paediatric nurse, renovated her home for just £4,000 but teaching herself DIY and sourcing bargain materials.

Speaking to, Emma said: "I bought my house in August 2020, and in the October I was diagnosed with MS and a rare spinal condition.

“Because of this I then had to stay at home and shield from work. I am a paediatric nurse and work in an A&E department.

"So because I had months and months of staying at home I decided to focus all my time and energy on decorating my home as bright and colourful and happy as I could."

Emma explained that she loved zebras and that they are the symbol of rare diseases so she decided to incorporate them into her design.

In order to keep costs down Emma was savvy about which items she bought and made sure she tracked down the best prices for everything online.

She made sure that she and her partner did everything themselves, and even their three sons helped out with the decorating.

She said: "I found my bath online which was a lot cheaper than most places and then a plumber did the plumbing work.

"I started with the internal doors. I wanted something different so decided to go with pink doors. I used Farrow and Ball Sulking Room Pink.

"I then decorated the living room. I added panelling and moulding to the walls, which was just cheap wood from B&Q which I nailed and glued to the wall and painted with Valspar black paint."


All the accessories were bought from TK Maxx to keep the costs low.

Emma, who documents her decorating journey on her Instagram account, said: “For the kitchen I added the breakfast bar so my children could sit here - this was £40 and then I decorated it with polka dots and paint.

"My kids rooms I wallpapered again, and added black and white accessories which cost £50. For my bedroom, we added panelling all along the back wall as it is a long room so needed a feature.

"We bought MDF from B&Q and measured and cut the sizes we needed, and then primed and painted this. I wanted a bath in the alcove, so I searched the internet and found a black and white free standing roll top bath for £500."

The plumbing for the bath did cost the mum-of-three £600 as they needed to call in a professional for that.

In total, the whole house refurbishment cost £4k including big pieces of furniture like the sofa and the roll-top bath and Emma couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

She said: "My main tip I would say is don’t be afraid of colour - it’s only paint and you can always go back to white! I experimented with using colours such as pink and green and loved the colour combinations."

More on household... how cleaning your outdoor bins could be the key to keeping spiders out your house.

And for more money-saving tips, see Mums reveal how to save £300 for school uniforms from selling on Depop to clothes rentals.

Also see these tips for keeping your house tidy, from a messy person.

I bought a run down house for 50k and transformed it into a modern day dream property