‘I transformed my council house into a luxury palace for just £20k with cheap B&M buys’

By Staff

Transforming your home into something you’ve always dreamed of is no small feat, but one woman has managed to do it on a budget buying things from stores like B&M and Home Bargains

One woman has wowed interior fans after turning a council house into her dream ‘palace’ with some creative ideas and budget decor.

Renovating a home can be seriously daunting, and you may not know where to start. But 26-year-old Danielle Leigh has proven that you don’t need tonnes of savings after she transformed a humble property into her dream home with a ‘hotel’ feel – and a tight budget.

Danielle spent just £20,000 on the home project, buying furniture from Home Bargains, B&M, and supermarket homeware sections. She claims that she’s spent around £40,000 less than she would on high-end designer gear.

The carer has torn down her kitchen for a new ‘traditionally-styled’ cooking area. She’s also painted her walls gold, adding butterfly motifs to each door handle and chest of drawers, and has ensured that each bedroom looks like a ‘hotel room’.

Danielle said: “I had to start from scratch with this house – but I’ve transformed it into a luxury home. A lot of people think I’m wasting money on this house because it’s council – but I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t want to buy it. I’m just waiting until I can afford to buy it outright – I see this house as my own.

“I’ve done a lot of research on Instagram and Pinterest – there are people who can afford to spend £10k on just a single room. I can’t afford that, but I just knew I could get the same results on a budget.”

Danielle loves watching shows like ’60 Minute Makeover’ and had always wanted to renovate a house one day. After a year in her previous house, she decided to move to somewhere more accessible for her daughter, six, who is autistic, and her mum, 43, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

When she was house-hunting in 2021, Danielle made a mood board on Pinterest and visualised what her new home would look like – and she just knew that lots of gold would be on the cards. “I was seeing black and gold aesthetics all over TikTok and Pinterest – but when I moved into our house, it was plain white and completely empty. I decided to stick with it, but give it my own stamp with lots of gold”, she explained.

Some of her favourite budget buys include a £120 Ikea TV stand, a £50 Facebook Marketplace bed for her daughter, and an Ikea wardrobe costing £1,200 – despite originally being quoted £5k. “I buy a lot from Home Bargains, Shein, Tesco, Facebook Marketplace and occasionally Dunelm”, she said. “It might seem small, but one of my favourite purchases so far is my butterfly-shaped drawer handles. I looked online for them, and saw they cost £8.99 for one – when I needed about 20. But I went on to AliExpress and found a pack of 10 for 99p.”

Danielle admitted that at first, she felt it was “difficult” to make the property feel like her own, as it was a “blank canvas”, but now it’s renovated, and she loves it. Over three years, Danielle has spent £20k – as well as the £1,600-a-month rent and bills – to renovate her council house. She has to submit a permission form every time she wants to make a big change – but she hasn’t been turned down yet.

Danielle is currently in the process of renovating her kitchen and despite “completely ripping it out”, she’s hoping to only spend £5,000 on the job. She hopes for a “traditional-style kitchen”, revealing she’s “obsessed with the big dresser-style mantlepieces around the oven.”

She said: “I’ve looked at the price – and it looks like it’s going to be around £2k just for the mantle. But I’m sure I’ll find one on a budget. My maximum spend is hopefully going to be £5k – but I’m going to make it look £20k.”

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