Stokie DIY fan Hayley: ‘I rummaged through skips and used wrapping paper as curtains to keep warm – but look at my home now’


A DIY fan who used Christmas wrapping paper as curtains and rummaged in tips for unwanted furniture has unveiled her new-look house after spending months on a ‘labour of love’ transformation.

Hayley Shaw’s 1930s two-bed semi in Basford has been completely remodeled from a nicotine-stained dive to a bright and airy home to be proud of.

The 32-year-old bought her new Collis Avenue pad at a knockdown price in November last year and set about updating it with a chic feminine yet practical scheme without breaking the bank.

Now her friends, family and even strangers on a Facebook DIY forum say the property wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy interior design magazine.

Hayley Shaw has completely transformed her home

Hayley said: “It’s my first house that I’ve bought on my own so it’s a big deal.

“I’m self-employed so I had to save up for a large deposit and watch the pennies when it came to the renovation.

“I’d been looking for a house for a while as I was going through a divorce.

“My friend was left a house in a will and she was struggling to sell. It was out of my budget but we came to an agreement. I just fell in love with it.

“On the surface it looked like there was so much work but it actually had a new boiler and had been rewired so some of the bigger jobs had been done.

The lounge has been completely transformed

“There was still loads that needed doing. All the windows at the front were single glazed. My boyfriend actually bought the new windows as a Christmas present.

“There was also a brick fireplace which needed knocking out and we also changed the floor.”

Hayley had to fit all the work around her day job hiring out a photobooth as part of her Spectacular Selfies business, often working into the early hours.

She added: “Every single wall in the house was covered in this thick vinyl wallpaper which was all nicotine stained. It took me seven weeks just to remove and repaint.

Hayley used wrapping paper to keep warm and give her some privacy

“I would come after work at 9pm and be here for hours for the best part of two months. I put my earphones in and just kept scraping. There was wallpaper on wallpaper and chunks of plaster kept falling off.

“The house was so cold I found some wrapping paper and put that in the windows to keep warm and to give me some privacy as I could only be there at night.

“It looked so much worse before it looked better. There were times when I thought I was never going to finish.

“I actually didn’t see the house in daylight until January and I was so worried it was going to be dark and dingy but everyone kept reassuring me. I renovated my old home so I knew what I was doing but I did have the odd wobble.”

Hayley’s bathroom after the renovations

Hayley also hunted around for bargains – even digging through skips for treasure.

One of her best deals was a B&Q floor bought in the January sales for £140 to cover the entire downstairs.

Another bargain was a £300 M&S sofa bought from Westbridge Furniture in Meir Park.

Hayley added; “Thankfully I managed to get some really good bargains. With the floor I didn’t want anything too expensive as I plan on knocking down a wall to open it up when I’ve saved enough money.

“I also picked up a £10 coffee table and a £50 mirror from Poundstretcher.

Hayley’s kitchen as it looks today

“My kitchen shelves actually came from a skip. I knocked on and asked if they minded if I took the wood. It had been in their garage for years and was so dirty.

“I cleaned it up and painted them white before fitting them with some cheap Ikea wall brackets. It would have cost me £1,000 to get someone to do it for me. They are actually one of my favourite things in the whole house.

“With the bathroom I got a friend of the family to help, we took everything out then he re-tiled had re-fitted the bathroom. I still plan to wallpaper the ceiling in there.

“I love to bargain hunt. I like to browse in charity shops and I can spend hours on eBay looking for the perfect piece to go with the eclectic look.

How the lounge looked before

“I love to reuse items and making them look good again. My philosophy is that you have to love something or shouldn’t be in your home.”

In total Hayley reckons the lounge took two months to finish and cost under £3,000.

Due to coronavirus Hayey was only able to move in in June, but added: “My favourite room is probably the lounge as it’s the one I finished first. It’s somewhere I can really feel I can relax.

“I also love the kitchen now all my bits and bobs are in place. I like how every room has a different personality.

“I’m happy with the outcome but there’s still lots more to do. If I can find some second-hand patio doors that would be brilliant.

“I’m always doing something, no room is never done.”

What the kitchen used to look like

Hayley shared her transformation to Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK, where it’s gone down a storm racking up hundreds of likes.

People have claimed her house looks like something out of a magazine, with one person saying: “Gorgeous. Looks like a home magazine!”

Someone else wrote: “Wow it’s amazing love it. Looks like it’s in a magazine stunning.”

While a third added: “That looks amazing!! Absolutely love it. Well done.”

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