Real home transformation: a dramatic makeover of a 1950s house

Christina Easton stamped her dark and edgy style on her parents’ former home, bringing it right up to date

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you love dark and moody interiors as much as we do, there's plenty of decorating inspiration in the dramatic transformation of this 1950's property... 

When Christina’s parents decided to sell their much-loved family home in North Yorkshire, she was the only one out of four siblings in a position to buy and renovate it. 

‘We rented out our modern mews house and moved in for a six-month trial before we bought it,’ she explains. ‘My husband, Craig, thought it would never feel like home, but I knew we could make it our own.’  

Project notes

The owners: Christina Easton, who owns The LillianDaph, an artisan homewares store, lives here with her husband Craig, an electrician, and their labrador, Daphne, and cocker spaniel, Lillian
The property: A detached six-bedroom 1950s house in Brotton, North Yorkshire
Total project cost: £54,100

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

The pair concentrated their efforts on the first floor of the upside-down house, which is where the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, conservatory and three of the six bedrooms are located – using the three additional bedrooms on the floor below for storage

With a mixture of savings and family help, they gradually transformed the space room by room, with electrician Craig carrying out much of the work himself with help from a joiner friend.

Gallatin stone-effect vinyl flooring, Karndean. Black macrame chandelier from The LillianDaph Store. Try City Cows for a similar cowhide.

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Christina painted the kitchen units in Malachite by Fired Earth to tie in with the dark tones used throughout the house. Copper splashback and kickboards, all bespoke from The Light Shack. Cooker, Rangemaster. Black dishwasher and washing machine, Gorenje. Reclaimed cast-iron radiator, Tynemouth Architectural Salvage. Grasmere Oak bar stool, Atlantic Shopping

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

After ripping up the carpets, the floorboards in the hallway were painted in Hudson Black and the walls in Bedford Brown, both by Abigail Ahern.

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

The monk's bench seen here was inherited from Craig's grandad, while the deer's head was handmade by John Walker of Up North Creative. Flooring, York Stone

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

In the dining area, a Laura Ashley dining table has been team with Ercol chairs in the conservatory. Woodwork painted in Pavillion McPherson Trade Paint, Gallatin stone-effect vinyl flooring, Karndean

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Local firm Wood Heat created a new fireplace with brick slips and a wooden mantle, which houses a dual-aspect multi-fuel stove. Christina chose to paint the walls in Rivington Blue by Abigail Ahern. The Morning Oak parquet-effect vinyl flooring, by Karndean, and a Laura Ashley chandelier add an elegant feel. The inherited M&S wicker coffee table has  been customised with gold leaf to the glass top. Tan leather sofa, Sofas & Co. Broste rug, The LillianDaph Store. For  a large gold wall clock, try Wayfair

"I don't follow trends too much - I prefer to choose timeless pieces and then mix old with new"

Christina Easton

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Christina has experimented in the guest bedroom, where she’s teamed a feature wall in Mr Jones Cranberry wallpaper, from Laura Ashley, with Mott paint by Abigail Ahern on the other walls. William Morris Strawberry Thief duvet cover, Debenhams. Cactus, Abigail Ahern

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

In the bathroom, building out the partition under the window has allowed the bath to have wall-mounted taps and also provides a ledge for toiletries. Walls painted in Wooster Olive by Abigail Ahern. Suite, James Hargreaves. Vinyl flooring, Priory Flooring & Blinds. Chandelier, John Lewis

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Partially knocking the wall down between the bedroom and shower room next door has created a semi-open plan feel. The wall paint is Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball, which creates a rich backdrop

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Indian Ocean Madagascar Seaspray tiles, from Fired Earth, and grey glazed metro tiles, from Discount Tile Depot, create impact in the en suite. For similar floor tiles, try Umbra black porcelain, B&Q. Roca shower and sink, James Hargreaves

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Christina had her grandma’s favourite saying turned into a sign by Light up North. Ash real wood top-layer flooring, B&Q. For a similar bed, try Home & Haus Solomon bedframe, Wayfair. Bedside lights, Garden Trading. Linea pink velvet cushion, House of  Fraser. Mascros pendant light, IKEA


Bathrooms: £10,000
Windows: £8,500
Building work and plastering: £8,000
Flooring: £7,700
Multi-fuel burner and installation: £5,200
Bedrooms: £5,000
Garden and balcony: £5,000
Boiler: £2,500
Decorating: £1,500
Lighting: £700
TOTAL: £54,100

Purchase cost in 2013: £470,000
Estimated current value: £550,000
Potential profit: £25,900


Kitchen: Treske
Bathrooms: James Hargreaves
Windows: Traditional Windows & Conservatories
Flooring: Karndean

Want more interiors inspiration from real home transformations?