Real home tour: Bold colours make a big impact in this bargain makeover

Brave colour choices and handy friends helped Anneka and Stephen transform their rundown home for less than £5,000

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house
(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

When it comes to renovating a house, sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who. If it takes a village to raise a child, it can take a small army of friends and relatives to help you tackle the daunting list of makeover tasks, happy to bring experience and, ideally, the right tools.

When Anneka and Stephen Broomfield bought a rundown 1930s terraced house on the River Gipping in Suffolk, Stephen’s former job as a carpenter meant he had lots of contacts in different trades. They pitched in to do the few jobs the couple didn’t have the time or specific expertise to do themselves. This invaluable help meant Anneka and Stephen have been able to transform a house in such disrepair that it had a hole in the living room floor, into a characterful home that cocoons you in colour for under £5,000. Anneka reveals how they did it.

If you're planning your own makeover, we have lots of ideas and advice in our feature on house renovation

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

‘We had a Chesterfield sofa to go with the chair, except it wasn’t the most comfortable, so we bought the blue sofa. I thought it might be a bit OTT with all the blue walls but I quite like it.’ Walls painted in Azure Fusion 1, Dulux. Sofa, Made. Rug, Ikea. Cushions, H&M Home. Wall hanging, iamfy. OSB flooring, laid by Stephen. For a similar round mirror, try Maisons Du Monde

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)
Profile

The owners Anneka Broomfield (@83renovation), a hair stylist, and her husband, Stephen, who manages a tool hire company
The property A 1930s two-bed end-of-terrace house on the River Gipping, Suffolk
Project cost £4,593

'We’d found a Victorian house initially, but it took six months waiting to get it. We were like, "s** this, let’s find something else". This house was up for sale and was in an absolute state! It’d been owned by a housing association and rented out for years. By the time the last people moved out, I think they thought it’d need too much work doing to rent it out again; we managed to get it really cheaply.

'It was larger than the houses we were looking at, and we felt this was the chance for us to get something bigger with more opportunity to be really good after we had done it up, so we went for it. It’s also quite close to my family, so it was a good area for us.'

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

‘I’m very creative – I love decorating and getting stuck in,’ says Anneka. ‘The cupboards were all charity shops buys that I upcycled.' Pendant light, La Redoute. Armchair, Chesterfield. TV unit, charity shop. Planter, Matalan. Coffee table, H&M Home. Artwork, family and friends, These Creatives, Desenio and Junique

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'There was no flooring anywhere – it was bare wood because everything had been ripped up. There was a big hole in the living room floor where damp had got into it. The kitchen had old tiles on the floor and every single one of them was cracked – you could pick them up with your hands. The walls were covered in gross stuff – there was grease and grime. And the bathroom was from the ‘90s.

'Buying the house went really quickly. From putting the offer in to moving in was only six weeks. But we had to move into it filthy because everything had been capped off, so we couldn’t even fill it with buckets of water to wipe things down. There was no gas, no electric. Luckily we have friends in different trades; they all came over and managed to get things sorted out for us.'

  • Keep reading: 65 kitchen ideas - pictures, decor, and inspiration for your net makeover

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

Light fitting, Ikea. Kitchen units and work surfaces, Wren. Appliances, Bush. Sink, Wickes. Tap, Plumbworld. OSB chopping boards, Tiger

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'The kitchen was so disgusting that we ripped it out. We moved in without an oven – I said I wouldn’t buy one if we were going to redo the kitchen, so we didn’t. We set up temporary tables, had a halogen oven, a microwave and gas hob, and lived like that for 10 months. In the living room we ripped out the floor, sorted the damp out and put new flooring down. We stripped the walls and redecorated. The spare bedroom was painted and we slept on mattresses on pallets.

'We got the kitchen from Wren. I had in my head what I wanted, and we booked the week off work so we could get it fitted, but it turned up and was the wrong kitchen! It was going to take two weeks and a redelivery charge for it to come again, but after having words with them, they sent it out two days later. Stephen was going to fit it himself but because it came late in the week, he didn’t have time. Luckily, his friend fits kitchens and he literally did it in a day. He was a lifesaver.'

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

'The Frida Khalo beaded curtain came from a shop in Manchester called Oklahomeware,’ says Anneka. ‘I got it to cover a boiler room, but it was so amazing we had to put it in the kitchen.’ Beaded curtain, Oklahomeware. Bar stools, Homebase. French door, original, painted with Zinzer paint. Metal shelves, Ikea Freestanding unit, Made. Print (above unit), Desenio

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'Stephen was a carpenter, and we have a lot of friends who are plasterers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians; we’ve been really lucky. They were able to help with anything. A friend did the kitchen flooring for us and we made a lot ourselves, like the shelves and table. Renovating was new to us – we learnt as we went along.'

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

‘We managed to get the bathroom done in a week, which was good because we only have one bathroom so couldn’t be without it for too long. A couple of friends came and did the whole thing for us.’ Pink tiles, Topps Tiles. Suite, Better Bathrooms. Shelf brackets, Screwfix. Wooden caddy, Tiger. Mirror, Dunelm

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'We were looking for kitchen tiles and my husband stumbled across some pink tiles. I thought they were amazing. He said, ‘You should get them for the bathroom’. I was like, ‘You’re really going to let me have a pink bathroom?’ He said, ‘Definitely, I love them’. I bought them there and then so he couldn’t go back on his word. I wanted to make it a bit more masculine so I went for off-black paint above the tiles and black hardware. I also like an industrial edge, so we picked the concrete flooring and Crittall-style shower doors. '

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

Shower, shower screen and all taps, Soak.com

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'I like rich, warm, inky colours, and I personally think there’s something a bit weird when the ceiling is white and the walls are a different colour – I like it to be like a cocoon, really. I love artwork – I’ve got a lot of my sister’s up and my stepdad’s. She’s an art teacher and he’s a gamekeeper, but he painted in his spare time. Some pieces are mine. It’s nice to have friends and family’s artwork up around the house – it’s more personal.'

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

Upcycled drawers, charity shop. Clock, Newgate

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)

'In the living room the flooring is OSB. We talked about things we’d want before we even bought a house, and we were going to make the kitchen out of OSB. When we needed a floor for the living room, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, can we have OSB flooring?’ Stephen said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’. We got this resin that we poured on top to protect it and it’s worked out really well. We layer rugs over it to make it feel warmer.'

Friends helped Anneka and Stephen realise their bold vision for their former wreck of a house

‘The colour was my influence,’ says Anneka. ‘If I’m going to paint a room, I want it to be from the skirting board up to the ceiling.’ Walls painted in Gardinia Green, Sanderson. Table, handmade. Bench, Ikea. Flooring, Big Image Flooring. Vertical radiator, Soak.com 

(Image credit: Future © Dan Duchars)
Contacts

Kitchen Wren
Bathroom Better Bathrooms
Bathroom installation Renaissance Renovations

'I think we will stay in this house a little while before we sell it and move on. I literally live in the kitchen – it’s my favourite room. It’s a good social space. We managed to have a couple of good parties before the lockdowns, but all the people who helped us have got to come round. It’s crazy – I can’t believe how the house looks now, but we’re loving living in what we have created.'

Alison Jones
Alison Jones

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter.