Real home: townhouse makeover transforms old family home

It’s the house she lived in as a teenager, but Danielle Lisle and husband Andy have put their own stamp on this Gateshead townhouse with the most stunning interiors

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life
(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Buying her parents’ home was a neat solution for Danielle Lisle and husband Andy after their daughter, Alice, was born. The couple had been living in a four-bedroom new-build townhouse in Blyth, Northumberland, but with a new baby Danielle was spending a lot of time with her mum in Gateshead. ‘My parents wanted to downsize and I wanted to move back to where I grew up, so the timing was perfect,’ she says.

Danielle’s parents had bought their four-storey townhouse off-plan 16 years prior on a development overlooking the river Tyne. ‘I was 15 when they bought the house so I’m back in my teenage bedroom,’ she says. ‘As I hadn’t lived in it for a while it didn’t feel too weird, but I wanted to put my own stamp on it. I like a modern Scandi look with white walls and light wooden floors.’

Want to makeover your home and put your own stamp on it? We have masses of ideas and helpful advice on what to do and where to start in our house renovation feature. For more real home transformations, head to our hub page.

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

Installing the sleek modern kitchen was one of the first things Danielle and Andy did to put their own stamp on the property. ‘I’ve always dreamed of a white gloss handleless kitchen as it looks really clean,’ says Danielle. ‘It was definitely the right decision as it’s made the space look so much bigger and brighter.’ Kitchen units, Howdens. Bar stools, Dunelm. Hexmix Carrara mosaic tiles, Topps Tiles. Basket, HomeSense

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

The glass-fronted drinks cabinet makes a great spot for Danielle’s collection of mini vases and to display flowers. Drinks cabinet, Ikea. Ti Amo print, Doodle Moo. Eleanor Bowmer rainbow print, Not on the High Street

(Image credit: Katie Lee)
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The owners Danielle Lisle, a civil servant, her husband, Andy, an office manager, and their daughter, Alice
The property A four-bedroom four-storey townhouse in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Project cost £11,000

After selling their house in just nine days, the family moved in July 2018 and quickly set about revamping the open-plan kitchen-diner and family snug on the basement floor to create a safe place for Alice while she was still crawling. ‘Our previous house was also a new-build where we had no say in the kitchen,’ says Danielle. ‘So we were keen to rip out the wood laminate units and dark grey worktops that had been installed when it was built.’ As the existing L-shaped layout worked well, the couple kept it the same but made the appliances integral and added a breakfast bar. They settled on a white gloss Howdens kitchen that proved the best option budget-wise. 

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

Painting the walls white has provided an ideal backdrop for Danielle’s gallery wall. ‘The blue navy sofas were intended for the basement family room but didn’t fit down the stairs,’ she says. ‘Although the existing flooring is a bit dark for me, I’ve gone for a bigger rug to cover it until we can afford a lighter parquet-style herringbone floor.’ Sonoma 111 sofa, Next. Rug, Wayfair. Cushions, Next, Ikea and H&M. Curtains made from Torgerd fabric, Ikea. Amazon has similar hexagon shelves. Ceiling light, Dunelm. Angel of the North print, Thought Foundation

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

The couple also revamped the snug next to it, originally a separate utility room that had been opened up by Danielle’s parents. ‘It’s an awkward space as the room narrows at the top,’ says Danielle. ‘We felt a modular corner sofa would be a family-friendly option. It’s one of the most used rooms in the house now. Alice plays with her toys while I grab a cuppa and sit down.’

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

A blush pink feature corner adds interest to the plain white walls. ‘I’d seen homes where they’d painted two thirds of the way up but I felt this room needed something else to give it a bit of individuality,’ says Danielle. ‘We already had the paint in the garage so we put up some frog tape randomly and hoped for the best.’ Corner painted in Sulking Room Pink, Farrow & Ball. Ivar cabinet, Ikea. Two oval section mirror, Barker & Stonehouse. Cushions, Ikea and H&M

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Choosing different lighting and flooring has given each area its own identity. ‘We went for spotlights in the kitchen, a huge spider light from Made over the Barker & Stonehouse dining table and two smaller globes in the snug where the ceiling is lower,’ explains Danielle. ‘Previously the kitchen-diner had black slate-effect floor tiles but we picked a light grey tile-effect laminate as it’s more hardwearing and lightens up the space. We also swapped the carpet in the snug for a lighter oak-style laminate.’

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

Originally the couple had planned to use this display cabinet for jewellery and accessories in their bedroom dressing area, but they decided they preferred it in the living room. ‘It had a plain wood finish but I’ve painted the legs and back panel grey,’ says Danielle. Display cabinet, Ikea, with legs painted in Greyhound by Frenchic. For a similar leather armchair, try the Swithun, Barker & Stonehouse. Cushion, Primark. Face vase, HomeSense

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

One of Danielle’s favourite aspects of the house is the connection to the garden, so she was keen to make the most of the existing decking area. ‘Andy fitted a gate to make it safe as there’s a drop behind and we added a metal pergola to make it another living space where we can add fairy lights,’ she says.

For lovely garden ideas check out our feature.

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

A new pergola has made the decking area more of an outdoor room. ‘I particularly love the hanging egg chair as it’s the comfiest chair ever,’ says Danielle. ‘It’s so nice to curl up on there with a cup of tea while Alice potters about.’ For a similar hanging rattan cocoon chair, try Cox & Cox. Pergola, Very. Seating, Asda 

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

The next priority was Alice’s bedroom on the top floor. ‘We had a mountain mural in her previous nursery, but here we’ve layered up the pink and grey shades rather than making them very geometric and separate,’ explains Danielle. ‘She loves playing in here and putting her dollies to bed, but unfortunately you can’t get her to sleep in here.’

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

‘I wanted to make Alice’s room magical and whimsical with the rose gold star decals and the canopy over the chair where she likes to play peek-a-boo,’ says Danielle.  ‘It can easily be changed as she gets older with new prints and shelving.’  Bed and chair, Mamas & Papas. Tiger rug, La Redoute. Canopy, Numero 74. Rainbow cushion and giraffe head, H&M. Cloud cushion, Sass & Belle. Ceiling light, HomeSense

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Keen to be next door to Alice, the couple chose Danielle’s old bedroom as their master. ‘It’s an oddly shaped space that used to be two rooms,’ she says. ‘As a teenager, I had one end as a sitting room and the other as a bedroom, but we’ve flipped them around. The key was removing the dated beech-coloured floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and blocking up one of the entranceways to free up more space for the bed.’

Find your favourite bedroom ideas in our inspirational roundup of looks.

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

A door was blocked up in here to give more options for placing furniture, as it was previously two rooms. ‘It’s given us a whole wall of space,’ says Danielle. ‘The peg rail that Andy made satisfies that styling need in me.’ For a similar bed, try the Theo frame, Barker & Stonehouse. Bedlinen, H&M. Cox & Cox has similar peg rails. Love print, House of Neon. Macramé wall hanging, Sainsbury’s. Wall light, Clas Ohlson. Bedside table, Ikea 

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Eventually, the couple plan to move down a floor to Danielle’s parents’ former bedroom, which is larger and has views down the River Tyne. For now, though, it’s a luxurious guest bedroom with a botanical wallpaper mural and new light oak laminate flooring. ‘Everyone always says it’s like a boutique hotel,’ Danielle adds.

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

Danielle calls this the ‘jungle room’ as it has beautiful monochrome palm tree wallpaper on two walls. ‘I had seen lots of botanical wallpapers, but wanted something a bit different,’ she says. ‘It gave me a theme.’ Secret Garden wall mural, Rebel Walls. For a similar headboard, try the Soho Collection by Catherine Lansfield, Next. Bedside tables, Oak Furnitureland. For similar bedlinen, try the All Roads textured yucca duvet cover, Anthropologie. Rug, La Redoute

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

The pair plan to do more decorating and revamping of other rooms as their budget allows. ‘It’s a big house with lots of rooms so I’ve made use of Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, HomeSense and upcycling Ikea,’ says Danielle. ‘The money we’ve saved by doing the painting and flooring ourselves has probably paid for decorating an entire room. Eventually I’d love an older property I could completely gut and reconfigure, but this house is a great size in a good location. I’m sure we’ll be here for a good while longer.’

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

The bathroom has been freshened up with a few quick fixes until the couple can afford to update it. ‘Because the suite is old, having white tiles everywhere made it look a lot grubbier and more dated,’ says Danielle. ‘So I’ve used self-adhesive tiles on the floor and painted the walls grey. As there’s not much natural light in here we thought we would embrace the darkness.’  Floor tiles, Homebase. Walls painted in GoodHome mid-grey, B&Q. Get Naked sign, Barker & Stonehouse. Bath mat, H&M. For a laundry basket, try Bask set of two felt woven baskets in charcoal, Made

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

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