By Aimee Braniff Cree


THIS WOMAN reveals the secrets to how she added £80K to the value of her home after she ditched white walls and wooden floors in favour of a tropical oasis-style paradise for just £20K.

Interior Designer Nicola Smith (47) from Andover, Hampshire bought her three-bedroom 1920s home for £560,000 in 2021 she knew this was her opportunity to turn it into the palace of her dreams.

Nicola has spent £20,000 on her home renovation and recons she has added £80,000 to the value of her home.

The kitchen in the property

£8,000 of this was spent on building work to make a bedroom bigger and the rest was on a variety of things such as wallpaper, paint, fabric and flooring.

“The house was built in 1920, has three bedrooms, it had four plus a box room when we bought it, we knocked two bedrooms together and made the box room a walk-in wardrobe,” said Nicola.

“We bought our house in 2021 for £560,000. Since then I have spent £20,000 renovating it in the maximalist style.

“We had a wall removed between two bedrooms and opened a doorway up from a tiny box room into the bigger room as a walk-in wardrobe.

“We wallpapered every room, not always all four walls. We gold-leafed the landing ceiling. Painted lots and put new flooring down in most rooms.

The bathroom is full of colour

“Downstairs we took up all but one of the existing carpets, replacing the kitchen, utility and dining rooms with parquet.

“In the kitchen we repainted cupboards and wallpapered, the hallway floor was tiled and we papered.

“The big sitting room we painted all but one wall and hung wallpaper on the fourth wall.

“The little sitting room has two wallpapered walls and two painted walls.

“Upstairs in the main bedroom once the building work was done we laid engineered wood flooring, painted and put a panel of wallpaper above the bed.

“The office also doubles as a guest room and in the main bathroom we still have the original ball and claw foot cast iron bath.

The upstairs is a wallpaper explosion

“We did most of the work in the first six months after we moved in, we have recently redone the kitchen and dining room.

“I’m quite quick at decorating so a room would take three or four days for the smaller ones, the larger bedroom took longer.”

“I love layers of texture, patterns and colour are my jam. I like to think my design style, whilst there’s a lot going on, is considered.

“I pride myself on getting colours and pattern clashes just right.

“My eyes need pattern and colour. I appreciate minimalist design but it’s not for me.”

There were some struggles along the way but Nicola receives nothing but compliments on her bold home.

“My partner would probably say the hardest part was installing the hallway tiles, they’re laid diagonally,” she said.

“Generally comments on Instagram @thesmithinterior have been really positive. People love the colour and depth the rooms have.

“I would define my decor style as eclectic, considering maximalism and people respond to it so well, I have received absolutely no negative comments, so far.

“In the two years since we bought our home’s valuation has increased by about £80,000.

“My favourite area of the home is the back deck, it has a lovely view of the garden and is great in all weathers as it’s covered.

“My family and friends love it, I think our home just makes people happy and what could be better than that.

“The most surprising thing about our renovation is that we finished. It feels never-ending when you’re in the middle of it.”