By Rebecca Chitolie


THIS MUM-of-three transformed her council house home into a fun throwback Noughties paradise complete with iconic Bratz dolls for just £1.5K despite council pen-pushers trying their best to stop her with a £7K penalty.

Influencer Jemma Murphy (34) from Solihull has three children Brandon (10), Cody (9) and Pixie (6) in their three-bedroom semi-detached council house which she began renting in June 2021 for £800 per month.

For the first year of living in the council house she was banned from making any changes to the décor of the property, because it was a new build.

However, after one year of living within the white walls, which she described as like being in a “padded cell,” Jemma was determined to make her own stamp on the house and add colour and fun, making it a reflection of her own personality.

Jemma designing the bathroom, painting the ceiling of her daughter’s bedroom when she had to end up using a make-up brush to paint as she was doing it freehand, as-well-as creating a rainbow design in her hallway and teddy bear wall.

Since 2022 Jemma has been spending ten hours per-week designing her home, and she is still adding features despite her council saying that if she creates her dream Hello Kitty kitchen she will need to pay £7K in damages.

“So generally speaking the rules have just been ‘return it to neutral when you leave’, but I think because it’s a brand new estate and the houses that are for sale are going for £350-£700k they’ve been a little restrictive about amendments”, said Jemma.

“They’ve said if I want to fund changing the cupboard doors myself I can, but classed paint as unhygienic and vinyl as damaging.

“They did say if I was to change the cupboard doors ,myself or paint them it would cost 7k in damages.”

Jemma has spent approximately £1.5K on redesigning her home and describes her plans for a future Hello Kitty kitchen.

“I spent around £300 on the bathroom, which I think is good”, said Jemma.

“I’ve spent around 1.5K on the entire house altogether, I usually spend a lot of time looking on Facebook marketplace for vintage items, as that’s what I love.

“My most recent favourite addition to the house is my Hello Kitty cake pop maker.

“I want to create a Hello Kitty kitchen at some point, I’m currently arguing with the council to change the cupboards pink.”

Jemma explained why she wanted to start re-designing her home.

“We moved into a council house, which was a new-build and so for the first year I wasn’t allowed to make any changes”, said Jemma.

“However, I wanted to make my own stamp on the house, and add my personality to the space, so it was a true reflection of this space being my home.”

“The painting process was by far the hardest as I was doing it free-hand, and I ended up needing to use a make-up brush.

“I would define my decor style as 90s and early Y2K. I love pastel colours, but I also have elements of goth in the house too. It’s very nostalgic.”

Jemma shared the mixture of comments she has received online, her favourite space in the house and said that her family are supportive.

“The warmest comments that I’ve received include people saying that I’m helping them heal inner children”, said Jemma.

“Some people say they love the design so much they want to move in.

“My mum and dad are all for it, they’re very supportive and help me with decorating the home too.

“The bathroom is probably my favourite space in the house because it’s fully complete and looks just how I wanted it to.

“Plus is not a usual design and is nice to relax.

“Some people comment online criticising my design, it’s usually men, saying that I’ve ruined the new-build and council house.”

Jemma said that she didn’t expect to go viral and that she just filmed the video for herself.

“The most surprising thing that happened when redesigning my home was when I shared a video on TikTok of painting my bathroom”, said Jemma.

“I had no idea what was about to happen, I didn’t mean to take off on Tiktok.”