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Home visit: a handmade home on a budget

21 May 2017

Use creativity and crafts to transform your space. When you move into a new home, unexpected costs can often drain your decorating budget. But there are other, more affordable ways to make changes. See how Hester updated her seaside home.

Reuse and upcycle existing pieces

Old furniture can be used to give a room a new look. ‘Almost all of our furniture is from our old house, just used in a different way,’ says Hester. ‘Many of the chairs are vintage IKEA that have moved to five different houses with me, and I repainted an old dresser to match my seaside colour scheme here.’ 

A kitchen with a colourful splashback

Update with colour

The kitchen was Hester’s first project in the new house. Updating the cupboard doors and handles gave the room a fresh look without the need for a whole new kitchen. To avoid expensive retiling, she’s used colourful splashbacks to brighten up the space.

A living room with grey sofa and green cushions

Add personal finishing touches

Photos are personal, so make the way you display them unique too. Hester created a gallery in the living room using an empty frame, string and mini pegs. ‘It’s easy to update regularly with different pictures – although they’re almost always photos of Kermit!’

Create a workspace to suit your needs

Make your workspace feel like the most inspirational spot in your home. Hester uses the wall behind her desk as a mood board for her craft projects – she uses washi tape so it’s quick and easy to update. Hester’s desk came from a reclamation yard It doesn’t have enough storage for her, so she keeps all her craft essentials in a portable trolley next to it.

Design your own mural

Mix monochrome walls with rich-coloured bedding. Painting shelves the same colour as the wall keeps the attention on the objects you’ve chosen to display. Hester customised the wall above her bed when she couldn’t find a wallpaper that was right for her: ‘I took a Sharpie and just doodled all over it with Dutch phrases, as I’m from  Holland, and jokes and cartoons. Reading it gives me a positive start to the day.’

Hester sitting in the garden

How I made my home

How would you describe your style? 
‘I like to mix and match old with new. And I love the texture of reclaimed timber,  especially when it has patina or chipped-off paint.’
Where do you get your inspiration? 
‘When I was growing up, my family were always making stuff. Mum was making clothes and soft furnishings, and she taught me how to use the sewing machine, and my dad was brilliant, he could build anything with timber. Now, I find Instagram amazing, as I can see into homes from all over the world.’
What advice would you give to someone renovating their home?
‘The most important thing to remember when doing crafts or a DIY project is just to do it. If it goes wrong, you can take it apart and start again. I like to do it without overthinking it – it’s quite nice when it’s a bit wonky!’
A floorplan of Hester’s home

A rental home split over three floors

Hester’s home may be narrow, but there are three floors to keep tidy. ‘My head is quite busy so I like having an organised space, otherwise it’s chaos,’ says Hester. ‘I use lots of smart IKEA storage solutions. It helps that the living room is upstairs, away from the projects I’m working on downstairs.’ Click here to see how she has used storage to create an extra workspace in the shed. 

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.


Interior designer: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Christina Bull
Follow Hester at hestershandmadehome.com