Single mum-of-two transforms ex-council house into luxurious home

Single mother who moved into a tired ex-council house after splitting from her partner at the start of lockdown reveals stunning results of a £7,000 DIY makeover that makes clever use of tile paint and budget buys

  • Victoria Swindell, 49, from Warrington, moved into tired-looking ex-council house in February 2021
  • Mum-of-two decided to opt for low budget living and a quieter lifestyle, so could save to buy boat in future 
  • Spent £7,000 giving house a complete modern makeover and sourced budget materials to keep costs low  

A single mum-of-two has transformed a tired-looking ex-council house into a luxurious home after splitting from her partner at the start of lockdown. 

Victoria Swindell, 49, from Warrington, moved into the house in February 2021 with her two children, Sebastian, 12 and Tristan, 7.

The mum had always dreamed of living in a quaint waterside property but couldn’t afford to purchase a huge home – and so decided to revamp the ex-council house- she bought for £342,000 instead.

Victoria decided to opt for low budget living and a quieter lifestyle, so she could save up to buy a boat in the future.

‘My partner and I split at the very beginning of lockdown which was horrid and I struggled to find a house during the lockdown,’ Victoria, who works as a commercial director in logistics explained. ‘He wanted the big posh house and I wanted a simpler happy yoga waterside life.

Victoria Swindell, 49, from Warrington, has transformed a tired-looking ex-council house into a luxurious home in a DIY budget renovation during lockdown. Pictured, the bathroom before the renovation


Victoria decorated the bathroom with plants on sale from Matalan, as well as a towel set – costing less than £100 in total.  Pictured, the bathroom after the renovation


Victoria added an £80 rug from Next along with accessories from Matalan to jazz up the space. Pictured left, the hallway before the modern makeover and right, after


Victoria sourced budget materials to keep costs low and the total house renovation cost her £7,000 – with the savvy mum saving herself £5,000 in total. Pictured, the hallway before

‘I opted for low budget and a better lifestyle so I can save up and buy a boat in the future! I did an online interior design course when I was put on furlough and that cost me only £15.

‘I moved into the new house 19 February this year and it’s an old ex-council house but with a fabulous garden and I have always dreamed of a water view.

She continued: ‘The first thing I did was get approval for a private garden mooring. This is my lifestyle house, not status symbol house. I needed a home for my boys on a small budget in a very expensive area.’

The mum sourced budget materials to keep costs low and the total house renovation cost her £7,000 – with Victoria saving herself £5,000 in total.

The busy mum said the challenge was doing the project alone while working full time with two young boys. Pictured, with son Tristan

Victoria’s tired-looking living room was filled with neutral colours before she gave it a colourful modern makeover . Pictured, before 

The savvy mum redecorated her living room with a fresh coat of paint and furniture from affordable high street chains like Matalan, Aldi, B&M and TK Maxx, as well as The Range and Amazon. Pictured, after the renovation

The mum began by painting her hallway for £165 then painted the floor for just £36 instead of re-tiling, before adding an £80 rug from Next along with accessories from Matalan to jazz up the space.

She also redecorated her living room with a fresh coat of paint and furniture from affordable high street chains like Matalan, Aldi, B&M and TK Maxx, as well as The Range and Amazon.

For her garden, Victoria sourced timber for £3,000 for her own fencing and groundwork – and added budget furniture from Aldi.

Victoria plans to purchase trees, plants and sleepers to decorate the place in the future.

For the bathroom, Victoria spent £36 on B&Q paint for the floor and another £9 for the tiles and purchased a statement floor rug from B&M.

She decorated the bathroom with plants on sale from Matalan, as well as a towel set – costing less than £100 in total.


The mother-of-two explained she had expensive taste and a small budget and no shops open or workmen, meaning she had to paint till 2am some nights and got up for work at 6am. Pictured left and right, the hallway after the renovation

Victoria told how she was warned not to go dark but said she was ‘brave’ and now she ‘loves it.’ Pictured, the hallway after the renovation


The savvy mother-of-two noted that you don’t have to buy expensive brands to rock the latest looks. Pictured, the finishing touches in the hallway and living room

Victoria moved into the house in February 2021 with her two children, Sebastian (left), 12 and Tristan, 7 (right) 

The mum said: ‘The bathroom was quoted £2,000 to tile it so painted and did it myself for £36 with B&Q tile paint.

‘I did the garden fencing and groundwork myself and sourced timber direct from my local timber yard.

‘I was quoted £6,000 from a landscaper company and 6-month wait. So, I did it myself in just three weeks and spent £3,000 on timber and hired skips myself.’

Victoria spent late nights revamping her home as she worked full-time while taking care of her two boys – but she was more than pleased with the result.

She now plans to redo her bedroom and kitchen.

The mum said: ‘The challenge was doing the project alone while working full time with two young boys.

‘I had expensive taste and a small budget and no shops open or workmen, meaning I had to paint till 2am some nights and got up for work at 6am.’

Victoria recently shared photos of her home transformation on Facebook, where the post has racked up over 3,400 likes so far, as users praised the mum for a job well done.

In a few words of advice for those who wish to revamp their homes, Victoria added: ‘Stay true to what makes you feel good, dark or light or bright, and go with what feels right to you because it is your home. Pictured, with sons Sebastian and Tristan

The mum had always dreamed of living in a quaint waterside property – and is delighted with her handiwork. Pictured, the hallway after the modern makeover


Victoria spent late nights revamping her home as she worked full-time while taking care of her two boys – but she was more than pleased with the result. Pictured left, the hallway and right, the staircase

Victoria did the garden fencing and groundwork herself and sourced timber direct from her local timber yard. Pictured, before the renovation


The mum-of-two was quoted £6,000 from a landscaper company and a six-month wait, so she did it herself in just three weeks and spent £3,000 on timber and hired skips herself. Pictured left and right, in the process of being built

Victoria said the comments on her Facebook post gave her much positivity and made it all feel worth the effort, blood sweat and tears. Pictured, the garden after the renovation

Victoria plans to purchase trees, plants and sleepers to decorate the garden in the future. Pictured, the mum-of-two’s peaceful view

One person wrote: ‘Gosh looks really expensive and lovely now.’

‘Wow amazing, doesn’t look like the same house,’ added someone else.

‘Absolutely beautiful!! Your a natural designer,’ wrote another person. [sic]

Speaking about the challenges of DIY, Victoria said: ‘I am pleased but at first I felt the entire project was like polishing a poo until comments on my Facebook post gave me much positivity and made it all feel all worth the effort, the blood sweat and tears.

‘I secretly desire to be an interior designer.’

In a few words of advice for those who wish to revamp their homes, Victoria added: ‘Stay true to what makes you feel good, dark or light or bright, and go with what feels right to you because it is your home.

‘I was told not to go dark but I was brave and now I love it. And you don’t have to buy expensive brands to rock the latest looks.’ 

Victoria recently shared photos of her home transformation on Facebook, where the post has racked up over 3,400 likes so far, as users praised the mum for a job well done (pictured)

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