A 1950s fan has revealed how she and her partner renovated their three-bedroom home into a mid-century paradise for 50,000 pounds (approx. $61,700).
Gemma Burton and her husband, Dean, both 42, have spent the past three years renovating their home from drab and plain into a homage to the 1950s.
The couple from Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, England, have accumulated over 200 prints from the era, which decorate their house from floor to ceiling alongside unique pinup wallpaper, James Bond posters, and display cases full of jewelry and odd bits from the ’50s.
Burton, who is a hairdresser, and her husband, a railway engineer, said that no room has been left untouched, with the couple even decorating the front of their house with bright orange hexagonal tiles.
Burton said: “We’ve lived in the house for 15 years, and always found the whites and creams of the walls pretty uninspiring.
“We basically ended up revamping the whole house, from the doors to the kitchen and bathroom, and we even added a bar to the garage. We had to hire people to do the windows and bathroom, but for everything else, we’ve done it ourselves."
The couple scoured websites, including eBay and Etsy, alongside visiting car boot sales and charity shops for various artworks that would fit their desired theme.
“We’ve probably spent about 5,000 to 6,000 pounds [approx. $6,100 to $7,400] on decorations, paint, and prints," she said.
“We tried to make the house as colorful as possible and have used greys, oranges, greens, and blacks throughout to create contrast alongside the printed wallpaper.
“All of the decoration we did ourselves, so we probably actually saved about 7,000 pounds by not hiring someone to come paint and paper the house.
“We also converted our garage into a bar which cost about 2,000 pounds [approx. $2,400], as we made the mini bar from scratch but added lighting and a pool table as well as a karaoke machine. We also had the garage roof replaced, and the doors to make the bar more authentic.
“Having our bathroom and windows done was probably the most expensive part as we had to hire workmen; combined that was 20,000 pounds [approx. $24,600]."
Burton said that one of the bedrooms is her own personal dressing room, and all four walls are papered with picture girl magazines from the '50s, whereas the other spare bedroom has lots of old James Bond movie posters that Dean has collected.
“We both just really like anything a bit different and adore mid-century themes, so we’ve tried to match those passions with our home, which was actually built in 1969," she added.
Alongside their range of art and décor prints, the couple have also added to their home unique furniture and various pieces true to the '50s era.
“We managed to get a tan couch that has a vintage look for the living room," she said, "alongside some vintage G-Plan furniture such as the coffee table and sideboards, which cost about 1,000 pounds [approx. $1,200], and added lots of plants to fill the room up a bit more.
“I got black clear cabinets to display my fifties hair clips, bags, and accessories in the spare room, and they work amazingly in front of the backdrop of the women’s magazines wallpaper.
“Dean and I really love attending '50s events and like to dress up in styles that replicate the era. So we needed somewhere to display my petticoats, circle skirts, and hairpins as well as Dean’s Hawaiian shirts and the like, so we converted one of the rooms into a dressing room with clothes rails."
Burton recalled that they were worried their neighbors might complain when they put the orange tiling on the outside of the house. But the couple was quite surprised when people mentioned they liked it, and when someone living across the way actually "did something similar."
“We’ve had a pretty positive reaction from our followers on Instagram too, but a lot have joked that they’d hate to be the ones dusting the house, just because of our maximalist nature of collecting and displaying items," she said.