Emma Campbell, 30, a digital marketing trainer, got her flat from the council when she was just 17 years old. Since then, she bought the flat for herself, and over the lockdown, she transformed it into her dream home on a budget.
“It was awful when I first moved in,” she said. “Whoever lived here before had really odd taste.
“In the kitchen, they had these hand-painted footprints going along the wall.”
While she made small changes when she first moved in, the big transformation happened over lockdown.
“Most of the furniture is thrifted, or just freebies I found on the side of the road, and lots of up-cycling,” she said.
“I saved a lot of money in the bedroom and the living room because I had a go at plastering it myself.
“I got a lot of stuff, like the dining table, off Facebook Marketplace.”
Emma also tried to save money by having a friend help install her bathroom, but her plan backfired when he left the job unfinished.
“So I had to try and do a lot of it myself,” she added. “I also tiled and painted the kitchen myself.
“I spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen so I wanted it to look really nice.”
Emma has had an amazing reaction from friends who remember the flat when she first moved in.
“I was quite embarrassed by it at first,” she said. “I was sleeping on a futon, and my TV was just on a chair … Now, they can’t believe it’s the same place.”
Emma said she got the motivation to make some changes to her living space during the lockdown, as she was working from home, and at first, she was just spending all her time in the bedroom.
However, when for her birthday her mother asked her what she wanted for a present, she just sought her help.
“So she came down and helped to motivate me, and help me move furniture around, and everything,” she recalled.
Emma posted about her transformation on Facebook, and the post has garnered over 2,000 comments.
“I can’t believe the response it’s got,” she said. “I knew I didn’t want to live in a dark space, I wanted it really colorful and with lots of plants.
“When you’re on a budget you just sort of make do with things, but this is definitely what I wanted.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.