First-time buyers Kate and Paul have completely transformed a dated Essex bungalow into a painfully stylish haven – that could sit happily amongst the homes of the Hollywood hills. Since the couple purchased the property in February 2020, the bungalow has undergone a jaw-dropping renovation project into a chic modern home – and the results are entirely unrecognizable.
But don't just take our word for it. Since launching their Instagram @thebungalow_reno (opens in new tab), Kate and Paul have gained over 73.1K followers who track the couple's progress – and it's certainly easy to see why. Here, the couple share their widely-acclaimed transformation, and we're feeling completely inspired to buy a new bungalow and follow in their fashionable footsteps.
The bungalow before renovation:
Ever since entering the property for the first time, Kate and Paul noticed the bungalow's potential – but turning this vision into reality involved many hours of work. At first, the living room walls were coated in Artex and dado rail plaster – which wasn't in great condition. A large dated gas fire also stood as the focal point of the room (below).
To begin the project, the pair stole design inspiration from Instagram interior influencers.
'I found amazing designers and architects like Felix Millory, Axel Vervoordt, Katie Harbison, Fredrik Karlsson, Athena Calderone and absolutely loved their work,' Katy shares. The couple also found ways to mirror these interiors in the bungalow on their budget – in the knowledge that it wouldn't be their forever home.
The bungalow after renovation:
What was once a dated bungalow is now a painfully chic haven that combines Scandi-cool charisma and Cali-inspired elegance. The dark turquoise carpets have been replaced by soft laminate floors, and the living spaces are entirely open-plan. And that's just the beginning.
'I chose a light laminate floor to run throughout the whole bungalow – except for the bathroom – to create a nice flow and keep things simple and minimal,' Katy says.
See: Living room ideas: decorating tricks to inspire
'We decided to keep the walls in pure brilliant white, again to keep things simple and bring attention to the decor choices I would make further down the line. We then added simple molding behind the dining table to make the space its own area as it was part of the open plan kitchen and living room. It was so cheap to add the molding here, but it made such an impact.'
The couple filled the renovated space with jewels from Facebook marketplace, which they upcycled, so the pieces were unique to them and the bungalow. Their favorite furnishing is the stepped-in fireplace surround, which is drenched in natural Nero Marquina marble.
'It finished off the lounge beautifully and again offered a great balance between the lighter neutral tones in the rest of the bungalow and the darker shades,' Katy says.
'We were both so pleased with the transformation, and it turned out better than we could have ever imagined; it was certainly a very rewarding and enjoyable experience,' she adds.
See: Small kitchen ideas on a budget - how to go big on style
We thank you, Instagram, for filling this couple with the design-inspiration of dreams.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.
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