Thrifty students turn drab first house into dream home in just four months thanks to Wickes bargains

WHAT were you doing when you were 22? Chances are, life revolved around wild nights out with friends and putting up with some truly shocking shared housing.

Well for thrifty couple Mia Thomas, 22, and Jack Bradley, 24, their university years have proved to be the perfect time to get on the property ladder.

After scrimping together a deposit, the pair of DIY fans finally purchased their Derbyshire house for £150,000 in June 2020 – and amazingly, it only took them four months to turn it from drab to fab.

Mia explained: "We were both raised in DIY families and enjoyed the idea of doing up a house ourselves.

"This way we would make the house the way that we want it, but also hopefully add some value for when we come to sell it."

As it's undeniably the heart of the home, Mia and Jack (who works as a part-time electrician engineer) started by overhauling their kitchen.

As they were doing the bulk of the work after university hours, the couple – who started the renovations in January – turned to Wickes for help keeping the cost low.

To give the new room a new lease of life, Mia redecorated the kitchen using some £20 Wickes paint and the pair splashed out £200 on new tiles too.

Meanwhile, their new cabinets, handles, worktops and fresh fittings set them back an extra £7,910.

Mia said: "The most enjoyable part so far has been having the kitchen of our dreams finished! It’s such a nice space and we use it so often."

As for the living room, the couple ripped out the old flooring and replaced it with new imitation parquet floorboards which set them bacl £600.

In order to keep the budget down, Mia and Jack fitted new skirting boards they'd bought from Skirting 4 U for £20 and went over the walls in some more Wickes paint.

Having always dreamt of a having a laundry room, the couple ripped out the floors and walls in the cloakroom and modified the pipework to create the designated utility space.

They changed the radiator into a heated towel rail and also sealed, tiled and grouted the floors.

Cost Breakdown


Appliances £1,600

Tiles £100

Paint £20

Cabinets, worktops, handles, fitting £7,910

Total = £9,630


Flooring £600 (includes hallway and kitchen)

Skirting £200

Paint £30

Wood/plasterboard £80

Total = £910


Floor tiles £80

Wall tiles £100

Grout £20

Toilet £50

Vanity £200

Mirror £40

Paint £20

Prints £5 (Dunelm)

Frames £3.99 each (Aldi)

Total = approx £519


Floor tiles £50

Wall tiles £250

Shower £150

Bath £150

Vanity £200

Paint £20

Toilet £50

Prints £15

Towel rail £120

Shower screen £100

Mirror £20

Total = £1,125


Wallpaper £20 (Amazon)

Tiles (the left over from the cloakroom) £0

Wood for the shelves £20 (B&Q)

Floating shelves £15 (Homebase)

Legs for the shelf £30 (B&Q)

Total = £85

"Learning how to do the pipe work was challenging as it’s quite technical and complicated, and makes a mess if it goes wrong," Mia said. "Jack had never done any plumbing before and found this hard, but enjoyed it since he learnt a new skill."

The couple also fitted a new toilet and vanity unit and added charming accessories including a mirror, prints and a hanging plant – which cost them just under £520 in total.

For the bathroom, they reinstalled the pipe work with a new shower, alongside a bespoke shelf made from wood and waterproof backer board.

Additionally, they installed backer boards on the floor, tiled the floor and walls, and installed a brand new bath.

Mia and Jack also created their own pocket door in the hallway with a kit from Screwfix (£150) and a new door from Wickes (£80).

The entire home transformation cost the couple around £12,344 in total – and they couldn’t be more pleased.

"We’re really proud of ourselves and how it’s all coming together," Mia said. "I would say that I have the eye for design and Jack is the handyman – we’re a good team!"

You can follow Mia and Jack on Instagram here.

For more amazing home transformations, this savvy woman transformed her drab loo into trendy dream bathroom thanks to eBay and Poundland bargains.

And DIY fans are turning this Ikea changing table into a super stylish home bar – and it’s only £25.

Plus Stacey Solomon transforms Rex’s Wendy House with a lick of paint & it looks as good as an actual house.

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