tips and tricks4 min read

How to decorate your home on a £60 budget

Painted black staircase using Lick Black 02

WordsNina Bragg


Helen (@letsmakethishouseahome) is 29 years old and lives in Nottingham with her partner Ben. She works as a Pro Artist for Charlotte Tilbury, as well freelancing bridal and red-carpet make-up.

Their home is a 1930s semi, that really hadn’t been touched since the 1970s & 80s. It was in need of a modern makeover, and some TLC to bring it back to life. This is their first owned home together, after living in a rental for the previous five years. 

To make sure they had a head start before moving in, they completed five months of renovation work whilst still living at their rental. Work started in March this year, and they finally moved themselves in officially, in August. 

Helen chose to share her staircase makeover with us. You will see from the photos that the original décor was pretty retro, and they were eager to bring it in line with the 21st century.

Before the makeover

Helen admits that everything about this space needed to go, as the entire look was extremely dated. They really wanted to make a feature of the staircase, and turn it into a ‘wow factor’, as this is the first thing you see when you enter through the front door. 

“The house had really strange features; like a doorway filled with privacy glass, shelves and a bizarre pelmet! The beautiful original doors were covered in an awful MDF, and the carpet was a really old-fashioned, green pattern. We couldn’t wait to rip everything out!”

Planning & inspiration

They wanted to go for a neutral, monochromatic colour scheme; that would create a timeless feel and inject some drama into the house. They always had the idea of a dark and moody entrance hall; and Pinterest and Instagram simply reaffirmed their love for this style. 

“We wanted to go for dark wood along the banister, skirting boards and architraves - to really make the monochromatic colour palette pop!”

“Black 02 was perfect, as it was almost an ‘off-black’ shade. Being a matt finish too, we just knew it would look amazing and dramatic against the lighter, neutral colours.”