Lifestyle

I’ve added £70,000 in value to my home with these simple renovations and taking advantage of bargains on Facebook Marketplace

A DISABLED woman has told how she transformed her entire home for less than £15,000 – adding £70,000 to the value of her home while coping with the debilitating symptoms of her chronic illness.

Vic Au-Yeung, 42, from Herefordshire, West Midlands, has spent the last five years refurbishing her £230,000 four-bed detached property.

Vic Au-Yeung, 42, has transformed her home into a modern bohemian haven with second-hand pieces

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Vic Au-Yeung, 42, has transformed her home into a modern bohemian haven with second-hand piecesPhoto credit: Jam Press
The living room, before Vic transformed it, was lime green and dated

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The living room, before Vic transformed it, was lime green and datedPhoto credit: Jam Press
Vic redesigned her home to look its best while being accessible

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Vic redesigned her home to look its best while being accessiblePhoto credit: Jam Press

She bought her home with her husband Shawn, 42, five years ago and transformed it with bargain buys like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

Vic was born with Klippel-Feil Syndrome, a rare bone condition, and uses a wheelchair, but didn’t show severe symptoms until he was 35.

The condition is where two or more bones in the neck are fused together.

Her health issues have resulted in Vic needing to make her home more accessible to her needs.

But Vic doesn’t let her disability get in the way of her passion – DIY and upcycling furniture.

The mother-of-one has shared her transformations on her Instagram, our_home_in_kingstone, as well as the furniture she made from pallets and apple crates.

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Living room costs were kept low with £30 for paint and some cheap eBay finds to decorate with.

“We started the renovation right away because we wanted to make it a home and put our stamp on it,” Vic told Jam Press.

“I love the industrial and upcycled look, my coffee table in my living room is even a cable drum.

“I also have a great passion for plants, they have become a big part of my decor.

“With the prices of everything going up, I think a lot of people will definitely be able to relate to that [to taking things slow and on a budget].

“My favorite compliment I always get is when people say they can see so much personality in my home.

“Although I’m always inspired by others, I would hate if my home looked exactly like theirs.”

Vic and Shawn began remodeling their home immediately after purchasing it, but two years into the project, their condition began to deteriorate.

This led to Vic quitting her job and making her home more accessible as she needs a wheelchair.

The kitchen refurbishment took just £50 and four months, accessibility is key to an open design.

Rustic-chic interiors are draped in greenery from the ceiling to the wood-paneled breakfast bar.

The dining room, which cost just £20 to remodel, is contemporary Scandi in style, with white chairs and a fluffy rug set between dark navy and gold storage units.

She added, “When I first started needing my wheelchair, my husband built two ramps, one for me to get outside into the garden and one in the garden to access the higher part of it.”

Vic found her stairlift on Facebook Marketplace, then painted it black to match her modern interior.

“Not having to crawl up and down the stairs like I’ve done for years has been a real treat,” she added.

“I don’t leave the house much anymore, sometimes [because of] Covid and partly because I need someone to put my wheelchair in a car.”

Vic spent extra time with two rooms in her house in particular, her bedroom and her daughter’s.

Vic spent around £300 in her bedroom while her daughter’s room makeover cost her £200.

Vic said: “I went for a boho look in my bedroom. Now that I spend a lot of time there I’ve worked hard to make it look nice.

“When you spend a lot of time in just one room, you want the environment to be nice and you want to feel safe.

“I have a love-hate relationship with my bedroom; although i love the way it looks, sometimes when my health is really bad it can feel like a prison, albeit a beautiful tropical looking one.

“I recently decorated my daughter’s bedroom. It ended up taking me about six months, but I made it.

“If you’re decorating on a budget, the best advice I can give is to try not to compare your home to others.”

Vic Au Young

“I definitely had to try too hard, but the sense of accomplishment at the end was an incredible feeling.

“I also built tables, stools and even a bed for my daughter.

“I don’t mind being asked if I need help, but it’s incredibly discouraging to say ‘no thanks’ and then be ignored.

“Ableism is everywhere. When I’m in a store or walking down a path, people either literally jump out of my way or ignore me completely.

I am very confident to ask for help when I need it. I’m often surprised at what I can do.’

“Ableism is everywhere. When I’m in a store or walking down a path, people either literally jump out of my way or ignore me completely.

“It’s always one thing or the other.

“I am very confident in asking for help when I need it. I am often surprised at what I can do.”

For other disabled people struggling with accessibility in their homes, Vic suggests contacting local government, talking to occupational therapists and applying for grants.

And for every do-it-yourselfer, the mother has only one tip; take it at your own pace.

“If you’re decorating on a budget, the best advice I can give is to try not to compare your home to others.

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“Keep going back and appreciate how far you’ve come, don’t get bogged down [about] how far you have to go

“The sense of accomplishment when you’ve accomplished something you never thought you could do is an incredible feeling.”

Vic found a stairlift on Facebook Marketplace, but it didn't quite match her style

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Vic found a stairlift on Facebook Marketplace, but it didn’t quite match her stylePhoto credit: Jam Press
She painted it black for a modern effect that went perfectly with her decor

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She painted it black for a modern effect that went perfectly with her decorPhoto credit: Jam Press
When the couple moved in, the kitchen looked drab and dated

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When the couple moved in, the kitchen looked drab and datedPhoto credit: Jam Press
Vic and Shawn transformed their kitchen for just £40

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Vic and Shawn transformed their kitchen for just £40Photo credit: Jam Press
Before Vic's renovation, her bedroom was painted red and had matching pine furniture

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Before Vic’s renovation, her bedroom was painted red and had matching pine furniturePhoto credit: Jam Press
Vic took the time to make her bedroom a bohemian paradise since her condition means she spends a lot of time there

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Vic took the time to make her bedroom a bohemian paradise since her condition means she spends a lot of time therePhoto credit: Jam Press

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5281021/added-70k-to-my-home-with-these-simple-renovations/ I’ve added £70,000 in value to my home with these simple renovations and taking advantage of bargains on Facebook Marketplace

Jessica MacLeish

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