Couple turn drab 1930s semi-detached house into modern colourful dream home


A couple from the North East have completely transformed a dull and drab semi-detached house into their colourful dream home, despite previously having absolutely no renovation experience.

Emma and Jack bought their run-down 1930s home in Cullercoats, a small village in North Tyneside, back in 2019 for £289,950, having previously rented a city centre flat in Newcastle.

Although the couple had initially planned to buy close to the city centre, where they both work as research scientists at Newcastle University, they were inspired by an episode of Kirstie and Phil’s Love It or List It, which saw a couple looking to buy in nearby Gosforth.

When Phil took the couple out of the city and towards the coast at Whitley Bay, Emma and Jack decided this would be the move for them. They quickly narrowed their search down to a few North East coastal towns, which would still allow them to get to work in under half an hour, but more importantly, allowed their budget to stretch to a house with a garden, instead of a flat.

After losing out on three other houses, the couple finally had an offer accepted on the perfect house, in the perfect area, but they knew they had their work cut out for them.

Emma and Jack completely gutted the house, to allow for rewiring, moving the boiler, getting underfloor heating and re-plastering throughout, not to mention an entirely new bathroom.

To save on costs, much of the work they did themselves, including tiling the new bathroom and all the painting. They even saved themselves £800 by fitting their own storage alcoves in the living room; something which they documented on their blog Renovating the Broadway.

The results speak for themselves, and the home is now completely unrecognisable, with bright modern décor and flashes of colour in every room.

Emma and Jack have even started sharing hints and tips they’ve learned on their renovation journey, including a few tricks on how to save money along the way, from upcycling to colour matching paints.

However, the renovation journey is far from over for the couple, who are now embarking on extending their home, to create a much bigger kitchen and dining area.

“When we were looking for a house, we knew that we either wanted something that had already been extended, or that had the potential for an extension. We’re really into the big open plan kitchen/dining/living spaces so this was the most important thing for us,” Emma explained.

“When we had our offer accepted on the house – probably the day we had the offer accepted – we sat down with a bottle of wine and started drawing out extension plans. I still have a folder that has all of those little sketches from back then.”

While their beautiful home transformation is far from complete, the couple have successfully turned a run-down, drab semi into their dream home.

“My favourite part of the week now is our early Saturday morning walks along the sea front,” Emma said. “A bit mad to think that we have Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer to thank for that.”