Interior design

Home renovation journey: “How I turned my 1930s flat into a bold, modern haven”

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Megan Murray
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Prepare to be seriously inspired by the renovation of a 1930s flat which now boasts a pink bathroom, breakfast bar and tonal lounge.

Home renovations are always a labour of love, but none so much as Anneka Broomfield’s transformation of what she describes as “a neglected Stowmarket 1930s flat” to an Instagram-worthy haven.

Anneka started the renovation back in July 2018 but even after an impressive two and a half years of work, there’s still lots to do. It’s a sign of how big the initial challenge was, taking on a flat with walls and floors that needed repairing. 

“When we (me and my partner) first looked at the property there was damp on the walls and even holes in the floor; it was unliveable. But we could see passed that and knew it had massive potential. Plus, we were happy to invest some more time and money into it,” Anneka explains. 

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The space feels very of-the-moment with a focus on bold colour use and tonal rooms, choosing one overall hue such as pink, green or blue and featuring different shades throughout on the walls and home accessories.

So far, Anneka has worked wonders with the kitchen, living room and bathroom but still has the bedrooms and the hallway left to complete – which is even more of a reason to keep following her renovation journey.

Here, Anneka tells us about the most difficult and rewarding parts of her renovation to date, as well as her tips and tricks for DIY and her favourite homeware brands to shop.

Whether you’re renovating your own home or just love having a nosey around other people’s (no judgement, us too!), take a look inside this renovation Instagram account’s journey to take a 90-year-old flat to modern, on-trend home.

Bathroom: before and after.

Most inspired by… Abigail Ahern

“My initial inspiration came from interior designer Abigail Ahern. I love her interiors but as her aesthetic can be quite moody, I tried to soften it up a bit for my own home. I’ve found that I get inspired easily and suddenly my direction can change, so I’ve gone through a lot of different vibes already. 

“Finally, though, I’m landing on a more natural look while incorporating bold colours. My favourite thing is to paint my room from floor to ceiling, making the most of every surface.”

Living room: before and after

Biggest challenge… the flat’s neglected state

“We knew we wanted a bit of a challenge and to do somewhere up, but, not quite this much… It was a shock realising just how much work was needed to repair things like the damp walls and hole in the living room floor. 

“My husband did an incredible job and got very much into the DIY, ripping up half the floor and doing all the damp-proofing. He even relaid the new flooring. It was a lot, but it was all worth it.”

Utility room: before and after

Best DIY hack… making our own dining table 

“I’m really proud of our open shelving and dining table that we made ourselves from varnished plywood. I love the pattern and texture of certain ply and knew I wanted it in our kitchen. So, we made a table from the plywood and just added hairpin legs.”

Anneka’s favourite homeware accounts for inspiration:

  • Two men and a Semi

    Jo and Chris go to great lengths to do as much of the renovations of their 1930’s semi-detached home themselves as possible, re-using any materials and fittings that they can. 

    Expect a light and bright feel, lots of plants and some on-point paint work. 

  • Costa Del Deptford

    Stacie runs this home account of a one-bedroom flat in south London, where she describes her and her partner’s tastes as minimalist vs maximalist. 

    The pair may have very different ideas about decor but the results are undoubtedly beautiful with a retro living room, Scandi-style bathroom and boho bedroom. 

  • Bo Decor

    Among the current trends of pink kitchens or beachy minimalism, Bo Decor stands out because of its moody, theatrical feel. Claire, the account’s founder, uses light in an extraordinary way to create a ‘stage-lit’ atmosphere. 

    Check out her use of plants and flowers also, piling them up around her sofa and in the corners of rooms.

Anneka’s favourite homeware brands:

  • Decorating Centre Online

    This is a great all-rounder for anyone renovating. You’ll find all the decorating essentials from coving and wallpaper to paint and some accessories.

  • Lick

    Lick is one of a few cool paint brands which have launched over the last year, offering up-to-date ideas and marketing with innovative ideas like peel-able paint samples. 

  • H&M Home

    An oldie but a goodie, H&M’s home section is always packed with chic decor offerings for a reasonable price. While the storage and kitchenware are a must-see, don’t forget to check out the larger items too (the brand’s rattan chairs are particularly brilliant).

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Images: Anneka Broomfield / Instagram

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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