Single mother transforms her home into a modern paradise for £4,000

Single mother reveals stunning results of £4,000 renovation she carried out herself while working, studying nursing AND raising children aged five and four – despite being a DIY novice

  • Chloe Tolmie, 25, from Blackburn, transformed her home during lockdown
  • She renovated the bedrooms, living room and fitted the kitchen by herself
  • Support worker is studying at college and raising children Oliver, 5, and Olivia, 4 
  • Whole renovation cost £4,000 including furniture, buying lots second-hand 

A single mother revealed how she transformed her home for just £4,000 over lockdown while juggling work, part-time studying and caring for her two children. 

Chloe Tolmie, 25, from Blackburn, Lancashire, moved into the property with her children Oliver, five, and Olivia, four, in February 2020 and started renovations in July.

Chloe, a support worker, has completely transformed the three-bedroom home in a matter of months, adding a new kitchen and giving the bedrooms and living space a new lease of life. 

The DIY newbie did most of the work herself, while still keeping up with assignments for her university nursing course.       

Chloe Tolmie, 25, from Blackburn, Lancashire, moved into the property with her children Oliver, five, and Olivia, four, in February 2020 and started renovations in July. Pictured, the living room after the renovations. She bought the sofas on finance to spread the cost 

The mother-of-two renovated all of the bedrooms as well as the living room and plans to transform the dining room in the future. Pictured, the living room during the renovations

Despite her busy schedule, the mother fitted a new kitchen as well as renovating most of the house. Pictured, the kitchen after the renovation work

Chloe admitted the renovation process was difficult and the family were initially forced to live off microwave meals until Chloe could fit the kitchen. Pictured, the kitchen before

Chloe Tolmie, 25, from Blackburn, Lancashire, is a support worker for vulnerable children while also studying at college and raising her two children Oliver, five, and Olivia, four (pictured)

Chloe said: ‘I moved into the property in February 2020 but started the renovations in July that year.

‘The house was £95,000 and I got it on a Rent-To-Buy scheme. It’s three bedrooms and two bathrooms along with a separate toilet. I worked as many hours as I possibly could to afford to get everything done.’   

She admitted the renovation process was difficult and the family were initially forced to live off microwave meals until Chloe could fit the kitchen. 

They also had to share a bed at the start, until Chloe got a grant for new mattresses from the council.

The whole renovation cost just £4,000 including furniture, as the mother tried to keep everything as cheap as possible, buying lots of items second-hand. 

She said: ‘I got my sofas on finance, and I got a grant for new mattresses from the council.  I did everything on my own, with no help at all apart from the kids helping pick wallpaper stripping up.’ 

Chloe also had the added stress of a cancer scare during renovations, as she awaited the results of a biopsy, which left her feeling worn out. 

Chloe said that her children are enjoying the new house as they had to share a room before but now they get their own space. Pictured, Olivia’s princess-inspired room now

The bare bedroom before the renovation work, which included laying a plush grey carpet

Chloe revealed that she and her children had to share a bed until she received a grant from the council for mattresses. Pictured, Oliver’s room after the renovation 

The room looks totally different to how it did before Chloe started the work (above)

The support worker bought the house, which has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a separate toilet, for £95,000, that she got on a Rent-To-Buy scheme

She said: ‘My recent biopsy for cervical cancer came back, and it was non-cancerous, thank God, so throughout some of the renovations, I had that playing on my mind.’ 

Chloe is proud of herself for managing to complete the renovations in between being a full-time mother, studying and working – and with no DIY experience. 

She said: ‘I feel so proud of myself to say I had never even put a piece of wallpaper up before moving into this property. 

Chloe’s relaxing bedroom features luxurious bedding and calming grey wallpaper

Chloe opted for neutral tones in her bedroom, with white bedding and beige accents, adding a dressing table next to her chest of drawers and TV

Chloe is proud of herself for managing to complete the renovations in between being a full-time mother, studying and working. Pictured, Chloe’s room before the renovation

‘And on top of that, I had assignments due in for university, and work and homeschooling.

‘I feel so happy it’s all over, and I am just glad I can live a happy life with my children in our forever home.’ 

Chloe said her children can’t get enough for their new home either. 

She added: ‘They have always shared a room until we moved in here and now they have their own space and love everything they have got.’  

Chloe also had the added stress of a cancer scare during renovations, as she awaited the results of a biopsy for cervical cancer, which was non-cancerous 

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