Anna Halloran gives the final segment of her home renovation blog, as her derelict Marston house is transformed into her dream home after eight weeks and with a tight budget...

After buying our dream home only two months ago, turning it from a derelict mess into our dream home hasn’t been easy, but after some frightening hiccups I couldn’t be happier with the result.

The open-plan living and dining room grew by a metre in size, by removing the two walls as you enter the property.

Two Bingley sofas from nicely frame what is quite a small room to make it feel larger than it is.

By placing glass antique lamps behind the sofa on an antique console table, it draws the eye to the back of the room, making it feel deeper.

And a kiln rug sustainably produced in India from Westelm has further drawn a distinction between the two rooms.

I love colour, so by using a glass coffee table, I’ve housed colourful copies of Vogue, which subtly injects an array of colours into the room, mirrored by our colourful collection of books.

In the dining room, I was able to play with the lighting more and used Jam Jar Lighting to create a retro feel, with giant light bulbs hanging in the centre of the table.

The orange glow is perfect for a dinner party setting and the multi-coloured wires echo my colour pallet throughout the house.

The kitchen has remained tiny but feels like it has doubled, thanks to fantastic German kitchen supplier, Kuchenwerks.

I have used clean lines and symmetry to create a minimalist look which maximised the space.

To save space, I placed the new retro mint-green Smeg fridge in the cupboard under the stairs and the washing machine is housed in the old outside loo.

To create a classic contemp-orary look, I used a white-and-grey marble-like finish for the worktop, Lyra, and a full wrap-around splash-back in a pastel yellow, all supplied by the Surrey Kitchen Company.

The back wall is painted with a great-value magnetic and blackboard paint from Homebase, which is not only practical but lots of fun.

Upstairs, an acrylic carpet from Kennington Flooring has been laid, which is incredibly soft and durable.

In the bathroom, I took a risk by using Porcel Thin tiles; about 4 mm thick. These super-thin tiles come in huge slabs, so it enabled me to only use a few, minimising the grouting lines. The faux marble effect looks chic for a fraction of the high street cost. In the master bedroom, I purchased the stunning Juliette bed from Feather and Black for less than £500. The classic button-back headboard is contemporised when combined with a grass-green ombre bed spread from Designers Guild, which I mimicked in the cushion on the arm chair.

I used a mixture of antiques and modern furniture to create a classic contemporary feel.

Throughout the house, I introduced an eclectic mix of small items, including different cupboard handles in every room, ranging from ivory stripe to nautical themes, all under £2 from Etsy.

Both sets of curtains came pre-made from John Lewis, with my favourite pair designed by Harlequin.

After a gruelling eight weeks and coming in only £3,000 over budget, transforming our dream home ourselves has been well worth the pressure.

Anna Halloran is director of Oxford-based interior designers Spiering & Co. Follow her blog online at