Couple transform dingy nicotine-stained semi into their Instagram dream home

A mum has shared the incredible transformation of her home – which was so run down she almost passed up the opportunity to even view it when it went on the market.

Julie Stockton-King, a 34-year-old midwife, from Manchester was so unenthusiastic when she first saw the property that she urged he husband to go and see it on his own, convinced he "wouldn't like it".

She admits that she"'wasn't keen" on the Urmston semi at first but soon fell in love with its potential – and a handful of incredible hidden gems she later discovered inside.

Julie's husband Steven, who works in hospitality, attended a viewing by himself while she was working one Saturday and then dragged her back to it to try and change her mind.

"I said 'Just go to it and if you like it and I'll go to a second viewing' – I was convinced that he wouldn't like it," Julie recalled.

She added: "We came to see it and the man answered the door with a roll-up in his hand.

"He was a really nice older bloke. He smoked indoors – but it was his home at the end of the day.

"All the paper and paint was tinged from the smoke – it was all a yellowy kind of colour. It was really dated and needed a lot of TLC."

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But, despite the list of things that initially put her off, there was no denying the fact that there was something special about the property. And so the couple put in an offer.

Julie said: "We bought this house in June 2019 and moved in March 2020 – literally a few days before the first lockdown started."

After selling their first house in April 2019, the family moved in with Steven's parents while they began the renovation process.

But, as news of the first lockdown swept across Greater Manchester, they felt more of a rush to move in to their new Trafford home and get settled.

Julie said: "When we moved in nothing was finished. We had no worktops, no hob, a small temporary sink, a couch, and a bed for our son.

"The first few weeks we were still painting and putting things up."

But once work began, the couple uncovered some much sought-after fixtures, fittings and furniture that had been hidden away for years.

"They’d covered up a lot of original features," said Julie.

"In one of the bedrooms they’d put massive wardrobes and when we pulled them out – there was an original fireplace that had just been boxed over.

"I was so excited when we found that."

And there were even more surprises to be found upstairs.

Julie continued: "We were going to get rid of the upstairs doors but then I had a closer look.

"They looked like mid-60s style doors. They just had a piece of MDF-style wood over the top of them and glass handles."

But when Steven removed part of the wood, he revealed the original Victorian doors.

Julie said: "They were covered in loads of paint so we sent them off and got them stripped and they look great now."

The pair were excited to put their own spin on their new home.

They already had some previous renovation experience with their first house which they bought in 2011 and sold last year.

Instead of quick fixes and putting up with features that they don't like, they are practising the art of patience to make their home perfect.

Julie continued: "I think people think you have to have loads of money to do a renovation.

"We had some money to start with because of our old house that we sold. When we bought that house it was a complete mess so we did that up.

"House prices went up so we did have some equity from our old house in order to do things like the extension on this house.

"But as for the rest of it, it's going to be a month by month kind of thing using our savings or what we have spare each month."

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