I switch up the look every few years to keep it fresh

11 min read

By choosing neutral basics, Michelle Purcell has created a home she can update to suit her ever-changing style – her latest includes DIY panelling and colour-pop accessories

Feature Lisa Moses Photography Caroline Mardon


The quotes to have the cabinets painted professionally were high, so Michelle decided to give it a go herself. She says, ‘It wasn’t too hard and only took a couple of days to do the cabinets and about four hours to do the island, and I saved hundreds of pounds’
Style idea
Place a microwave oven at eye level for ease of use and as a countertop space-saving solution

My story

‘This house has seen a lot of changes in the 20 years since we bought it. Initially, it needed so much work that we decided to wait until we got it to a liveable state before moving in, as Lewis was just a baby. The biggest job was extending the tiny galley kitchen to create a large, open-plan kitchen-diner but, as we couldn’t initially afford a proper roof, we put a polycarbonate roof on until – four years later – we’d saved enough to finish the job properly.

The loft was already boarded, so we installed stairs at the same time as the kitchen roof, eventually extending the space by adding a dormer and large en-suite to create a luxurious main bedroom. As our family has grown, the rooms have evolved, both in use and decor. We recently gave the kitchen a stylish makeover, installing new cabinets that I painted black and pink. My home always had pops of colour, but over the years I’ve used a more neutral, gentle scheme, also adding panelling, brick slips, and plenty of artwork.

I love to save money so, with the help of family, we’ve done most of the work ourselves. Looking back and seeing how far we’ve come helps me appreciate all the hard work that’s gone into creating our home. Hopefully, we won’t need to change it for a while now, though I do have plans to update the bathroom and colour-drench our bedroom, so who knows!’


‘We went all the way up the splashback and shelf using the same material as the worktops as I wanted a seamless look,’ explains Michelle. ‘The kitchen fitter was stressed about drilling into the quartz to put up the rail, but it was a non-negotiable accessory for me’

‘When we extended the galley kitchen we installed the cheapest cabinets that we liked and could afford. After a few years, we repl

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