UK Nurse adds £75K to the value of her home by turning it into a jungle themed paradise

10 mins read


A savvy nurse has revealed how she added £75,000 to the value of her home by spending just £16,000 on materials and furnishings and doing most of the work between her partner and herself.

Nurse Jamie Kay, 35, from Burnley, Lancashire, has transformed her four-bedroom detached house by adding a jungle theme.

Jamie came across this concept of design when she was a teenager, reveling the decorative free rein and adding a mix of brave color combinations and mismatched furniture.

Jamie and her husband Alex Kay decided to decorate as the previous furnishings were not to their taste and the pair wanted their home to reflect their personality. 

In 2019, Jamie purchased her house for £225k, adding £75,000 in value to date through her decorating endeavor.

The garden now, with egg shaped wooden seats and colorful cushions

Nurse Jamie Kay, 35, from Burnley, Lancashire,  has revealed how she added £75,000 to the value of her home by spending just £16,000 on materials and furnishings and doing most of the work between her partner and herself

When Jamie purchased the home in 2019 for £225k, the garden was drab and dull, with a swing set and several potted plants dotted across the lawn

When Jamie purchased the home in 2019 for £225k, the garden was drab and dull, with a swing set and several potted plants dotted across the lawn 

Meanwhile Jamie was determined to add a little colour and fun to her home, with flamboyant blankets and vibrant cushions (pictured)

Meanwhile Jamie was determined to add a little colour and fun to her home, with flamboyant blankets and vibrant cushions (pictured)  

The living room before the colorful re-vamp

The living room before the colorful re-vamp, in muted tones and minimal décor, and featured a grey colour scheme (pictured) 

Jamie spent £16,000 transforming her property from drab to ultra-playful, adding a vibrant and colourful wallpaper to her kitchen

Jamie spent £16,000 transforming her property from drab to ultra-playful, adding a vibrant and colourful wallpaper to her kitchen 

The kitchen before had a mismatched red feature painting around the window and black granite worksurfaces

The kitchen before had a mismatched red feature painting around the window and black granite work surfaces (pictured) 

Jamie, who bought her home in 2019, decided she wanted to turn her four bedroomed house into a jungle paradise despite being a DIY novice

Jamie, who bought her home in 2019, decided she wanted to turn her four bedroomed house into a jungle paradise despite being a DIY novice 

Before starting her decorating journey, Jamie had no prior experience, yet she embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and added her own unique twist to the property. 

By doing everything herself instead of hiring contractors, the nurse reckons she has saved approximately £10k.

Her husband Alex assisted with the big tasks such as tiling the kitchen, laying the laminate flooring, and applying skirting boards.

In total, Jamie estimates she has spent around £16,000 transforming and furnishing the main bedroom, guest bedroom, dressing room, living room and kitchen.

She has expanded her jungle theme through her huge collection of house plants. With over 50 of them in every room, Jamie’s home has become an urban rainforest, and she has plans to buy more plants still.

Before starting her decorating journey, Jamie had no prior experience, yet she embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and added her own unique twist to the property

Before starting her decorating journey, Jamie had no prior experience, yet she embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and added her own unique twist to the property

Before the jungle inspo, the stairs were just regular stairs

Now the stairs are home to an indoor rainforest

Before the nurse renovated the space, her hallway was drab, with a cream colour scheme (left, while she has now added a number of plants to the room (right)  

The dining room looked bleak and old fashioned with a mahogany table and a large glass display case - the windows had heavy curtains and blinds

The view from the dining room shows the lounge area in the garden, with cushions - a wooden table and an outdoor sofa (pictured)

The view from the dining room shows the lounge area in the garden, with cushions – a wooden table and an outdoor sofa (pictured left before, and right, after) 

The bedroom prior to the makeover had a mint green wall and cream bed

The bedroom after has a decorative wallpaper, a variety of fun cushions and of course, plants

The bedroom prior to the makeover had a mint green wall and cream bed (left) and the bedroom after has a decorative wallpaper, a variety of fun cushions and of course, plants (right)

The dressing area before, all in white and blue

Jamie had ditched the monotone and opted for bright, cheerful wallpaper and burnt umber curtains

The dressing area before, all in white and blue(left) and now (right) Jamie had ditched the monotone and opted for bright, cheerful wallpaper and burnt umber curtains

Among the areas Jamie was most keen to transform was the garden, where she built a new area for her friends and family to relax (pictured)

Among the areas Jamie was most keen to transform was the garden, where she built a new area for her friends and family to relax (pictured) 

The garden had red plant pots and a water feature but didn't look anywhere near as inviting as the new, jungle themed edition

The seating area is perfect for balmy summer nights in the garden - with a straw umbrella and large sofa for guests to sit

The garden had red plant pots and a water feature but didn’t look anywhere near as inviting as the new, jungle themed edition (left and right)  

Decorating on a budget: Jamie still managed to create a fun, inviting ambience with budget items such as cushions and mats outside

Decorating on a budget: Jamie still managed to create a fun, inviting ambience with budget items such as cushions and mats outside

A bright yellow seat with contrasting black pillows and throws are offset by fun wall art - one photo frame features the playful phrase'dance like you're northern'

A bright yellow seat with contrasting black pillows and throws are offset by fun wall art – one photo frame features the playful phrase ‘dance like you’re northern’ 

The spare bedroom has been transformed with warm tones such as orange, olive green and brown and features the same wallpaper as the master bedroom

The spare bedroom has been transformed with warm tones such as orange, olive green and brown and features the same wallpaper as the master bedroom 

Jamie’s jungle paradise price breakdown:

Kitchen units and appliances- £4800

Flooring- £2000

Kitchen decoration- £500

Sofas and other items- £4200

Coffee table from Facebook marketplace- £15.00

Wickes Sonora light chestnut laminate flooring – £22.49 PSM

IKEA Vittsjö shelving unit- £90

IKEA Bestå shelf unit – £70

Nihove metal and rattan ball armchair from La Redoute- £199

Shelf from ebay – £35.00

Homesense Rug- £34.99

Flamingo canvas print from Shackletons garden centre- £89.99

Grey denver tripod floor lamp from Next- £140

Dulux in brave ground colour from B&Q- £14.99

Labour- £3000

Rococo bed from Facebook marketplace- £300

Bedside tables- £250

Decoration in bedroom- £100

Decoration in guest bedroom- £150

Dressing Room- £300

Total: approximately £16,000

The most difficult obstacle was the kitchen. Ripping out the cupboards and knocking down the wall to the dining room as a challenge, creating endless dust and feeling to the married couple much like a never-ending project.

The pandemic also brought new challenges. With everyone doing up their homes, there was no plaster to be found anywhere meaning many projects had to be put on hold. 

Next up for the couple is the bathroom, ensuite and downstairs toilet, offering a whole new challenge.

Jamie said: ‘From being quite young I was always given free rein to transform my own space.

‘When I was a teenager my mum let me decorate and style my own room how I wanted it and from then on, I’ve always loved changing the furniture around, mixing and matching furniture with home accessories and more recently embracing and being brave with colour.

‘I love how everything I have chosen to go into my home, I’ve chosen because it makes me feel happy, relaxed and at peace.

‘I also love my huge plant collection and I still have room for more.

‘My home is an urban jungle, and they are the biggest feature within my home.’

Jamie went on to describe what people say about her design.

‘My family and friends love how colourful and happy my home especially the wallpapers I have used around the house and the styling,’ she said.

‘However, they also comment on how brave I am too.

‘A big talking point when people visit is my plant collection and ceramic leopard.’

Jamie reveals how she kept her costs down.

‘Currently we have probably saved around £10,000 as my husband tiled the kitchen applied the skirting boards and architraves and laid the living room laminate floor and we have done all the decorating ourselves,’ she said.

‘We think we have added around £75,000 to the value so far.’

Despite the cost, Jamie is incredibly happy with her house and unique aesthetic.

‘I love my home I always feel happy and content when I am there which I think is very important,’ said Jamie.

‘Still a long way to go but have big ideas.

‘I’d definitely say my style is colourful maximalism think jungle, animal prints, colour and lots of trinkets.’

Five plants are part of this shelf display along with a colorful frame, a mirrored egg-shaped light, a drinks bottle that has doubled up as a candle holder and a wedding photo

Five plants are part of this shelf display along with a colorful frame, a mirrored egg-shaped light, a drinks bottle that has doubled up as a candle holder and a wedding photo

A vibrant floral wallpaper in one of the bedrooms

A wall feature that looks tribal and a flamingo are but a few of the jungle inspired decorations to be found around the house

A vibrant floral wallpaper (left) and a  flamingo print are but a few of the jungle inspired decorations to be found around the house 

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