A DISABLED woman has shared how she transformed her entire home for under £15k – adding £70k to the value of her home while dealing with crippling symptoms of her chronic illness.
Vic Au-Yeung, 42, from Herefordshire, West Midlands, spent the last five years renovating her £230,000 four-bed detached property.
Vic Au-Yeung, 42, has transformed her home into a modern bohemian paradise using secondhand piecesCredit: Jam Press
The front room before Vic had transformed it was lime green and outdatedCredit: Jam Press
Vic has transformed her home to look its best while being accessibleCredit: Jam Press
She purchased her home with her husband, Shawn, 42, five years ago and has transformed it with bargain buys from the likes of eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Vic was born with Klippel-Feil syndrome, a rare bone disorder, and uses a wheelchair but didn’t start showing severe symptoms until she was 35.
The condition is where two or more bones in the neck are fused together.
Her health issues have meant Vic has had to make her home more accessible to her needs.
But Vic won’t let her disability stop her from her passion – DIY and upcycling furniture.
The mum-of-one has shared her transformations on her Instagram, our_home_in_kingstone, as well as the furniture she’s made from pallets and apple crates.
The living room costs were kept low with £30 on paint and some cheap eBay finds to decorate with.
“We started redecorating immediately as we wanted to make it into a home and put our stamp on it,” Vic told Jam Press.
“I love the industrial and upcycled look; my coffee table in my living room is even a cable reel.
“I also have a huge passion for plants, they have become a huge part of my décor.
“With soaring prices on everything I think a lot of people will definitely be able to relate [to taking things slow and on a budget].
“My favourite compliment I always get is when people say they can see so much personality in my home.
“Whilst I’m always getting inspiration from others, I would hate for my home to look exactly the same as anyone else’s.”
Vic and Shawn began transforming their home as soon as they bought it, but two years into the project her condition worsened.
It resulted in Vic leaving her job and making her home more accessible as she needs a wheelchair.
The kitchen took just £50 and four months to revamp, accessibility is key with an open-plan design.
The rustic-chic interior has greenery draping from the ceiling onto the wooden-panelled breakfast bar.
The dining room, which cost just £20 to transform, is in the style of modern Scandi, with white chairs and a fluffy rug, which sit in between dark navy and gold storage units.
She added: “Once I began needing my wheelchair, my husband built two ramps, one for me to get outside into the garden and one in the garden to access the higher part of it.”
Vic found her stairlift on Facebook marketplace, she then painted it black to go with her modern interiors.
“Not having to crawl up and down the stairs like I had for years was a real treat,” She added.
“I don’t really leave the house much anymore, partly [because of] Covid and partly because I need someone with me to put my wheelchair into a car.”
Vic spent extra time on two rooms in particular in her home, her bedroom and her daughter’s.
In her bedroom, Vic spent around £300, while her daughter’s room transformation cost £200.
Vic said: “In my bedroom, I’ve gone for a boho look. Now that I spend a lot of time there I’ve worked hard to make it look nice.
“When you spend a lot of time in just one room, you want your surroundings to be beautiful and to make you feel safe.
“I have a love-hate relationship with my bedroom; whilst I love how it looks, sometimes when my health is really bad it can feel like a prison, albeit a beautiful tropical looking one.
“I recently did my daughter’s bedroom. It took me about six months in the end but I did it.
“When decorating on a budget, the best advice I can give would be to try and not compare your home to others.”
“I definitely pushed myself too hard but the sense of achievement once finished was an incredible feeling.
“I’ve also built tables, stools and even a bed for my daughter.
“I don’t mind being asked if I need help but it’s incredibly disheartening when you say “no thank you” and then you’re ignored.
“Ableism is everywhere. If I’m in a shop or coming down a path, people either literally leap out of my way or completely ignore me.
I’m very confident in asking for help when I do need it, I’m often met with surprise as to what I can do.’
‘Ableism is everywhere. If I’m in a shop or coming down a path, people either literally leap out of my way or completely ignore me.
“It’s generally always one or the other.
“I’m very confident in asking for help when I do need it, I’m often met with surprise as to what I can do.”
For other disabled people struggling with accessibility in their homes, Vic suggests contacting the local council, speaking to occupational therapists and applying for grants.
And for any DIYer, the mum has just one tip; take it at your own pace.
“When decorating on a budget, the best advice I can give would be to try and not compare your home to others.
“Keep taking a step back and appreciating how far you’ve come, don’t let yourself get bogged down [about] how far you’ve still got to go.
“The sense of achievement when you’ve done something you never thought you could is an incredible feeling.”
Vic found a stairlift on Facebook Marketplace, but it didn’t quite match her styleCredit: Jam Press
She painted it black to create a modern effect that matched her interiors perfectlyCredit: Jam Press
The kitchen when the couple moved in looked drab and outdatedCredit: Jam Press
Vic and Shawn transformed their kitchen for just £40Credit: Jam Press
Vic’sBefore the makeover her bedroom was painted red and had matching pine furnitureCredit: Jam Press
Vic took her time to make her bedroom a bohemian paradise as her condition means she spends a lot of time in thereCredit: Jam Press