A young nurse has revealed how she transformed her drab home into a spectacular ‘modern farmhouse’ – complete with a fireplace, DIY décor and a perfectly-arranged kitchen pantry.
Bianca Miller purchased her ‘forever home’ with her husband Adam in Palmerston North in the North Island of New Zealand a year ago.
The 27-year-old homeowner saw the potential for the rural one-acre property to become the perfect backdrop of her ‘farmhouse’ vision.
Twelve months later, the couple who have no renovating experience transformed the tired interiors into a stunning sun-filled house of their dreams.
A young nurse has revealed how she transformed her drab home into a spectacular ‘modern farmhouse’ – complete with a fireplace and DIY décor
Bianca Miller (pictured) purchased her ‘forever home’ in New Zealand more than a year ago
‘I couldn’t turn our house into a home without the help of my husband Adam. He is the handyman and is the one who does all the hard work,’ Bianca told FEMAIL.
‘I have the ideas and he is able to execute them, so I am very lucky. It’s a slow and steady process, and we only do things as we can afford it.’
The couple said they ‘fell in love’ with the rural two-storey property after they were ‘attracted to the peacefulness and privacy’.
‘We knew we could turn this house into our dream home and had plans of what we wanted to do before our offer was even accepted,’ she said.
‘Our first offer was actually declined. About six weeks later we were still thinking of this house after viewing multiple others. We came back with a higher offer because we really did fall in love with it at our first viewing. We knew it was our forever home.’
Before and after: Bianca created her own décor items, and used neutral colours around her home to brighten up the space
How much did the homeware items cost?
Spice Rack – $12 from Kmart (NZ)
Oil/Sauce bottles – 12 bottles at $2.38 each from Arthur Holmes (NZ)
Oil/Sauce Bottle Vinyl Labels – $32 at Pretty Little Designs (AU)
Pantry Large Glass Jars – $5 each approximately from Kmart (NZ)
Pantry Vinyl Labels – 24 custom label pack at $42 from Little Label Co (AU)
Spice Jars – $195.50 for 34 jars from Luxe Home Labels (AU)
Bamboo Bath Caddy – $35 from bed bath and beyond (NZ)
Bamboo Bath Blinds – $40 total for two blinds at Spotlight (NZ)
LIVING ROOM DECOR
Large Print – $5.64 from Etsy, frame was made by us with wood from Bunnings
Letterboard – $13 at Spotlight (NZ)
Once they moved in, they made little changes around the house without having to fork out a fortune on renovations.
‘Luckily – the home had been freshly painted and new flooring had been installed when we moved in. At this stage we have not done any structural renovations,’ she said.
‘We have installed a rangehood in the kitchen, added a heat pump and air conditioner upstairs, new toilets, new oven, new hearth on the fireplace as the original one was cracked and falling apart and painted the roof.
‘My husband Adam built the fence in the first 10 days after we moved. Lots of smaller things that make a big difference.’
Bianca said she found her styling inspiration from social media.
‘I find aspects of many different styles appealing. Overall, I would describe my style as modern farmhouse,’ she said.
‘I follow a lot of home styling accounts on Instagram so I get ideas from there, as well as Facebook groups for home organisation and decor. Once I find something I like, I like to recreate them with my own twist to fit into my home.’
The couple lightened their space by using neutral coloured furniture pieces to keep their aesthetic simple yet chic.
‘Our style has changed since we bought this house so we are slowly transitioning to a modern farmhouse style,’ she said.
‘I try to focus on one room at a time and complete it before moving on to another area of the house.
‘We still have a long way to go but that is half the fun of being a homeowner, the journey! It’s an ongoing commitment but worth it to see it transform.’
Her enviable pantry features coordinated storage containers, personalised spices and herbs labels and shelves filled with perfectly aligned staples.
Some of the DIY products she made included the floral wall hanging on pieces of wood
Her enviable pantry features coordinated storage containers, personalised spices and herbs labels and shelves filled with perfectly aligned staples
Before: The couple transformed the tired interiors into a stunning sun-filled house
Once they moved in, they gave the dull house a modern makeover using neutral items
Bianca’s top five styling tips
1. Plan ahead: Write down a list of items you might like in a room i.e wall art, hanging plants, paint colours, furniture
2. Budget: Find out an estimate of much each item costs so you know what overall cost you are looking at.
3. Start simple: Less is more! You can always add more items if you think it’s needed.
4. DIY: Is there anything you could make yourself to save money? Homemade pieces are always more special in my opinion.
5. Complete one room before moving on: You risk having unfinished rooms if you are working on different areas of the house all at once. Focus on one area at a time.
Working with a shoestring budget, Bianca got creative when it came to the décor.
‘I try to find inexpensive items for the decor and organisation. I truly don’t think you need to spend a fortune for your home to look nice,’ she said.
‘I shop at Kmart, the Warehouse, and Spotlight. A lot of our wall art pieces are affordable prints from Etsy. We also do a lot of DIY projects together.
‘We have a couple of photo shelves we have made, bathroom shelves, and home decor I have made myself.’
Bianca said one of her favourite features of her home is the sun-filled living room.
‘We have a two-storey home and over the living area is a large open ceiling up to the roof of the second floor which is really unique,’ she explained.
The 27-year-old nurse (pictured with her husband Adam and their dog Arlo) saw the potential for the rural one-acre property to become the perfect backdrop of her ‘farmhouse’ vision
The creative couple saved a fortune by doing their own DIY shelves around their home
For those styling on a budget, Bianca said: ‘Start simple.’
‘Get the basics of what you need for your home to be functional,’ she said.
‘I have no experience whatsoever or any qualifications in interior design or anything like that. I’m just a normal chick who has a passion for organisation and décor. Anyone can do it.
‘Also, there are so many YouTube tutorials of how to make cute pieces for your home. Often this is a lot cheaper than buying home décor. You feel so accomplished when you have made something yourself.’
Bianca added: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time, and don’t compare yourself to others. Be proud of the progress you have made, no matter how small.’