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Nurse with a flair for home renovation reveals how she transformed her fireplace for $200


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A full-time paediatric nurse has become a glorified ‘renovation queen’ on social media after purchasing a range of DIY projects she completed on her linen cupboard, fridge, side walkway and fireplace. 

Jessica Micallef, 29, runs the popular Instagram account ‘The House That Jess Built’, which shares daily photos of household products and decoration ideas to spice up your property. 

The Melbourne-based blogger and her partner Izz bought their house on December 7, 2017, after saving up for 16 months, with the intention of bringing it to life with careful renovation work and decluttering.

Jessica Micallef runs popular Instagram account ‘The House That Jess Built’, which shares daily photos of household products and decoration ideas

Before it was a mess of different bricks

In the four months since she renovated it there have been little to no weeds

Jessica reorganised the side of their house with some stones and pavers in a single weekend

If you’re looking to follow in their footsteps, Jessica recommends being practical above all else – and only keeping things you need or what you use.

‘For the linen closet have a box, container or basket for everything and give each of them a category,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘It’s easier to put away, even for little ones in the family. It’s practical. The linen closet hasn’t changed since we’ve done it.’

For the fridge Jessica recommends purchasing clear containers from Kmart and having a compartment for each food group.

'For the linen closet have a box, container or basket for everything and give each of them a category,' she told FEMAIL

‘For the linen closet have a box, container or basket for everything and give each of them a category,’ she told FEMAIL

For the fridge Jessica recommends purchasing clear containers from Kmart and having a compartment for each food group

For the fridge Jessica recommends purchasing clear containers from Kmart and having a compartment for each food group

She also has one labelled ‘use first’ for things she has already opened or half eaten, so you’re not looking for mouldy pieces of fruit at the back.  

‘Similar to the fridge, I was always being so wasteful with food and I wanted to stop that so I used shoe boxes from the Reject Shop and placed them in the freezer,’ she said.

‘It’s never been easier to manage and I can see everything I have when I open the freezer. No hidden items at all.’

'Similar to the fridge, I was always being so wasteful with food and I wanted to stop that so I used shoe boxes from the Reject Shop and placed them in the freezer,' she said

‘Similar to the fridge, I was always being so wasteful with food and I wanted to stop that so I used shoe boxes from the Reject Shop and placed them in the freezer,’ she said

Jessica transformed her fireplace with $200 and two days up her sleeve

Jessica transformed her fireplace with $200 and two days up her sleeve

Jessica even ventured down the side of the house and decided to make it neater over the course of a weekend, turning it into something ‘pretty and easy to maintain.’

Four months later and there are still no weeds sprouting between the stones.  

More recently the happy couple partook in a $200 two day challenge with other renovators on Instagram, choosing to re-do their fireplace.

It went from a dark and cluttered spot to house leftover boxes and a bike into a comfortable sitting room with an all-white paint job.

‘We watch a lot of YouTube or Google something if we aren’t sure,’ she said of the process.

Jessica’s five best organisation tips: 

1. Divide everything into categories that suit your home and needs per room. 

2. Buy boxes and containers for your space and allocate a category per box.

3. Don’t hold on to things you ‘might’ use. If you don’t use it, give it to someone who does.

4. Labels! They’re super fun, but they’re also practical for others in the house to know what goes where. The Label Store are my go to.

5. If everything has a home, you’ll never have clutter. Clutter free home = clutter free mind.  

‘But a lot of it comes down to just giving it a go. Worst case it doesn’t work out, but what if it does? 

‘I love being able to empower people to believe in themselves  and have the courage to try something new or give it a go. It makes me incredibly happy to inspire others.’

Jessica tends to visit her local Kmart, Target, Big W, Ikea and Bunnings stores for supplies or low-cost furniture items, or she’ll reupholster a product from a thrift shop.

It went from a dark and cluttered spot to house leftover boxes and a bike into a comfortable sitting room with an all-white paint job

It went from a dark and cluttered spot to house leftover boxes and a bike into a comfortable sitting room with an all-white paint job

'We watch a lot of YouTube or Google something if we aren't sure,' she said of the process

‘We watch a lot of YouTube or Google something if we aren’t sure,’ she said of the process

She believes spraying furniture white will instantly help it to look brand new, which is why the majority of her home has been brightened with the fail-safe shade

She believes spraying furniture white will instantly help it to look brand new, which is why the majority of her home has been brightened with the fail-safe shade

She believes spraying furniture white will instantly help it to look brand new, which is why the majority of her home has been brightened with the fail-safe shade. 

But Jessica does occasionally spend good money on her resources, so long as she knows they are worth the price she is paying.

‘I tend to find something and sit on it for a few hours or days,’ she said.

‘If I’m still thinking about how much I love it, then I get it. I like to support small business, sometimes it’s a bit of extra cash; but I don’t mind if it means I love the product and someone behind the brand name gets to do a little happy dance.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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