Woman transforms ‘decaying’ home using her late dad’s tools in tribute to him

Woman transforms ‘decaying’ home using her late dad’s tools in tribute to him

A woman has completely transformed her dull and ‘decaying’ home using her dad’s old tools – and says her hard work is a tribute to him.

Holly Hensleigh, 32, said her house was ‘falling apart’ so decided to renovate her two-bedroom Victorian farmhouse, which she bought for around £100,000, by herself.

Despite having no DIY experience, Holly was inspired to start the project by her father, Melvin Hensleigh, who had built his own home 40 years ago.

After he passed away in 2013, she inherited his building tools and wanted to put them to good use – so got to work on her own home, in Nottinghamshire.

She said: “The bedroom and all rooms in the home had layers and layers of wallpaper and paint to strip, which took me weeks in between working.

“I used the wallpaper steamer and scrapers that my dad left me which was super handy. Under the wallpaper was bark that they’d used as filler and horsehair mixed in with the plaster.

“There were layers and layers of paint on the woodwork, which had to be stripped right back along with the 150-year-old floorboards, which the Victorians painted with tar.

“I then ripped the carpet up with a bread knife, the carpet was brand new as left by the previous owner. It was in really good condition but it was dark brown and really took the edge off the room once I’d decorated.

“I donated the carpet and set about restoring the original floorboards. I had a belt sander from my dad and I spent four days sanding the tar off the 150-year-old floorboards but was defeated and got the professionals in eventually!

“I then stripped the paint off the fireplace, repainted and tiled it.”

Once she had a blank canvas, Holly scoured the web for interior bargains to finish the place off and make it her own.

She said: “After the room was renovated, I filled it with eBay finds and a £50 bed, which was a bargain. I also added in used furniture I already had or had been given from friends and family.

“And I painted an old dresser that I have had since I was five and dressed it with accessories and storage baskets.”

It took Holly four weeks to complete the bedroom transformation during evenings on weekends, and the finished product includes a few reminders of her dad.

She said: “There were layers of wallpaper and everything was magnolia with lots of white gloss, which I stripped with the heat gun. I stripped back the walls, secured some loose bricks, plastered and painted.

“I then painted and tiled the fireplace and filled the room with second-hand furniture. Nothing in this room is brand new other than the curtains!

“I work from this room and spend most of my time in here so I have filled it with bits from my dad’s house and my childhood.

“My dad was a mechanic and had his own garage so his office sign has pride of place. My work ethic is very much inherited from my dad so I wanted a lot of memories around me.

“I finished the room off by changing sockets and light switches after a quick YouTube tutorial.”