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An eye for potential transformed this diamond in the rough

A clear vision, an eye for design and plenty of DIY helped this 1970s house realise its full potential as a stylish family home 

Who lives here?

Tarryn Donaldson, (marketing manager and Instagrammer @iamtarryndonaldson), husband Ryan, (sales manager), Kylan Riley, 7, and Arden Cruz, 2, plus ginger cats Ted and Harley.

Style secrets

  • Feature walls are not hard to do with a bit of patience, tape and paint. After the pain of wallpaper stripping, there was no way I was going to put more up, so it had to be a painted effect!
  • Decorating on a budget is easy if you shop around. Have a few, more expensive base pieces, and then save on budget-buy knick-knacks and beautiful plants.
  • Keeping a house tidy with small kids is possible if everything has a home. Clever storage is key. If everything has ‘a place’ then there is never stuff just lying around. Don’t get me wrong – my house is almost never pristine (you’ll find food crumbs and cat hair every day) but it is generally always tidy as everything goes back in its place.
  • A white base allows you to add whatever colour you want through furnishings. I start off with a white base and then add different shades of grey and black with pops of colour to add some life. I lean towards using green in my living room, introduced through my indoor plants. It just allows me to mix things up and change the look of the room with only a few new pieces.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new and go against the latest trend. I designed and created Arden’s room on my own and it was completely different to anything being done at the time, and I love it!

Words by: Debbie Harrison. Photography by: Jackie Meiring.