Couple transforms their “dirty” social apartment in six years

A caregiver has revealed how she transformed her “dirty” two-bedroom apartment into a comfortable home after saving money for key purchases.

Abby Dunsmure, 26, moved into the apartment in Helensburgh, Scotland, with her husband Stuart, 25, six years ago after a spell of homelessness.

Back then, they relied only on Stuart’s paycheck, had no furniture except a bed, and had to take out payday loans to purchase key items like a refrigerator.

Today, Abby and Stuart both have full-time jobs, pay the rent on their apartment and have spent a total of £ 6,000 to improve their home.

They upgraded the bathroom for just £ 60, refreshed the kitchen by £ 40, and invested in pieces like the £ 1,000 sofa and £ 350 coffee table, all while purchasing accessories from TK Maxx and Dunelm.

Front bedroom: Abby Dunsmure, 26, moved into the apartment in Helensburgh, Scotland, with her husband Stuart, 25, six years ago after a spell of homelessness. The only furniture they had was a bed, pictured, which was located in a filthy room with a broken floor

Room after: Over time, the couple saved up to improve their home, making it more comfortable and welcoming.  Abby and Stuart added a plush rug and a stylish bed to their bedroom

Room after: Over time, the couple saved up to improve their home, making it more comfortable and welcoming. Abby and Stuart added a plush rug and a stylish bed to their bedroom

Front bathroom: The bathroom floor was stained and dirty and did not create a feeling of relaxation.  Even then, Abby was looking for intimate touches like the set of drawers pictured.

Front bathroom: The bathroom floor was stained and dirty and did not create a feeling of relaxation. Even then, Abby was looking for intimate touches like the set of drawers pictured.

Bathroom after: New flooring, storage under the sink and a new coat of paint have transformed the bathroom.  Abby and Stuart received praise on TikTok for how they changed the apartment

Bathroom after: New flooring, storage under the sink and a new coat of paint have transformed the bathroom. Abby and Stuart received praise on TikTok for how they changed the apartment

Living room before: The couple relied on one income when they first moved into the apartment and had no money to spend on upgrading walls or furniture.

Living room before: The couple relied on one income when they first moved into the apartment and had no money to spend on upgrading walls or furniture.

Living room after: The couple added a new carpet, painted the walls and decorated with classic, comfortable furniture that gives the room a sophisticated feel

Living room after: The couple added a new carpet, painted the walls and decorated with classic, comfortable furniture that gives the room a sophisticated feel

Slow and steady: Abby and Stuart, pictured, both now working full time, remodeled the apartment by replacing vinyl tile, updated the bathroom floor, and decorated with bargains in stores like TK Maxx and Dunelm, while saving money for wholesale buys like a coffee table

Slow and steady: Abby and Stuart, pictured, both now working full time, remodeled the apartment by replacing vinyl tile, updated the bathroom floor, and decorated with bargains in stores like TK Maxx and Dunelm, while saving money for wholesale buys like a coffee table

Abby showed off the makeover in a TikTok video that received over 123,000 views and 13,500 likes, with viewers applauding her for showing social housing in a positive light.

Abby said: “There is massive stigma with social housing and people on benefits. I had my apartment a few years ago now and I was homeless at the time. I found myself quite young on my own.

“My husband and I both work full time now, it’s just that we were in an unfortunate situation at the start. A lot of people have had bad things to say about council houses, but the people who live there aren’t bad. Some of them are just in sticky situations.

“It makes me angry when people judge council houses. I had a few comments because of where my apartment is – it’s in the worst part of Helensburgh.

Kitchen before: The kitchen of the HLM was simple but habitable before the transformation

Kitchen before: The kitchen of the HLM was simple but habitable before the transformation

Kitchen After: A fresh white color scheme, new flooring, and swivel handles lift the room

Kitchen After: A fresh white color scheme, new flooring, and swivel handles lift the room

“I’ve had people tell me ‘you live in Junkieville’. Because it carries a stigma, I am painted with the same brush, even though my husband and I are working.

“We are all sprayed with the same brush of being drug addicts or drug addicts when we are not. A few people that I know myself have said that. They just judge which property we are on.

Abby explained that when they moved into the apartment, they were relying solely on Stuart’s income. He found himself in debt after taking out payday loans to finance essential purchases.

She continued, “But I was able to find a full-time job and that made it easier. He paid off the debt and we were able to build the apartment, make it a house.

Nude: The front bedroom had brown carpet, plain walls, and minimal basic furnishings

Nude: The front bedroom had brown carpet, plain walls, and minimal basic furnishings

Chic: Abby worked to save money for luxurious touches like this dressing table set

Chic: Abby worked to save money for luxurious touches like this dressing table set

Cozy: At Christmas the bedroom is adorned with festive touches of red and a tartan plaid

Cozy: At Christmas the bedroom is adorned with festive touches of red and a tartan plaid

“I would definitely say that buying cheaper, like we used to do, is a waste of money because it wouldn’t last so we would rack up the savings and buy most of the furniture.

“I have found my style. I loved taking something from what we had in the beginning to what it is today – a rough diamond.

“I love to transform things and have always had a good eye for design. I was also a cleaner so I’m pretty particular in the way I like things.

“If there are city workers coming in, they see a huge change in some of the homes they walk into.

“I live in a pretty tough neighborhood, so few apartments are very beautiful, but they come to my apartment and say it’s a whole different world than the one they work in.”

Small Touches: Abby and Stuart used neutral tones to create a cohesive look throughout their home.  In the photo, a stylish mirror in a corner of their bedroom

Small Touches: Abby and Stuart used neutral tones to create a cohesive look throughout their home. In the photo, a stylish mirror in a corner of their bedroom

Now the couple, who pay full rent because they work full time, are saving up to buy their own home.

“My husband and I don’t want to get a mortgage – we want to buy a house with cash, which is why it takes so long,” said Abby.

“We wanted to buy our house without hesitation in order to have long term security and no one can take it away from us. We have been made redundant in the past.

“We are looking to buy a property from the ex-council. Council properties are of a much better quality than new construction. You get much bigger gardens.

“We never claimed any kind of benefits and we received no family help. I know people can be wrongly judged, but we’ve come this far and saved up to buy some money on our own. Stuart works 100 hours a week, including his sleepovers.

The couple were praised by TikTok fans, writing: “Absolutely gorgeous girl! I lived in public housing for eight years before I bought. Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.”

Another said: “Some communal houses are nicer than bought houses because people feel snobbish about them. I have seen beautiful reports from the town hall here.

A third added: “I have grown up all my life in a council house. My parents worked so hard and had no money. It taught me to value everything. Your house is beautiful.

Source link

About Rachael Garcia

Check Also

Why is there still a need for physical bank branches?

This is just one of the stories in our “I’ve Always Asked Myself” series, where …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *