Sarah Turner is a mother of three, Sunday Times bestseller and renovation extraordinaire (All hail Queen Sarah).
You may know Sarah from her fantastic and very funny home renovation Instagram account @theturnerhouseproject. She has a huge following of 99,000 people, who love to keep up-to-date with her renovation story (that’s pretty impressive!)
Sarah has spent the 18-months balancing a career, a family and completing a full home renovation, with the help of her husband, James – Thus started her extremely popular renovation tales.
Back in 2018, the Turners decided to take on the mammoth task of buying a do-er upper and knocking it back to brick, room by room, to create their dream family home.
We were eager to find out why Sarah decided to take on a renovation of this size. With such busy schedules, we were in owe of Sarah & James’ determination and hard work to create a beautiful home for their family to enjoy.
Keep on reading to see Sarah’s new home and find out how she found the renovation process…
What made you want to take on a renovation of this size?
“Several factors influenced our decision to buy a ‘do-er upper’ and renovate it but probably the biggest one was cost. We had our heart set on living on the road we’re now on but would never have been able to afford a ‘done’ house so took on board the advice we’d heard on Location, Location, Location many years ago to ‘buy the worst house on the best street.”
“Absolutely everything needed doing but we braced ourselves for the challenge, keeping the end goal of our dream family home in mind. If money was no object, we would have done a double storey extension and created an extra bedroom upstairs (two of our boys share) but you have to draw the line somewhere, we simply couldn’t afford to build out at the back and go up.”
How has life been since the renovation?
“It’s been bliss! There is still a fair amount of work to do (and sometimes I wonder if it will ever end) but the main living space is finished now and it has made a huge different to our lives. We hosted Christmas dinner for thirteen people and that’s something we’d never have been able to do before. It’s just nice to have the extra space.”
The Turner House Project – Kitchen area
Talk us through your home interior style…
“I’m not sure I have a defined home interior style but there are definitely things I like (and don’t like quite so much!). I’m a big fan of bright, airy spaces – which is why we’ve used a lot of white paint – but I also like pops of bright colours, so the house feels homely and lived-in (and not clinical!). I obsess over vintage furniture too. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way after painting our entire living-room, including woodwork, in very dark blue that I just don’t like dark colours. They look amazing on Instagram and in other people’s houses, but I don’t enjoy living in them. I won’t be making that mistake again.”
The living room ft Sarah’s navy despair
What has been the biggest challenge?
“The biggest challenge was staying in the house throughout all the renovation work. We had no kitchen (and no running water downstairs) for over two months and lived without an oven for six months. The novelty of microwave meals and everyone sitting on top of each other in one room soon wore off … Not to mention the dust. Unless you have been there, it’s very difficult to explain just how dusty it is when you’re knocking walls down.”
Let’s talk bathrooms
“The extension has allowed us to go from having one bathroom upstairs to now also having a shower room downstairs. The extra toilet is extremely handy with three children and it’s been a really valuable part of the renovation.”
Sarah’s x Big Bathroom Shop collab
How did you come to a final decision on your bathroom design and décor?
“We knew early on that we wanted the bathroom to be modern in style after having gone for something more traditional in the bathroom upstairs. After lots of browsing other people’s bathrooms we decided on a monochrome ‘theme’ with white tiles and black fixings. The black shower door and tap were the first things we chose, everything else was sort of built around those.”
Are you happy with the outcome?
“We’re really happy. It’s a pleasure to go in there!!!”
What was your favourite bathroom product?
“I’m torn between the shower and the tap but I think the tap might just have the edge. I admire it every time I wash my hands.”
What advice would you pass onto people considering a renovation?
“Don’t do it! I’m just kidding. Keep your eyes on the prize and decide early on what you’re prepared to compromise on and what you’re not. It’ll be worth it in the end (even though you will want to kill anyone who tells you this when you’re eating microwaveable mash potato and going to the gym just to have a wash). ”
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Rikki has a passion for interior design and an even bigger passion for writing about it. When she isn’t writing about gorgeous bathroom interiors, you’ll find her discovering all of the latest trends.