11 September 2017 | Making a space a home | Back to Blog

Making a space a home – the pinterest way

Nicola is a property guardian in one of the #Cosmohomemade houses and tells us her DIY experience of turning a tired space into her gorgeous retreat

I think there are two types of people that make a happy guardian – the ones who don’t need everything to look perfect or the ones who love to make a space pretty! I am one of the latter so the opportunity to go into a property with a lot of potential to look beautiful is exciting to me.

When we first were invited to look around the ‘Home, Made’ Dot Dot Dot Cosmo house, the thing that struck me the most was the size of all the bedrooms! They were all huge. Three of the five that came to the viewing signed up there and then. One of the first questions I asked was “Can I rip up the carpet?” It was blue….a horribly dark, stained and tired carpet with blu-tack blue walls. It felt sad and cold and in need of some love. Previously, the property had been used as a hostel so all of the bedrooms have little sinks. There is also a huge garden.

My room overlooks the front of the property and has two large windows that allow the sun to bathe the room in gorgeous afternoon light. On the day we received our keys, my housemate Sophie and I excitedly ripped up our carpets and pulled down the old net curtains, chucking them gleefully out of the window into the back garden. The makeover had begun.






I am a massive Pinterest fan and have boards for everything: recipes, art I like, things I want to make etc. If you click on the images they go through to the site they originate on. I have a board for interior decorating and this helped me know exactly what I wanted my room to look like. I had also begun making a wishlist on Pinterest for Holly, the Cosmo stylist, as we were all allowed to ask for some furniture for our rooms. I didn’t need furniture so I pinned a few little bits like lamps and plants and rugs that I liked. I find Pinterest helps so much when you think you don’t really know what your style, the room comes together as you pin different bits and pieces together.

I had found some matte white paint on the street the day before so Sophie and I started erratically painting any wall in our reach just so we could start getting rid of the blue and see what it could look like. The next day I went to Tottenham Hale retail park with some paint vouchers that Cosmo had kindly given us stuffed in my pocket. I was on a mission to shop. I got some lovely rose gold things from the Asda home store and stocked up on bits like a mop and a bucket, a broom, dustpan and brush a french bulldog toilet brush holder…. you know, the necessities. After pretty much buying something from every shop and asking the poor lady at the Asda store to look after everything behind the counter for me, I went over to B&Q.

I wanted to buy an electric sander instead of renting one so we could just all use it to do the house rather than spend 80 quid a day to rent one. I don’t mind spending money on tools (or quirky toilet brushes) as they’re always good to have. After staring at the sanders for a while with less clue than Cher (come on guys..clueless) a builder took pity on me and advised me what to buy. Laden with my band sander, goggles, dust mask, floor paint and two pots of wall paint, I waddled back to Asda to pick up the rest of my stuff and piled an UBER to the brim.


Over the course of five days I painted my walls, sanded my floor and then painted it. I was still staying at my previous guardian property which helped as it’s easier to do an empty room. I am now all settled in and I love my room so much! We still have the hallways to sort out and I made a start on clearing the overgrown garden today but it already feels so homely already. My housemates are lovely. I think Dot Dot Dot especially attracts nice guardians as all are the kind of people that are up for volunteering.

Some people wonder why bother making a space nice if you don’t know how long you’ll be there but for me, I like a challenge and I like learning new things. One of the massive pro’s about being a guardian for me aside from the cheap rent is the fact that you’re allowed to make it your own. In my last guardian property, I laid wooden floors after watching a youtube tutorial and in this house I’ve learnt how to prepare wooden floorboards. DIY for me feels empowering and I don’t think we should ever stop learning. I love to have creative projects and nice surroundings make me feel calm and happy. I also like to live in the present. We could have to leave in three months or we might be here three years. I could even die tomorrow and if I do they’ll say she had a bloody nice room!


It’s really great to see our property guardians making the space they occupy into a proper home as well as using it as an opportunity to make friends with new housemates. Inspired? Check out the spaces you could make into a home here.