The “half-price” home renovators who created a £13,000 kitchen for £1,000 share their tips

Husband and wife Mark Kelly and Kelly Kelly’s DIY duo are so passionate about money-saving home renovations that they started a company that helps people get the best deals.

Mark and Kelly of Tyldesley are trying to save money on everything they buy – packing up online listings and searching the Facebook marketplace, eBay, and Gumtree.

They also taught themselves how to do a lot of DIY tasks like tiling and carpentry to cut labor costs.

The couple created their stunning kitchen in their family home in the style of a kitchen they had seen in a well known kitchen store that had a regular unit retail price of £ 8,000 for just £ 500 – after getting a bargain on online marketplace Gumtree.

Mark said, “We are obsessed with saving money – my wife will tell you that, frankly, I’m tighter than a cramp.

“We found the kitchen units at Gumtree for just £ 500 and when they showed up they had all the appliances we couldn’t believe it. It was in right condition because it was ex display but we cleaned it up and you would never know it wasn’t new when we finished. “

They found the gray tiles for sale on a local Facebook group – they got four boxes for £ 20 – half the price of the same style at Wickes.

And Mark created the island unit after trading a local vendor for two lengths of solid oak that went from 150 pounds to 100 pounds.

The kitchen was a bargain from Gumtree

Flooring was bought at full price – but with a savings on bulk purchases as they also needed tiles for other rooms in their home.

They estimate the total cost of the finished kitchen, including its time, to be £ 1,200 – a massive saving over what they believe would have cost more than £ 13,000 over full cost.

Mark, 48, and Kelly, 44, are professional entertainers who put on magic and music shows at live venues and holiday parks. When the lockdown began in March 2020, their entire work schedule was suspended overnight.

To keep them busy, they turned to their DIY skills instead. They soon realized that there was a business in their ethos – mixing bargain hunting with clever design – and launched Rooms Reloved to help other people furnish rooms on a tight budget.

They want to buy everything they need for home renovations at half price or less by comparing, swapping, or bulk buying for the biggest discounts.

Mark says: “When there was a lockdown, everything just stopped for us as professional entertainers and presenters. We had to look at what else we can do and use whatever skills we have.

“I’ve taught myself DIY skills over the years by shadowing local builders and youtube videos here and there while Kelly watches every design and makeover show on TV and lives online looking for new ideas, before I start work so that we both choose as much, really, as best as possible. “

Mark Kelly and wife Kelly Kelly in their kitchen

The deal has been so successful that it has now caught the attention of TV producers who believe the mix of room remodeling on a tight budget could be a ratings winner.

They are passionate about helping other homeowners find the best bargains and passing on their own DIY and design skills to keep the cost of interior design work as low as possible.

Mark and Kelly live at home in Tyldesley with their three children Leah, 15, Beth, 11 and Logan, 4.

Kelly says, “With Lockdown, people are fed up with being trapped in their own homes and want a change. We say this is possible if you edit one room at a time.

Before and After Mark and Kelly Kelly’s Kitchen Transformation

“We help our customers find everything they need when they don’t have the time or budget. We help them use social media, find the best deals, and teach them how to bargain in stores.”

Mark adds, “We’re also looking at where you can try selling your unwanted items to get some of your budget back.”

The duo, previously featured on the Coach Trip TV show, believe there are legs in a new style of makeover TV show that mirrors the times we live in to get the most out of limited budgets .

Mark said, “There have been a lot of TV makeover shows where a production company comes in and buys all the nice furniture and expensive wallpaper, but it doesn’t teach the homeowner the skills to make changes in the future.

Mark and Kelly Kelly

“We want to give people the confidence to freshen up their homes. We encourage them to try things out for themselves.”

Her top tips include constant shopping. Often times, even if you can find an item at a specific store you like, looking online, you can find something similar at a cheaper price or second hand on the Facebook marketplace or local Facebook groups in the area you live.

Here’s a look at some other makeovers Mark and Kelly recently completed in Swinton and Astley.

Bathroom makeover

Bathroom in front

Mark and Kelly turned this tired pink bathroom into a sleek and modern white tiled shower room.

Total spending: £ 699.07

(High Street expenses would have been): £ 1,175.75

Total Savings: £ 476.68

Bathroom after

All Faucets (Bath & Shower Mixer Taps & Single Sink Faucet – EBAY £ 59.99 (B & Q £ 120 for all)

Sandringham Sink & Pedestal & Plugs – City Plumbing £ 79.08 (B&Q price for all £ 102.87)

Toilet – (Sandringham 21) – Facebook Market Place £ 50 cash (B & Q £ 130)

Tile (white metro tile) & edging & adhesive – Wickes £ 141.73 (B & Q / Topps £ 184)

Grout 2 sachets – Wickes £ 24.99

Shower Riser Rail – Screwfix (Cooke & Lewis) £ 25 (B&Q £ 33)

Shower curtain rod – Screwfix £ 10 – (B & Q £ 18)

Bathroom panel 6mm MDF – Wickes £ 9.29

Color (Gray Chic Shade) – B & Ms £ 15

White Silicone Sealant – Screwfix £ 3.99 (B & Ms £ 6.99 B & Q £ 9.47)

Plumber – ( £ 250 (Other listings between £ 500 – £ 650)

Venetian blind, mirror, shower curtain (B & Ms & The Range) £ 30

Bedroom makeover

Mark and Kelly were tasked with giving this bedroom a vibrant freshen up, and they say you shouldn’t be afraid to use pops of color to create a fun new look in your home.

Total cost: £ 387.44

(High Street expenses would have been): £ 870.43

Total Savings: £ 482.99

Paint – B&M (Dulux Lush Lime & Dulux Chic Shadow and Leyland White Matt Emulsion – £ 43.95 – Stock So Reduced!)

Supa Wall Filler x 3 Boxes – B&M £ 15 (£ 5 for large boxes)

Duvet – EBAY £ 12.99 (Wayfair £ 18.99)

Ikea Hemnes 6 Drawer – Gumtree £ 50 (Ikea £ 199)

Ikea Brimnes Triple Wardrobe – Facebook Marketplace (NEW) £ 60 (Ikea £ 150)

Ikea Kallax 4 Regal Bookcase – Ebay £ 10 (IKEA £ 45)

Bedroom before (left) and after (right)

Pillow x 4 – Dunelm £ 30

Lighter shade – Dunelm £ 20

Wicker Chair – Facebook Marketplace £ 10 (JD Williams £ 39)

Nightstand – Wayfair £ 45

Large Willow / Branch Heart – Harrison Cropper online £ 49 (Wayfair £ 179.99)

Ikea Orchid & Pot – Facebook Marketplace £ 5 (Ikea £ 15)

Curtains – Facebook Marketplace NEW £ 15 (Dunelm £ 35)

Curtain rod – B&M £ 7 (reduced as screws were missing)

Vase & Flowers – Country Basket Astley £ 11

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