Nuala Campbell was stuck in lockdown with ideas brimming on a new project.
A make-up artist, designer and former accountant, she delved deep into her skill set and with a £10,000 renovation and decoration budget, she turned a £210,000 house into a £280,000 home with a lot of hard graft.
Now estate agents and home sellers are calling on her to stage their properties to show them at their best too.
Today Nuala, from the Ormeau Rd area, is the owner of one of Belfast’s most individual Airbnbs and says handing the keys over to strangers every few days can be a wrench until she knows they’re going to look after it.
She said: “I took on an apparently ready-renovated Victorian terrace house in South Belfast, and few people could see what I was going to do to improve it.
“I was told it was ready to rent out as an Airbnb or sell on but I thought this lovely old house had had such a severe facelift, all of its charm was hidden and it felt pretty bland.
“So I decided to give it back some personality, strip back the 50 shades of grey I found lurking everywhere and what I found beneath the plastic and plaster was a timeless beauty.
“I managed to buy the house for £210,000 and after I finished my renovation I had it valued again with all the renovation work and decor, now it’s valued at £280,000 which is incredible.
“I spent about £10,000 on all the decoration, paintwork, furniture, and basic DIY, sourcing almost every piece of furniture from the Marketplace on Facebook, second-hand shops and auction sites. the new stuff I needed like the bathroom basin, I got for £180 from manomano and I source new handles and tiles online.
“The blessing was the team of workmen who helped me get to the very basics of the house and start again.
“In the end it’s No20 is a unique home that I want people to enjoy – but knowing how much work went into everything, and knowing it cannot be replicated, I get a surge of anxiety when new people come to stay.
“I feel if they like the house and what I’ve done with it, then hopefully they will enjoy it and be respectful and I can learn to relax.”
To check availability see airbnb.com/h/welcome-to-number20 or visit Nuala on Insta @oh.for.the.love.of.furniture