12 March 2021

Lockdown DIY Projects


We have all been spending so much time in our homes in last year looking at all the things we want to change.  Rather than putting up with the same décor some people have been inspired to take on lockdown DIY projects.  With so much spare time on our hands it has been the perfect opportunity for some to get stuck in.

We have been finding out how some locals have transformed their homes to better suit their post-lock down life.

Home Is Where The Art Is

Coleraine art teacher Alison Best’s side passion is interior design. During lockdown she directed her interiors talent towards her home near Portrush. She has transformed her spare room into a design studio and home office for remote teaching.  Post lock-down Alison hopes to run an interior design business from home in her new studio!

The spare room was used to dump all sorts of stuff and had not been decorated for at least 18 years.  Firstly Alison gutted the room, wallpapered the ceiling and painted the doors and skirting boards a midnight blue.  Secondly she upcycled an old shelving unit from her daughter’s bedroom and turned it into a desk with storage underneath.

Alison has no fear of rolling up her sleeves and giving all sorts of DIY a go.   As well as doing all her own painting and wallpapering she also added character to her hallway and bedroom with some very on-trend panelling.

Alison and her family live in a four bedroom detached house and the interior design has been noticed by the producers of the RTE TV show ‘Home of the Year”. They may feature it in the next series. Check out more of Alison’s style on Instagram @alibest2.


Many of us have had to make space to work from home during the pandemic. Andrew Jones used this opportunity to turn his spare room into a fantastic working from home office.

Andrew normally makes a weekly commute to London but the lockdown meant he has been able to stay at home in Belfast in the home he has painstakingly restored over the last 2 years.

Andrew’s spare room was, like many others, a dumping ground, so he started with the hard work of clearing it out.  He then thought he would just give it a lick of paint and position the desk and chair. 

However, when looking in boxes in the garage that had never been unpacked since he moved in, Andrew found inspiration for his office décor.  He found his collections of memorabilia and “boys toys” to personalise his man-cave!

He now has a display cabinet for his prized model car collection. And his vintage James Bond movie posters motivated his wife to buy him a leather tub chair, as seen in Spectre, which sits in his new reading nook.

Andrew also used wallpaper with a map of London on it as a nod to where he normally spends his working week.   So after all this hard work Andrew has a very stylish office and his prized toys have been spared being hidden in the attic.

Boys Toys

Lyndsey and Neill Brett from Magheralin cleared out 12 years of junk from their attic to transform it into a playroom for their 12-year-old twins Isaac and Reuben.

The couple, who live in a detached house in the village, created a space their boys could escape to and relax after a long day of home schooling.

With two family holidays cancelled because of the pandemic, Lyndsey says the extra cash they saved gave them the opportunity to do their attic conversion.

The first challenge was clearing out a rather packed attic, but Lydnsey was ruthless and filled 2 skips with the clutter.

They added 2 new Velux windows, added heating, lighting, flooring and plastered the walls.  The work started in October and was ready for the big reveal for the boys on Christmas Day!

The room is now a cool teenager’s annex with a pool table, table tennis, games consoles and a bed settee.

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