Girl, 12, transforms her family home in seven days for just £50

Girl, 12, transforms her family home in seven days for just £50 in between home schooling – and even used a power drill and handsaw (with only a little help from her mum and brother)

  • Susie Levache, 47, from Kent, told how 12-year-old daughter transformed home
  • Bea had developed her DIY skills, including using a power drill and a handsaw 
  • Before and after photos shared to Facebook received hundreds of comments

A mother has revealed how her 12-year-old daughter transformed their home in seven days for just £50 in between home schooling lessons during lockdown.

Susie Levache, 47, from Kent, said Bea developed her DIY skills – including using a power drill and a handsaw – by redecorating the utility room, stairs and office, as well as designing a feature wall.

The portrait photographer said Bea was ‘a natural’ and did a ‘blinding job’ – and before and after photos which she shared to Facebook received thousands of positive comments. 


Susie Levache, 47, from Kent, told how her 12-year-old daughter transformed their home into a chic and stylish living space during lockdown. Susie encouraged Bea to decorate the stairs (pictured left before and right after) with black panelling using the assistance of her brother Ted – totally unsupervised after seeing how well she had done on their home office

Susie showed her daughter Bea (pictured) how to correctly cut MDF strips to decorate floors and walls in their home office and utility room 

Susie added that she and Bea’s brother Ted, 15, also lent a hand, and the family aims to reuse as much as possible, so only needed to buy a few extra items from eBay for the projects.

Writing about the home office transformation, Susie said: ‘I usually tackle all the DIY projects alone, but my 12-year-old daughter took an interest and actually I figured I had a lot of time on my hands to rectify anything she might damage.

‘Turns out after telling her to just go for it, she’s a natural and did a blinding job – with direction she did this herself. She was VERY handy with a handsaw.

‘We just used some thin MDF strips, paint and a roll of wallpaper to transform my office.’

Susie added: ‘I supervised and told her how to use the spirit level and how to measure and cut the MDF strips we had. 


The office was decorated using some thin MDF strips, paint and a roll of wallpaper. The office panelling took just a few hours to do and the following day to paint. Pictured, the home office before it was renovated left, and right after

Susie said they have been as resourceful as possible during lockdown. She is pictured with daughter Bea 


Susie said she had been steadily renovating the family’s 1970s semi-detached house for 10 months, and decided to use the time at home to give the plans a boost. The only purchase they’ve made during pandemic has been kitchen handles used in the utility room. Pictured: Susie’s utility room before and after the renovation

‘She was really nervous to begin with as she was worried that she would mess up.

‘The room was gloomy and hadn’t really been used properly for ages anyway so she had nothing to lose – then there was no stopping her!

‘This gave her the confidence to just go for it and after the first two panels she then did the rest alone.’

Susie watched as Bea successfully marked, levelled, glued, pinned and added a dado rail before filing the room ready for painting.

The office panelling took just a few hours to do and the following day to paint.


Bea had developed her DIY skills, including using a power drill and a handsaw, to transform the home 

Susie said she had been steadily renovating the family’s 1970s semi-detached house for 10 months, and decided to use the time at home to give the plans a boost.

She homeschools Bea and Ted in the mornings, but after week two of lockdown, the children seemed ‘bored’ – so she asked them to help with DIY projects in the afternoon.

Susie told FEMAIL they have been as resourceful as possible during lockdown by using things, such as paint, that they already had in the shed and loft. The only purchase they’ve made during pandemic has been kitchen handles. 

 Susie watched as Bea successfully marked, levelled, glued, pinned and added a dado rail before filing the home office ready for painting 

Susie added that the family DIY projects haven’t just resulted in an incredible home transformation – it has also helped Bea’s confidence. She is pictured working on their home office 

The family’s stairs were decorated with statement art pieces following the renovation 

After seeing how the new home office looked, Susie encouraged Bea to decorate the stairs with black panelling using the assistance of her brother Ted – totally unsupervised.

They also did the living room; Susie said: ‘We used up some old tester pots I had to stencil and hand-paint an accent wall in a funky animal print design. She had the patience of a saint for hand-painting that job!’

Then the family moved onto the kitchen utility room makeover, which had the floor completed before lockdown but still required a lot of work.

Susie said: ‘The room was full of orange pine. I taught Bea how to use the drill and change the drill bits and how to use the little work bench.

Then the family moved onto their living room, which had one of it’s walls transformed by Bea 

Bea helped to apply a stylish hand-painted leopard print feature to a wall in the living  room

The space was transformed  by the wall and the family added brand new black shelves and a stylish clock 

‘She filled the existing drawer holes, drilled new holes and put in different drawer pulls. They look fantastic!

‘The whole room was then transformed with chalk paint (Frenchic) so all of it including the handles came to about £45 – we loved the end result.’

Bea spent three days redecorating the room.

Susie wrote about her achievement on Facebook in a post that was liked nearly 9,000 times. She shared: ‘We had a grim “dumping ground” utility room to part renovate – I showed her how to use a power drill at the weekend (very confident).

Bea added a dado rail to the bottom of one of their home office walls before painting it pastel pink and decorating it with various art pieces

Their stylish home office included statement wallpaper and a pink and black colour scheme 

The duo also used their DIY expertise to transform an old broken rattan table for the family’s dreamy outdoor terrace 

‘My daughter customised the fronts of the drawers (looked easy but was tricky) then we used leftover paint to repaint the cupboards.

‘We also made little initial blackboard effect plaques from leftover MDF, paint and glue – then aged them for the laundry baskets.

‘As before, if my 12-year-old and I can do this – ANYONE can do this.’

The duo also used their DIY expertise to transform an old broken rattan table for the family’s dreamy outdoor terrace.

Bea used leftover tiles to create a stunning mosaic on the table before placing the original glass on the top to finish.

Their utility room and kitchen area included quirky modern decor with dark green walls and some matching furniture 

The tiles for the garden table were left over from previous tiling where the family had purchased the amount needed including spares for breakages – and luckily, there were none.

Susie said: ‘The table now has pride of place on our terrace. During lockdown, we have taken all the blankets out, sat by the fire and drank hot chocolate in the cosy haven.

‘It’s definitely a makeover we are proud of. It was probably around £20 if somebody wanted to have a go at upcycling.

‘It’s comforting that all the blood, sweat and tears that went into the planning, faffing and upkeep of the terrace garden – that it is enjoyed by everyone.’

Susie posted her DIY successes online and received hundreds of questions from parents wanting to do the same with their kids – so she created an Instagram account dedicated to sharing her tips and decorating secrets.

Their utility room was decorated with personalised home accessories for each family member with a pastel colour scheme 

She added: ‘We have been staggered by the reaction. Some of the posts have had thousands of likes. We’ve also had some great messages from carpenters and builders lending advice which has been terrific.’

Susie added that the family DIY projects haven’t just resulted in an incredible home transformation – it has also helped Bea’s confidence.

She said: ‘I was always a creative child and my daughter thought she didn’t have any skills before lockdown, I hope this will give her confidence that it’s all there. She just needed to believe she could do it!

‘Initially she was quite timid about using the power tools and things, but now she’s so proud of what she’s achieved.

‘Pre-lockdown I would never have thought to include Bea in my work – this period has really shown me that children are far more capable than we may think.’

The family’s six-week complete ‘spring fling’ came after Susie decided to decorate the house.

Susie homeschools Bea and Ted in the mornings, but after week two of lockdown, the children seemed ‘bored’, so she asked them to help with DIY projects in the afternoon. The pair are pictured working on the stairs 

Despite transforming numerous rooms in the house, Susie said their DIY endeavours are not fully complete just yet and they are already working on bedroom renovations. Bea is pictured sanding wooden panelling 

She revealed in a recent social media post: ‘No more white box. My husband has zero interest in DIY and interiors which leaves me in charge!’

Despite transforming numerous rooms in the house, Susie said their DIY endeavours are not fully complete just yet.

She revealed: ‘We’re going to gold leaf some furniture and hopefully the last thing will be to make a brick wall.

‘Then we will finally do Bea’s bedroom which she is designing at the moment by researching colour swatches and looking on Pinterest.

‘This whole thing has made her a lot more involved and she is excited to plan her post-lockdown bedroom renovation.’

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