This English Home’s Had a Total Transformation — From Smelly to Stunning

published Jul 7, 2023
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This English Home’s Had a Total Transformation — From Smelly to Stunning

published Jul 7, 2023
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Five years ago, when interior designer Imogen Woodage and her fiancé, Alex Marshall, initially toured their two-bedroom Manchester, England home, it wasn’t because they were overly excited to see it. 

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“We actually only viewed our home because another home we had made an offer on had fallen through; it was near where we worked, so we could nip over on lunch and just viewed it out of frustration of the other sale not going to plan,” Woodage writes. 

It’s fair that Woodage and Marshall were a little hesitant about the home. Not only was the 871-square-foot space sitting on the market for three months, but there were also some undesirable qualities. 

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"The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms as it was the biggest transformation, and we lived with no kitchen for three months," writes Woodage. "The novelty of just being able to run a tap and make a cup of tea, and wash up in the sink and not outside has still not worn off."

“It was dated, [it] smelled, had an awful kitchen, every wall needed filling and re-plastering in some cases, and all the carpet needed replacing,” Woodage shares. “Nicotine stained the ceilings.”

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"Renovating whilst working full time, the constant juggle of being desperate to finish jobs within limited time scales," was a challenge for Woodage and her partner. "Dealing with certain trades, getting them to come when they say they will and finish the job on time! Budget is always a consideration, but I set out a list at the start of every year/month and priorities of what we wanted to spend money on each month, what needs saving for and work through the list slowly."

Fast forward to now — with the home’s preserved original details, like the parquet floor and Victorian fireplace, and the couple’s stunning cosmetic updates — and you’d never believe that the space was in the state it once was. 

“My aim was always to create a home that feels comfortable, welcoming, cheerful, well-organized, tidy, and where people feel they can just pop over unannounced and curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea,” Woodage writes. “I am drawn to soft colors, blues, greens, pinks, and warm and soft tones.”



  • Hallway — Farrow & Ball, “Oxford Stone” on the walls & down pipe on the wood work & doors
  • Lounge —Dulux, “Niagara Blues 2”
  • Dining room — Craig & Rose “Chalky White” & paneling is Farrow & Ball, “Oxford Stone” 
  • Kitchen — Valspar, Color matched to Farrow & Ball, “Oval Room Blue”
  • Landing — Farrow & Ball, “Oxford Stone” on the walls & down pipe on the wood work & doors
  • Primary bedroom — Graham & Brown, “Knockout”
  • Spare bedroom — Craig & Rose, “Pullman Green”
  • Bathroom — Little Green, “French Grey”


  • Storage cabinet — IKEA
  • Basket — Homesense
  • Cushion — French Connection Home 
  • Mirrors — Cox & Cox 
  • Wall hooks — H&M Home 
  • Rug — 
  • Handmade air-dry clay vase — H&M Home
  • Lamp — Pookey Lights 


  • Sofa — Homebird Interiors
  • Armchair —
  • Mirror — William Wood Mirrors
  • Scatter cushions —, Zara Home
  • Wood shelves — Funky Chunky Furniture 
  • Accessories — H&M Home, Sostrene Greene, Habitat, Oliver Bonas 
  • Pouffe — IKEA, upholstered in Nordic Nest fabric 
  • Shutters — Apple Blinds 
  • Pendant light — Dunelm Mill 


  • Dining room table — Next
  • Dining chairs — Cult Furniture, Sostrene Greene, IKEA 
  • Desk — La Redoute 
  • Desk chair — Homesense 
  • Wall prints — Etsy 
  • Mini bar — DIY
  • Mirror — William Wood Mirrors
  • Wood shelf — Funky Chunky Furniture
  • Accessories — Sostrene Greene, H&M Home 
  • Peg board — Peg & Board 
  • Ceiling light — Wayfair


  • Kitchen cupboards — Homebase
  • Breakfast bar — Homebase
  • Bar stools — Dunelm Mill 
  • Wood shelves — Funky Chunky Furniture 
  • Accessories — Sostrene Greene, Garden Trading, Homesense
  • Wall clock — Newgate Clocks
  • Book rack — Garden Trading 
  • Pantry jars — IKEA, Sostrene Greene, Eden & Willow
  • Laudary print — Desenio 
  • Pendant lights — Garden Trading 
  • Fridge — Smeg 
  • Washing machine curtain — DIY from H&M Home 
  • Basket — Habitat 


  • Bed — Marks & Spencer
  • Wardrobes — IKEA 
  • Dressing table — IKEA
  • Stool — Dunelm Mill 
  • Bench — IKEA
  • Baskets — Dunelm Mill 
  • Prints — Desenio 
  • Frames — Dunelm Mill 
  • Rug — French Connection Home 
  • Storage cabinet — Sostrene Greene 
  • Wood shelf — Funky Chunky Furniture 
  • Ceiling light —


  • Bed — Wayfair
  • Chest of drawers — IKEA 
  • Desk — Vasagle Furniture
  • Chair — Sostrene Greene
  • Prints — Desenio 
  • Little shelf hooks — DIY 
  • Wood shelf — Funky Chunky Furniture 
  • Ceiling light — Iconic Lights 
  • Lamp — Asda / George Home
  • Bedding — Homesense 


  • Mirror — B&M 
  • Reeded film on shower screen — Glass Films eu 
  • Stool — Pretty Little Home 
  • Pink towel — H&M Home 
  • Glass bottles — Etsy 

Thanks, Imogen and Alex!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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