A mum splashed out an eye-watering £50,000 on turning her entire home into a "pink paradise".
Mum Gemma Markland, 30, spent months trawling shops for pink and rose gold furnishings before she had even bought her first house.
It was a £330,000 four bedroom detached property in Wigan, Greater Manchester in September 2019.
Gemma now lives in her pink palace with her husband, Kyle, 28, who works in sales and her daughter, Grace, 10, from a previous relationship.
Delighted with her rose coloured theme throughout – seen everywhere from the wallpaper to the chairs and lampshades – her Instagram page, following her progress, has almost 100,000 fans, and attracts around 600 new followers a day.
Gemma said: “I must have spent about £50,000 on accessories and furnishings to make my house 100 per cent pink.
“I do try to save where I can, though, so everything has been DIY. For the past 11 months, we have dedicated spare moments, like evenings and weekends, to redecorating.
“Kyle laughs at me, as I will happily spend £1,000 on a table to make sure it’s the perfect shade of pink, but I won’t pay for someone to do our wallpapering.”
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Gemma, who owns her own company making bespoke bridal gowns, has given a whole new meaning to "putting your own stamp on a place" after years of having her creative flair stifled by tenancy agreements restricting redecoration, when she lived in rented accommodation.
She continued: “Everything when I rented was grey – it wasn’t me at all.”
So when, in early 2019, she and Kyle had their offer of £330,000 accepted on their current home, months before moving in, her mind turned to decorating.
And she only had one hue in mind.
“I’ve always loved pink – but the blush and rose gold tones, rather than the Barbie bubblegum pink,” she explained.
“Kyle and I even had a blush and rose gold colour scheme at our wedding so, of course, there was only one colour I wanted to decorate our first home.
“At first, he wasn’t on board with living in a pink house, so I told him it’d just be Grace’s bedroom and my office.
“As soon as I started buying accessories, though, he changed his mind. Everybody always asks me how I got my husband to agree to live in this pink paradise, but he likes it and thinks it looks great.”
After meticulously scouring furniture and home accessory stores, Gemma accumulated an impressive array of pink treasures.
She continued: “It took me months. I built things up bit by bit, buying things I liked whenever I saw them.
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“Because I was working to such a strict theme, I was quite limited with where we could shop.
“I usually searched by colour first, then looked within those results for things I liked. On a couple of occasions, I fell in love with a piece of furniture that didn’t come in pink, so I bought it anyway then spray painted it.
“I found some paint from B&Q that was the perfect rose gold shade.”
Given that she did everything herself, with some help from her family, Gemma’s renovation progressed remarkably quickly.
Just before moving in, she set up an Instagram page called The Markland Home – mostly so she could have a place to keep her photos and look back on how far she had come.
To her surprise, her picture diary went down a storm, gathering followers in their thousands, who flocked to her page to see what she would post next.
“I still can’t quite believe I’m at nearly 100,000 followers,” she said. “I never thought I’d even get 1,000.
“I wanted to show people what the reality of buying and decorating a new build was like, but I think the fact my house is completely pink is really unique and catches people’s eyes when they’re scrolling.
“People tell me my pictures are very aesthetically pleasing, which makes me happy, as the showroom look is exactly what I was going for.
“Grace absolutely loves it, too, and is always telling people to follow me.”
Gemma is delighted with her furniture, which mostly comes from Ikea and her soft furnishings, which are from a wide range of stores, but her favourite spot in the house is her dressing room.
As well as a pink carpet, rug, plush chair and several stylish decorations, it also houses a huge wardrobe, with all her perfectly presented blush-toned clothes on display.
She also loves the pink marble-effect wallpaper in her bedroom, bought online from Wallpaper Sales, and her blush-toned sofa.
“Because I display my pink clothes and pack everything else away in drawers, it looks like I have a 100 per cent pink wardrobe,” she said.
“Actually, I don’t wear as much pink as you’d think. I’m not quite at that level yet – I’ve got blue jeans and dark t shirts like everybody else.
“Similarly, I posted a picture of my car not long ago, which is blue and I got so many comments saying how surprised people were that I didn’t have a pink car.”
Now, Gemma is looking forward to the remaining jobs she has to do to make her home perfect, which include replacing her silver range cooker and knocking through a wall, to make the dining area more open plan.
“That’s my next project. I’ve got the bug for it now,” she said, adding that she estimates she will be finished next month.
“There is a certain sense of pride that comes with looking back and knowing we did all this ourselves."