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'Bargain hunter Nicole Herrick transformed her rental kitchen into a sleek modern space $1k

An 'avid bargain hunter' and business owner has revealed how she transformed the kitchen in her rental property for under $1,000 (Nicole Herrick pictured)

An ‘avid bargain hunter’ and business owner has revealed how she transformed the kitchen in her rental property for under $1,000 (Nicole Herrick pictured)

An ‘avid bargain hunter’ and business owner has revealed how she transformed the kitchen in her rental property for under $1,000 – and her tips to help you do the same.

Nicole Herrick, 41, from Melbourne, said she has always dreamed of having a nice kitchen, but it’s so expensive to move somewhere that has your dream setup, and because she rents she is limited with what she can and can’t do.

But, after getting permission from her landlord, Nicole said she managed to transform her dated wooden kitchen into a modern, sleek space in just six weekends – spending $953 in the process.

‘I did all of this myself for under $1k and have never done any of this before so it all about just jumping in and giving it a crack!’ she told FEMAIL.

So how did she do it?

BEFORE: Nicole Herrick, 41, from Melbourne, said she has always dreamed of having a nice kitchen, but it's so expensive to move somewhere that has your dream setup

BEFORE: Nicole Herrick, 41, from Melbourne, said she has always dreamed of having a nice kitchen, but it’s so expensive to move somewhere that has your dream setup

AFTER: But, after getting permission from her landlord, Nicole said she managed to transform her dated wooden kitchen into a modern, sleek space in just six weekends - spending $953

AFTER: But, after getting permission from her landlord, Nicole said she managed to transform her dated wooden kitchen into a modern, sleek space in just six weekends – spending $953

DURING: Firstly, Nicole said she spoke to her landlord, as you cannot do anything in Australia in a rental property without asking for permission

DURING: Firstly, Nicole said she spoke to her landlord, as you cannot do anything in Australia in a rental property without asking for permission

DURING: Once the 41-year-old had got the all clear, she set about sourcing materials and getting to work in her kitchen

DURING: Once the 41-year-old had got the all clear, she set about sourcing materials and getting to work in her kitchen

Firstly, Nicole said she spoke to her landlord.

‘In Australia, you can’t do anything in a rental without permission – not even paint or put a hook in the wall,’ she explained.

‘This is why so often so many of us don’t even think to ask.’ 

She said when she asked, she was told she could create her vision – provided she did a ‘good quality job’.

‘I think lots of owners would be more than happy to allow renters to enhance their properties, as long as they treat the home with the respect that they would their own,’ Nicole said.

BEFORE: Nicole said that so often, so many of us don't ask as we assume that we won't get permission for it

BEFORE: Nicole said that so often, so many of us don’t ask as we assume that we won’t get permission for it

AFTER: 'I think lots of owners would be more than happy to allow renters to enhance their properties, as long as they treat the home with the respect they would their own,' Nicole said

AFTER: ‘I think lots of owners would be more than happy to allow renters to enhance their properties, as long as they treat the home with the respect they would their own,’ Nicole said

Where did Nicole spend the money?

* Three slabs of Litestone – $500 – Fowles Auctions

* Paint – $250 – Bunnings Warehouse

* Tap – $20 – Gumtree (new)

* Tiles – $60 – Gumtree 

* Mastic and grout – $25 – Bunnings Warehouse

* Plasterboard, joint compound and tape – $58 – Bunnings Warehouse

* Silicone and caulk – $20 – Gumtree

* Handles – $20 – eBay (second-hand)

TOTAL = $953 

Then, the 41-year-old set about researching how she could bring her dream to life.  

‘I watched some YouTube videos and read around, she said.

‘I also drew up a visual of exactly what I wanted to do on Photoshop, so I knew how to start and what would be the end.’

Nicole said she saved money by carefully researching all the different things she would need and how she could get them cheaply:

‘My biggest spend was $500 on three slabs of Litestone from a home renovators’ auction place,’ she said. 

Everything else was bought from the likes of Bunnings Warehouse, Gumtree and second-hand on eBay. 

‘It took me six weekends to do all of it, and I did it all by myself (apart from a few things that needed lifting),’ Nicole said.

‘I smashed out the old tiles, replaced the gyprock, plastered, tiled, replaced the bench tops and cut the stone, painted the cupboards and installed new handles.’  

She added: ‘It sounds like a lot, but you actually don’t need to own a whole bunch of tools to do this.

‘Many places have tool libraries where you can rent hand tools cheaply. I also asked family members, friends and neighbours if they would lend me a few bits and pieces.

She added: ‘So often, so many DIYers do something once and then just have the tools lying around gathering dust in their garages.’ 

BEFORE AND AFTER: Nicole said she sourced a lot of the items from the likes of Bunnings Warehouse and second-hand on Gumtree and eBay

BEFORE AND AFTER: Nicole said she sourced a lot of the items from the likes of Bunnings Warehouse and second-hand on Gumtree and eBay

DURING: 'My biggest spend was $500 on three slabs of Litestone from a home renovators' auction place,' she said

DURING: ‘My biggest spend was $500 on three slabs of Litestone from a home renovators’ auction place,’ she said

DURING: 'I smashed out the old tiles, replaced the gyprock, plastered, tiled, replaced the bench tops and cut the stone, painted the cupboards and installed new handles,' Nicole said

DURING: ‘I smashed out the old tiles, replaced the gyprock, plastered, tiled, replaced the bench tops and cut the stone, painted the cupboards and installed new handles,’ Nicole said

Sharing the results of her handiwork online, thousands were impressed with Nicole’s efforts.

‘What an inspiration you are, this is incredible,’ one commenter wrote.

Another added: ‘This looks so nice and fresh. Your landlord must be delighted.’ 

Nicole has a YouTube channel where she shares exactly how she carried out some of the renovations.

BEFORE: It took Nicole six weekends and cost $953 to create her own dream kitchen space at home

BEFORE: It took Nicole six weekends and cost $953 to create her own dream kitchen space at home

AFTER: Sharing the results of her handiwork online, thousands were impressed with Nicole's efforts

AFTER: Sharing the results of her handiwork online, thousands were impressed with Nicole’s efforts

What are Nicole’s DIY tips?

* Draw up a visual of what you would like to change so you can show the owner you’ve taken the time to research what you want to do.

* Ask them to contribute to materials if you are going to change lots.

* Ask around with your friends and neighbours for tools you might need.

* Do not ignore second-hand. Gumtree and eBay have lots of good buys. 

She said that she has many tips for others wanting to transform a tired rental space.

‘Draw up a visual of what you would like to change, so you can show the owner that you’ve taken the time to research and they can envisage what you want to do,’ Nicole said.

‘You can ask them if they would pay for materials, but chances are they won’t want to spend unless it’s essential, and obviously they can’t control the final quality.’

Nicole said you could ask for a contribution towards your efforts, but she opted not to as she has lived in her home for six years and loves the house, but hated the kitchen.

‘My rent is reasonable and $1,000 was far cheaper than moving to a more expensive place,’ she said. 

‘Plus, I got to teach myself a whole new set of skills.’ 

To find out more about Nicole Herrick, you can visit her YouTube channel here

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