Mum spends £8,000 transforming home into zebra print paradise

Paediatric nurse Emma McAllister has loved zebras for as long as she can remember.

When the 35-year-old was stuck shielding during the Covid lockdowns, she decided she wanted to take that love and run with it.

Confined to her three-bedroom semi-detached townhouse, Emma started injecting zebra print into every room in her home.

‘I found I was bored, and to pass the time I began decorating my blank canvas home,’ said Emma, from Washington, UK.

‘I experimented with bright colours and patterns to make my home a happy place during an awful time.

‘I have always loved zebras and found so many different home interiors with this pattern so decided to use it throughout my home.

‘I came across a big zebra print in 2020 which I purchased and put in my bedroom.

‘I loved it every time I walked into the room and this made me want to buy more zebra things – which I did.

‘Doing my home interiors gave me something to focus on, and I loved seeing the transformations paint, wallpaper and panelling can make.’

All told, the project took six months and £8,000 to complete.

‘My bedroom is the biggest room and covers the very top floor as the house is a three-story home,’ she said.

‘I always love relaxing in a bath and after previously staying in hotels which have baths in bedrooms I decided to add a bath in mine.

‘I got a plumber to come and do the plumbing and a joiner to box in all of the pipe work. This was the most expensive thing I added to my home. I also panelled the walls too.

‘My living room is quite small, but I added a fake chimney breast wall and put a fake fire and the TV here which makes the room feel bigger.’

The house is now painted mostly in black and white, with zebra-esque stripes by the stairs and black and white block walls.

Emma also added a zebra-print rug to the living room along with a zebra vase, and there’s zebra bedding in her bedroom.

‘My home has a mixed response and it’s not to everyone’s taste,’ she said.

‘The kind of comments I get can sometimes be very negative.

‘For example, one person said “your house would give me a headache”.

‘I have had some lovely feedback though, such as people saying they would never have thought these colours and patterns would work but I’ve done a great job.’

Emma, who lives with her three children Noah, 11, Zac, 8, and Felix, 7, as well as their labrador Monty, said her kids were a bit less keen at first.

‘But now they actually love it and always point out zebra things if they see them,’ she added.

‘I am constantly changing and redecorating the house too because I really enjoy doing it.’

Now, Emma wants to meet her interior decor inspiration in person.

‘I haven’t met a zebra, but it’s my dream to go on a safari and see them in real life,’ she said.

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