Mum spends £8,000 transforming home into zebra-themed paradise

Emma McAllister, 35, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, has loved zebras since she can remember.

In fact, the paediatric nurse is such a fan of the animal that when she was stuck shielding during Covid lockdowns she decided to decorate her home in their honour.

While confined to her three-bedroom semi-detached town house, which she bought in 2020 for £207k, Emma began to fill her time with interior design.

She said: ‘I found I was bored, and to pass the time I began decorating my blank canvas home,” said Emma.

‘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.’

The theme began when Emma came across a large zebra art print two years ago.

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

Emma – who lives with three children Noah, 11, Zac, 8, and Felix, 7, and labrador Monty – has spent £8,000 redecorating her home to fit into her zebra theme, saying it took about six months 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 in my home, I also panelled the walls too.’

A faux chimney breast and fire were then added to the living room, alongside a zebra-print rug and vase to keep things cohesive.

The house is also painted mostly in black and white, with zebra-like stripes by the stairs and black and white block walls. Even Emma’s bedsheets bear the monochrome pattern.

And though Emma loves her zebra decor, she says that not everyone is so enthusiastic.

‘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.’

Even the kids have come around on the unique interiors, with Emma saying: ‘My kids weren’t keen on the zebra print at first but now they actually love it and always point out zebra things if they see them

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

As for Emma’s future plans – she is hoping to one day meet her muse.

‘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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