Estelle Bilson is a big fan of all things vintage.
You could probably guess that from the interiors of her house, which is decked out entirely in a 70s theme, with bright shades of orange and green and plenty of vintage furniture.
The home’s interiors are incredible alone, but it’s all the more impressive given the price.
Estelle, 43, managed to revamp the entire home for just £1,500, as she bought nearly all the bits and bobs secondhand. She spends hours tracking down original pieces from auctions, Ebay, and charity shops.
The three-bedroom house in Stretford, Greater Manchester, doesn’t have anything modern apart from a vacuum cleaner and a nice mattress.
Everything else in the home – from the disco balls in the bathroom to the original magazines near the space-inspired TV set – are straight from the 70s.
Estelle, an upholstery designer and a mum-of-one, even matches her clothes to the home, drawing inspiration from the iconic 70s fashion label, Biba.
Estelle, who lives with her partner Stephen De Sarasola, 41, and their four-year-old son, said: ‘It’s nostalgia for me.
‘I started collecting in 1990 when I was about 13 and it went from there
‘When I was at university you could pick up 1970s bits and bobs on the street when people were having a clear-out.
‘A lot of my artwork at school and university was inspired by abstract impressionists like Jackson Pollock, Warhol and Rothko. I guess it’s something I’ve always been interested in.
‘I do love anything old, from art deco onwards, but there’s something about the 70s that’s so evocative to me.
‘I absolutely love kitsch. I’m a bit like a kitsch magpie; anything really random, gold, shiny, multi coloured and the weirder the better. That’s why I’ve got the tiger and Flamingo sculptures.
‘I have vintage appliances in the kitchen too.
‘Things were built to last back then and to be repaired, not discarded.’
After collecting dozens of 1970s-style pieces over the years, Estelle decided to transform the family home into a shrine to the decade when her family moved in 2015.
Along with the big buys and a 70s colour palette, Estelle has made sure all the small touches have a vintage touch, from the floral wallpaper and orange-tinted lights to the vinyl records.
‘When we moved in five years ago I wanted to add some detail to bare walls and started with our kitchen,’ Estelle said. ‘It then went from there.
‘I wanted to do more and when I saw a mirror at the car boot I went onto designing the hallway with super graphics.
‘Sometimes I have something very specific in mind, such as the Ladderax, which I hunted down in Southampton for our vinyl collection.
‘Mostly I stumble upon things when I’m not even looking for them, like my dining table and chairs and my space-age bed.
‘The artwork is all from the era too. We have a Tretchikoff in our bedroom and a J H Lynch in the living room.’
While the furnishings and fashion are vintage, Estelle and her family don’t restrict themselves to an old-fashioned lifestyle.
‘We have a modern TV – it’s a necessity really with a child,’ the mum adds.
‘We have smartphones and laptops too. We don’t live in the 70s, we just like the styling.
‘It’s vintage style, not lifestyle in the home.
‘We live a modern life just with vintage things around us. Like modern antiques.’
For Estelle, who shares her home on a dedicated Instagram account,
@70shousemanchester, buying secondhand will always be the way to go.
She’s keen to spread the word on just how brilliant your home can look with some secondhand styling.
‘I rarely buy new because I know I can save money by buying pre-loved,’ Estelle explains.
‘Good design is good design. But I drew the line at mattresses. I wouldn’t go second-hand there. A good night’s sleep is essential.
‘I think the thing people compliment me most on are the rugs, as they are so “of the time”.
‘We don’t live like it is 1974, but we appreciate the styling, design and quality of build of the furniture.
‘It’s more exciting, diverse and colourful – not to mention sustainable, value for money and better built than most things you can buy in the shops today.
‘It’s also very budget friendly, if you know where to find the bargains.
‘Second hand doesn’t have to be second rate and although our home is filled with vintage treasure it still looks relevant, stylish and homely and not too much like a junk shop, which can be the danger when you buy too many second hand things.
‘I try to curate my finds to give it a relevant edge and I think that’s where my success on Instagram has lay.
‘Some have compared it to a shrine or a museum – it’s neither. It’s simply our home which we chose to furnish with things that make us happy.’
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