‘We made enough from selling the house we renovated to buy a bigger one 500m away’

My Money

Paul Kinsella

Paul Kinsella

Paul Kinsella, aka @lifeatno2, is an interiors influencer, having documented on social media his renovation-on-a-budget of a 1900s home he brought in Drumcondra with his now-husband Mark Rogers, a beauty guru and head of marketing at Benefit Cosmetics. Kinsella will be the host of The Property Show, which takes place in the RDS on February 25 and 26. The 35-year-old will also feature in an upcoming TV show that will see people’s homes be revamped with second-hand furnishings.

What did you learn about money while doing up your first home?

Having focused most of our money on things like insulation, a new front door, new windows and a new bathroom, we didn’t have much money to do up the interiors.

There was a new wood kitchen in it but it wasn’t our style, so we sprayed it a new colour. I like using tips like that to get more bang for your buck.

Now I have a service called Redo with Life at No. 2, where I give people an online consultation and give them paint-by-numbers style tips to redo a room, right down to links to where to buy things and what paint colours to buy.

What advice would you give to people looking to smarten up interiors on a budget?

Paint is the biggest transformation tool we have and everyone can do it themselves; you don’t need a painter.

There are so many DIY influencers online that you can pull some tips from everyone to do things yourself.

And think carefully about furniture because statement couches can go out of fashion, as much as I love a blue Chesterfield sofa.

Check out the likes of adverts.ie for your interiors – for our home, we found brand new items in boxes that people didn’t want or didn’t return, from flooring to new light fittings.

How does your household tackle the spike in energy prices?

I’m an avid fan of pitting energy providers against each other to get the best deal, and I bleed the radiators to let the air out of them.

Then there’s using reflective foil behind the radiators to reflect heat back into the room and replacing seals in the windows and the letterbox.

What was your first job?

I worked in a Spar when I was a teenager. My Mam was always working and I always had a part-time job. My work ethic came in handy  when I was training to be a professional dancer in London.

What’s the most expensive place you’ve ever visited?

The Cayman Islands. A tuna salad there cost me €40.

Apart from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Two pairs of white Alexander McQueen runners with a suede back  for our summer wedding.

Do you use any of the digital banks?

As well as my normal Bank of Ireland account, I use N26. If I’m doing content work on my socials for brands in Europe and the UK, I get paid via N26.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I’m a big saver. I have a few savings accounts and would rather have money and not need it than need it and not have it.

I learned a lot from owning a house that when the washing machine or dishwasher goes, you need to have money tucked away that you don’t think about.

What was your best financial killing?

Buying our first house in 2018 and doing the right renovation to it, thereby maximising its value when we sold it in 2021.

We used the money to buy a bigger house 500m away because we love Drumcondra so much.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you had to tighten your belt?

My gaming console, my Spotify  subscription, and cheese – I do love a good charcuterie board.

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