When you continue to grow in experience as a property developer you recognise aspects of property flipping to try and achieve on each project to make it as successful as possible. Do your research on the financial aspect, know your area, have a survey done, and definitely don’t get too attached to the house you are flipping.

But Penarth property developers Miffy and Gareth Shaw could not help themselves as even buying their latest renovation property in Barry was a case of loving it so much they were going to win it at auction at all costs; and it was Miffy’s nan’s fault.

Miffy says: “It was going to auction and I hadn’t done an auction before so I did a drive by and I think it’s the spitting image of my nan’s house. Me and my sister, every school holiday, we’d go to my nan’s house in Cornwall – as soon as I saw it I thought: ‘Oh my God, I love it!’, mainly because it looked like my nan’s house.”

READ MORE: Pretty thatch cottage in idyllic spot for sale for the first time in 150 years



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Sweeping Barry view



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Welcome to Bali in Barry

Well, it’s as good a reason as any to buy a house, but it did mean the couple were stepping out of the Penarth area that they knew so well. Miffy says: “We always stay in Penarth, I grew up in Penarth, but at least I knew the area because of Jackson Bay. I’ve done this for years but I’ve never done Barry so when the agents came around for the valuation at the end of the project to put it back on the market I was in bits!”

When it came to the style of property and the potential the couple could bring to the house in Barry that was not an issue at all. As always with the properties that they buy and transform it was the worst one on the street with issues that scared off many other people and that is just the way they like it.

Miffy says: “It doesn’t bother us. When I phone up an estate agent because we’re on the hunt again for a reno I say: ‘We want your smelliest house, I want the one with the crazy carpets, I want something where everyone is too scared to touch it.’ We always want the worst house. If it’s not the worst then we don’t touch it!

“This one is our biggest job by far – we haven’t done this much work on a house before. This is the biggest reno workwise – it was fun and quite a transformation.”

This house has been full of experiences that the family will take with them to their next project but maybe the funniest was when Miffy went online to buy it at the virtual auction. She left the tablet in the other room, went into the bedroom, the door slammed behind her, and she was stuck.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Garden is just as important as the house when this couple are renovating



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
The flat roof extension has been fully seeded as a living roof to add to the garden experience

She says: “I had to hang out of the window and call a dog walker going by. I was up in the window going: ‘Hi, can you do me a favour? Can you get my neighbour next door out please? I’ve got locked in my bedroom.'”

The neighbour ran to get Gareth who was luckily working just around the corner and got her out of the bedroom with just four minutes before the auction was up. But buying ‘nan’s house’ was obviously meant to be.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Double-fronted house means two sitting rooms



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
This sitting room showcases the ‘problem’ wallpaper

Miffy says: “We ended up going way over budget at the auction but we won it – but only just. I’ve never bid on a house before, I bid on shoes and get all excited then. It was fun but don’t ever put me in an auction again – I’m terrible, the auction takes over, I want to win.”

There was a lot of structural work to do at the start including removing lots of internal walls within the rabbit warren that was the house before the Shaws got their paws on it. A shabby lean-to was reduced to dust, as was the garage, although the fact that it came with a car still hiding inside it was a bit of a shock.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Open-plan L-shaped space thanks to an extension



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Light and texture were the core of this interior design

The garden was one of the first jobs Gareth dived into as it needed flattening ready for the new extension which now houses a gorgeous open-plan kitchen diner that flows into the front lounge thanks to the removal of the dividing wall. Miffy says: “Then he started on the roof and changing the layout. We changed the layout a lot – it’s still a four-bed as before but we’ve added en suites and a bigger bathroom so there was a layout change.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
One trick the couple always do is the same flooring inside and out to create a seamless visual flow, blurring the indoor outdoor boundary



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Baarry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Handless units continue the visual flow so easy on the eye

“The challenges were the weirdest of things which nobody would ever notice but which I’ve always been one to try and keep features. In one of the front rooms we’ve tried to keep as much of the ordinal features as we can and there’s a picture rail with this beautiful wallpaper above it that I wanted to keep.”

And that became the biggest headache of them all. Miffy says: “We wanted to knock through into the room next to it so we had to prop up the wallpaper from the other side, hack it, put steel in it, and then fill it all in with great care so you wouldn’t notice anything had happened to the wallpaper. It’s little things like that, that you wouldn’t notice, that you think weren’t an issue, but actually turned out to be quite an issue indeed.”



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Front to back view is a winner

And it’s that level of attention to detail that makes this couple’s renovation projects so special coupled with creatively thinking about the spaces, how they flow, and what can be done to optimise them. In this Barry project highlights of successful combination include a huge window at the top of the stairs flooding that once-dark area with light and the seamless floor that flows from house to garden thanks to the use of the same flooring throughout – inside and out.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Other sitting room is a mix of texture and smooth



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Sitting room two is a mix of original and modern



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Bay window offers that fabulous view

Once the messy stuff was coming to an end, Miffy could get her hands on the interiors and create something visually exciting. Some might say she is breaking a property flipping rule by putting some of her personal ideas and touches into a property when they are then going to sell it.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Stained glass window is one of many restored features



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
There are some saved internal doors too

Miffy says: “This is our niche. We’re property developers but I’m an interior designer – I go to the extra expense and time to put my stamp on it and it makes it stand out from all the other renovations. But I do worry every time that someone is not going to like my decision – you always take it a bit personally.”

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For this home there was an unusual inspiration for Miffy’s interior design choices. She says: “Our last holiday was to Australia and Bali and Bali just really resonated with me, all of it – the texture, the openness and the colours, the materials they use, and all the greenery and I was like ‘I want that island vibe.’ And then I was like: ‘Oh the house is in Barry Island.’ I know it’s not quite Bali but I wanted to bring Bali to Barry.”



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
The couple think creatively about a space, like the addition of this huge window at the top of the stairs – filling the former dark space with light

There was another reason that drove her this time to ditch the dark and dramatic style that saw her Penarth family home win the best house in the Cardiff area accolade on BBC’s Best House in Town. See inside Miffy’s award-winning Penarth home here.

Miffy says: “Living in this house during Covid has made me go: ‘I need something more calming and neutral and relaxing on the eye’ so I wanted to do it really light but textured. Because I wasn’t adding lots of colour for interest I turned to texture so I exposed brick and I exposed stone and I’ve used lime paint and Vale Venetian came in to do plasterwork – it’s a very bespoke house.”



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Master bedroom has access onto that glorious metal veranda



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Four bedrooms in total



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
How could you not relax surrounded by Miffy’s calm interior design?

Some of the extra touches that Miffy has taken time to include to take this house to the next interiors level include the specialist Venetian plaster in the master bedroom en suite and also used as the kitchen splashback, which includes the design of the saved living room wallpaper somehow embedded within it and is sealed with gold wax.

Miffy’s favourite area is the lounge with the main reason being the modern feel mixed with the period character but also something unusual – the wall. She says: “There’s something about a curved wall – I have to touch it. I’m really tactile, probably why I love texture so much, but I’ve always wanted a curved wall so it’s my favourite room – it looks modern and fresh but is full of old original features too.”



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Loft has been converted and doesn’t miss out on the exposed features



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Mini partition wall in the bathroom is a great idea

Original features restored and re-loved include the wrecked front doors that a specialist carpenter managed to save, floor tiles, exposed bricks, original doors and stained glass, and the very pretty metal first floor veranda accessed via a door in the master bedroom. And so the work began and with the travel to the property becoming a drag the couple decided to move into the house while they did it up – a bit like a working holiday in ‘Barrybados’.



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
Miffy loves the bathroom tiles and it’s not hard to see why

Miffy says: “Working on the house, looking for Airbnbs to be closer were way too expensive so we thought: ‘We could holiday here’ so we looked at each other and were like: ‘Yeah we should’. So it turned into a working holiday.” But that decision did lead to one final  challenge – they fell in love and seriously thought about ditching the flip and living permanently into their Bali-based Barry home.

Miffy says: “It’s such a pretty house, I love it – I can see the town and the docks and the sea. People keep telling us to keep it – we did think long and hard about it. But now it needs to be someone else’s forever home.”



Transformed 4 bed double-fronted house overlooking Barry Island renovated and interiors that are stunning by BBC TV's best house in town Cardiff winner Miffy Shaw and husband Gareth for sale for offers over 530k with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth
It’s Barrybados and this house has a prime elevated spot to enjoy it

The four-bed, three-bathroom house with an amazing view across Barry and just a walk away from the coast is on the market for offers over £530,000 with Shepherd Sharpe, Penarth. Call them on 029 2070 7999 to find out more. And to make sure you never miss the best dream homes in Wales, renovation stories and interiors join the Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter, sent out to your inbox twice a week.