“I DON’T want people to look at my work and say, ‘That’s nice'. I want them to say, ‘Wow!’, or not like it at all. What I want is a proper reaction.”

Karen Knox wants her work to be noticed. When she sets about transforming a home, she throws her passion for adventure behind it. Still in its infancy, her company, Making Spaces, is making waves within West Yorkshire, turning rooms, however bland, into very special places.

Drawing on a background that demanded a high level of creativity, the former professional dancer has an ability to see what others don’t and a desire to deliver the ‘wow’ factor to properties ranging from Victorian terraces to suburban semis and modern city-centre apartments.

Karen looks for and sees possibilities and delights clients with her innovative yet simple changes that make such a difference to people’s homes.

Her first project was so inspiring that it featured in an interiors magazine. Karen focuses on “creating normal homes, with normal family living space”.

She does not like the term ‘interior design'.

“It can come across as unaffordable and elitist,” she says.

"I prefer home solutions or house doctoring."

Affordability is a key factor.

“I genuinely believe that good design should be affordable,” she says.

Karen recently designed a home office in a day, which cost the client £250.

Simple changes within rooms, such as moving furniture, introducing new colour schemes and lighting can have a dramatic effect, explains Karen. “A lot of people would not think of using secondary lighting, which can give a room a very different look,” she says.

In a recent project Karen relocated a piano from a hall to the living room, bringing a very different feel to the room.

“The client had not played it for years and now it is again a focal point for the family.

“In some cases, we have changed the look of a room with new curtains, rugs or paint,” she says.

“All the furniture stays the same - you don’t necessarily have to buy new, you just work with what you’ve got to create a new look. It is surprising what is possible.”

She will also help clients to generate extra funds towards their project, through selling their unwanted furniture and fittings.

“That can be very useful, and makes space within the home,” she says.

A key focus is reducing clutter and creating more room.

“People spend money on new stuff, when in fact they have too much already,” she says.

“Storage problems are often down to having too many things.”

Karen’s achievements are outlined in her blog, which has won plaudits within the interiors industry.

Karen had an aptitude for design from a very early age.

“From being a child I was interested in arranging and making things,” she says.

“I was always moving furniture and loved bold colours in my room. My mum used to comment on how I always liked to be different and quirky.”

After years spent putting her stamp on her own home and those of family and friends, she took the plunge two years ago and set up her own business.

“It is something that I have always done, but never formally. My background is in the arts so I have always been involved in creative work, and after becoming a homeowner at the age of 21, I set about renovating property.”

That first home she tackled needed complete refurbishment inside and out. Helped by her father, a joiner and expert handyman, Karen gave it a new look.

“I had the ideas, and my dad was the enabler,” she says.

She sold the house in 2014 for ten per cent more than the agent’s valuation.

“We were so pleased - that was very satisfying,” she says.

Karen’s background - she trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds - saw her delivering projects for a variety of different groups in West Yorkshire including disengaged young people, people carrying out community service and prisoners.

She found the work both stimulating and rewarding, but when her son Charlie, now three, was born, she decided to change direction, and knew immediately what she wanted to do.

Current projects include a 1930s three-bed semi-detached house in Headingley, north Leeds, where she is combining functionality with originality.

“It is a beautiful house and I am really enjoying working on it,” she says.

Couples with differing tastes among themselves present a challenge, but one which can always be met.

“One woman I worked with liked vintage and Africana, while her partner favoured mid-century styles,” says Karen.

“So I accommodated both their styles, looking at the way they lived their lives within the home and the way they worked as a couple. They said they could not believe what I had done and really liked it.”

Karen, who lives near Bradford with her fiancé Pete, and Charlie, also helps people to prepare their home and show it in its best light, prior to putting it on the market.

“Getting your home ready to sell can sometimes feel like an impossible task. You don’t see your own home with a fresh set of eyes like a buyer does, and you can miss things,” she says.

“Tidying up areas of tired paintwork, de-cluttering rooms, and making the rooms in your house look as spacious as possible is important - after all, people want space and a house that is ready to move in to.”

Karen’s passion for her art is clear to see, and she sometimes finds it hard to switch off.

“I design in my sleep,” she laughs.

“I once painted my living room three times in one week to get exactly the right look.”

She loves to make a difference. As she writes in her blog, beside a striking image of a work in progress: ‘the overall look so far… what do you think? Is this flamboyant enough?’