When AJ Odudu's not presenting on The Voice or appearing on shows like The Chase, you'll find her recording voiceovers in between renovations at her gorgeous London home. The star moved into her pad in 2019 and she has shared the decorating journey via her home account @homewithaj. Now, HELLO! can reveal that her garden has received a dramatic Wayfair makeover too – and in an exclusive interview, we got the lowdown about AJ's stunning outdoor space and the affordable gems that she's used to bring it to life…
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AJ on her multi-functional garden...
"I can't wait to show it to all of my friends and family! When I first moved in at the end of 2019, I threw my dad's 80th party in the garden and it acted as part housewarming and part 80th, and that was nice having all of my family from around the UK. I'm really excited for a big family party.
AJ is a big fan of decorating with colour
"It’s weird, it actually feels bigger now I've put more things in there – I've got a proper seating area and it was important for me to have a summerhouse that didn't just turn into a storage cupboard as I want to be able to actually hang out in that space when it does get colder in the evenings.
"I've added insulation in the roof and flooring, I've ran electricity from my flat to the summerhouse and I boosted my internet in there. I can use it as an office and a cosy hangout – it's a multi-functional space."
AJ's top tip for house buyers...
"I'm lucky that I get loads of sun in the garden as well. It’s interesting because my garden isn’t actually south facing, but I think it’s because it’s not built up around the side, it doesn’t get blocked and we get the sun. That's a top tip for anyone that's like, 'I'm not going to get that place because it's got a north-facing garden' - just look at the buildings around it, because you might still get the sun."
AJ's garden office is the dream!
AJ on renovation regrets...
"If I did my renovation again, I would have taken a bit of time off work and actually project managed it myself. My biggest regret is actually my kitchen to be honest, I wasn’t really much of a cook a couple of years ago I was like, 'Yeah I'll get it all integrated bish bash bosh,' but now I’m like, 'oh I need more storage'. If I could turn back time, I would have been micromanaging - but at the same time, you need to make the mistakes to learn from them."
AJ on moving out of London...
"I always had a five-year plan for this place. My next place needs to be like this but times two. I need this, but more! I think I’m going to stay put for now and just enjoy it." But when asked if she'd venture from the city, it was a firm no: "I really can't see me moving out of London yet. I just can’t visualise it!"
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The presenter has installed a potting station for her dad
AJ's special garden feature for her dad...
AJ has installed a potting station - and it's for her dad who lives nearby. "I know he's going to enjoy my garden just as much as I am," AJ laughed. "It's going to be a good space for us to have a cup of tea and plant onions, tomatoes and herbs. He doesn’t live too far away from me, but he doesn’t have a garden or balcony."
AJ's tips for small gardens...
If you only have a small garden or balcony, the presenter believes plants are the answer. "Fill your home with plants and they do really bring your home to life in a decorative way. They are air purifying, and they give a sense of outside and green space. Hanging plants literally use your ceiling as well, as a space for you to get greenery in there."
Wayfair's Resident Style Advisor Nadia McCowan Hill explains that plants were a key part of AJ's makeover, too. "As an enthusiastic plant Mum, AJ has arranged a plethora of plants in her little summerhouse. To create a balanced look that’s interesting to the eye, style them at different heights by placing some on plant stools and side tables while hanging others from the ceiling."
Shop AJ's look:
Bistro set, £269.99, Wayfair
Adley bleize cushion, £18.99, Wayfair
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