CHERYL Johnston has always had a passion for home design.

But when she started to share her favourite things and top tips online, she was astonished by the reaction.

Legions of fans around the country were quick to comment on her stunning photographs and handy hints on everything from the best cleaning products on the market to how to transform the look of a room without spending a fortune.

“When we moved into our new house, it was a blank canvas and I set to work putting my stamp on it,” she explains.

Glasgow Times: Inside the home of local Instagram star Cheryl JohnstonInside the home of local Instagram star Cheryl Johnston

“I posted some pictures and ideas online and it just took off – it has been amazing. I was a little embarrassed at first because I didn’t want it to look like I was showing off - I just absolutely love home design and the chance to share it with like-minded people was fantastic.”

Cheryl’s Instagram account, myhomeismyhaven, now has more than 11,000 followers who relish her suggestions for must-have items and handy cleaning tips.

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Cheryl lives in a three-bedroomed townhouse in Renfrew with her husband Craig and son Dylan, who is 15, plus much-loved family cat Nala.

“I think I do have a flair for home decoration and I get it from my mother, Annette, who is incredibly artistic,” she says.

“My dad, Martin and my stepdad Ian, and my aunt Jackie, are also big influences on me. I’m lucky to have so many creative people in my life.”

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She adds: “I have lived on my own since I left home at 17, so I have always been very independent. I was a single mum for years, and didn’t have much money. Now that I have what could be my ‘forever house’ and I can finally do it up the way I want to, it’s really exciting.”

Starting in next week’s Evening Times, Cheryl, who works in human resources, will be writing our brand new shopping column.

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As well as filling us in on her home designing and decorating exploits each week, she will be letting us in on some top cleaning tips and signposting us to the latest great buys.

“I am really excited to be taking on the new column,” says Cheryl. “I love to shop and I love to share great buys with everyone so it will be a fantastic opportunity.”

Since moving in to her new house, Cheryl has worked hard to transform the neutral, new-build design into a stunning, stylish family home.

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Each room is carefully and tastefully decorated, with beautiful attention to detail.

“I love showhomes, and spend a lot of time visiting them and leafing through interiors magazines for inspiration,” she says.

“When we moved in here I thought it would be fun to document my ‘journey’ as I did up each room. I love mixing things up – it’s never about spending lots of cash, or just buying from designers.

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“It’s about choosing things I love, a beautiful lamp, for example, or a lovely cushion, whether they cost £4.99 or £49.99.”

Cheryl adds: “There are lots of fantastic, affordable homeware shops out there – I’m a big fan of Wilco, Matalan and Homesense, and I also like Next.

“You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home look great.”

Cheryl admits that when it comes to homewares, she is a shopaholic.

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“If we are out food shopping, I’ll disappear off to the homeware aisle,” she laughs.

“I love cleaning too – that comes from my parents, who are absolute sticklers for cleaning.

“I’m always on the lookout for good products which make cleaning easier and I’m also a fan of old-fashioned remedies too.”

One of Cheryl’s biggest projects this summer has been her garden - and you can read more about its transformation in her first column next Wednesday.