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Adrian Reeman may not be popular with a bunch of malnourished 18th Century French left-wingers, but I'm sure he'll not be too bothered.

Being a proper British eccentric, Mr Reeman has spent 23 years transforming his once ordinary flat in Southampton, Hampshire into the lavish Palace of Versailles, once home to the French Royal Family until 1789.

His two bedroom flat, nine stories up an unremarkable tower block, is now covered in opulent wooden panels, ornate glass fittings and elegant scroll work from ceiling to floor.

Adrian has never even been to Versailles, which is on the outskirts of Paris, despite it being only 220 miles away from his home, about the same distance as between New York and Boston. But with a home like his, he's no need to.

C'est fini! DIY addict finally finishes transforming his humble council flat into the lavish Palace of Versailles

By Daily Mail Reporter
18th October 2009
Daily Mail

Next time you remind yourself to do those little jobs around the house, spare a thought for Adrian Reeman.

The DIY addict has spent 23 years painstakingly turning his council flat into a replica of the Palace of Versailles.

His humble ninth floor flat in a tower block in Southampton now resembles the grand palace on the outskirts of Paris - only a little bit smaller.

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Voila! DIY addict Adrian Reeman is rightly proud of his labour of love

Adrian, 59, has no formal training in building and design, and carried out all the renovations virtually for free.


Fit for a king: Adrian's unassuming tower block hides the amazing beauty of his flat on the ninth floor

The former Merchant Navy chef recreates the decor of the infamously lavish palace using wood that he finds in skips and objects he picks up at charity shops.

His two bedroom flat is now covered in opulent wooden panels, ornate glass fittings and elegant scroll work from ceiling to floor.

Some of the tables are made from discarded wooden salad bowls while detailing on the fireplace was created using the brass prongs from plugs.

Adrian says his obsession started in 1986, when he moved in with his wife Annette, 67, who had been in the flat for two years.

'To be honest, there was just copper pebble dash wallpaper everywhere which was just awful,' he says.

'I didn't originally decide to create something like this. I just started panelling the walls and decorating and it all took off from there.'

Amazingly, Adrian has never been to Versailles but now he's finished his flat, he belives there's no need for him to go.

'It is just the same as the Palace of Versailles - just a little bit less roomy,' he jokes.

And is he finally happy with his efforts after more than two decades of DIY? 'It's not exactly how I wanted it but I'm getting too old now,' he confesses.

But tragically, Adrian and Annette may have to rip out all his hard work if they ever move.

'The council have a policy that tenants must restore flats to their original condition before moving out,' he says.

'There's no way I could put this place back to how it was, it would be impossible, so it looks like I'm trapped here until they pull the whole block down.'

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French fancy: Adrian - seen here in 2003 - about to start work on the opulent fireplace, which makes use of the brass prongs from plugs

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Need a hand?! Wife Annette (seen here in 2003) says she is proud of her husband's achievement. She must have plenty of patience to clean all those tricky fittings!

dailymail.co.uk