Is it possible to change the look, feel and even functionality of a room on a £50 budget? (Yes, it is!)
|My decorated pin board.|
|The view that greets me.|
When someone asks, "Can you create something memorable in your home with a budget of £50?" and then gives you £50 to try it, the challenge is most definitely on, so here goes!
This is the room that I've chosen to give a frugal makeover. I'm almost certain that most folks already have a proper wall to decorate, so excuse us while we put that back together after having had a stove fitted a few months ago.
Here in Scotland we don't tend to finish off our new walls by plastering, we often opt for taping and filling the joints and then just sanding them. The tape costs less than £5 a roll and the jointing plaster costs about £1.30 per kilo of the mix-it-yourself variety and we had some of each already, so no need to buy.
While contemplating how to decorate the chimney wall, I decided that the old radiator, amongst other things, needed smartening up a bit, so I bought a little tin of radiator enamel (£2.99), a wall transfer/decal (£3.79), a roll of wallpaper (£10.85), packet of paste (£1.55), a pasting brush (£2.27) and a tube of gold-coloured artists' paint (99p). If anything seems expensive, it's because I don't have a car, so I need to order online and account for delivery costs.
- Non drip, fast drying gloss isn't neither non drip nor fast enough drying when using it outside in the blazing sunshine!
- The least little breeze and you have newspaper and dust stuck to your lovely new paintwork
- Bugs, flies and midges seem to be attracted to paint and get stuck!
- Bathing said stuck bugs, flies and midges in white spirit does not revive them!
- Make sure your hair is firmly tied out of the way when kneeling down to paint the legs of a table, especially if there's a breeze!
My crafting stuff was taking up far too much space it cardboard boxes, so a chest of drawers was commandeered and given a quick coat of gloss. Surprisingly, it stuck to the white veneer. I bought these flat-packed from Argos as part of a set about 10 years ago, so they have been dismantled and carted around the past 4 or 5 house moves and were rather the worst for wear. It was surprising how well they came up after painting them!
All we could find in the shed was magnolia and brown emulsion - it was either that or a nougat-salmon pink (I don't think so)! Brown and cream won, so the chimney wall got done chocolate brown and the walls got a freshen up with magnolia. With only one roll of wallpaper, I opted to do only the top half of two walls at the sitting room end of this multi-functional room.
A change of curtains from patterned to plain, which I already had, helped the transformation. Raking through my crafting supplies uncovered several suitable ribbons to turn into tie-backs. To attach them to the wall, I used a couple of old curtain rings and simply tied the ribbons through the loops.
Colourful ribbons can brighten up anything in minutes, so never throw away any bows, ribbons, cord or string that comes your way. Guaranteed, if you decide to follow a frugal living path through life, you'll find a use for almost anything. Curtain hoops can be found in charity shops for 10p each, in my experience, but I already had a few in my 'stash'.
Cheap artwork is another easy way to quickly transform the look and feel of a room and I was lucky enough to get some cheap picture frames. With what was left of the roll of wallpaper, I managed to cut enough to fill the five frames, which got hung on the chimney wall. They really are quite effective and I couldn't ask for a better match for the walls, could I?
There are always people decluttering, so when a friend offered me a few bits and pieces, her £5 flat-packed shoe rack seemed like an absolute bargain. It was soon assembled and turned into storage for DVDs, CDs and board games.
This gorgeous brass urn was one I rescued a few years ago, so it has now been brought indoors to sit by the stove. I'll add a pot plant as soon as I have repotted something suitable from the garden. (This was before it was polished.)
Now for a few 'before and after' photos to show the overall transformation as it was taking place.
|The 'new' chimney wall|
|Corner 1 - this has become my entertainments corner|
|Corner 2 - the sitting room part of this multi-functional space|
|The nest of tables - sanded down, painted and decorated|
|The salvaged table - before and after.|
|Corner 3 - my work space has been transformed and I love it!|
|Corner 4 - crafting and hobbies corner|
How I spent my £50.00
- Fire Cement 3Kg - £8.14 (1 x 2kg & 1 x 1kg)
- Roll of wallpaper - £10.85
- Wallpaper paste - £1.55
- Pasting brush - £2.27
- Radiator enamel - £2.99
- Transfer/decal - £3.79
- 2 lengths of skirting - £9.00
- 5 photo frames - £3.00 (Secondhand)
- Shoe rack - £5.00 (Secondhand)
- Small tube of gold acrylic paint - 99p
This has been an absolutely fabulous challenge set by the guys at Moneysupermarket.com! There were a few times during the preliminary stages that I was almost pulling my hair out at the enormity of it. The room really was like a storm that wouldn't pass, so I learned to dance in the rain and did the best possible with what was available. The makeover has created an illusion - almost like several rooms emerging from one, each corner becoming an easily defined space without looking out of place.
My visitors are now welcome anytime and I'm sure those who have sampled the delights of 'indoor camping' for an overnight stay here will be suitably impressed with these amazing changes. Frugaldom welcomes all comments relating to what has been achieved on this small budget and has to ask the question, did I make the grade as a 'Home Improvement Hero'? I think I did and am not ashamed to say so. :)
Find out what others achieved on similar budgets by checking out the hashtag #HomeImprovementHero on Twitter or Facebook and thank you for following my frugal entry into the competition.