Since leaving our family home behind at the beginning of this year, I have been trying to rebuild our home to make it a safe, warm space for Littlelish and I. Unfortunately we don’t really have money for extras so interior decoration (despite the fact that I adore it) has taken a bit of a backseat.
But you know me, I love a creative challenge so when moneysupermarket offered me £50 to makeover one of the rooms in my house in their room for improvement competition I thought yipee, yes please sounds like fun! But how far would £50 actually go? Could I actually be thrifty enough to makeover a whole room? I was certainly going to try and I actually I surprised myself at just how far a little thought, love, attention and creativity could go!
I chose Littlelish’s room to makeover as I felt it was seriously lacking in the fun, girly stakes. Really I had so much to do when we first moved house that it was just a case of plonking down her furniture putting up a few pictures and that was it. Not a lot of time and effort had gone into setting up the room and it really showed. We had some nice bits but nothing worked together, the artwork was totally lost on the walls. She had a makeshift curtain from a bedsheet (oh the shame) and she didn’t have anywhere to store her toys apart from a really yucky bathroom shelf thing from ikea (I know, I know but needs must guys…)
Rubbish toy storage
Makeshift curtain, oh the shame…
What a mishmash…
I decided the first thing I probably needed to give some thought to was the layout, this of course didn’t cost a penny but moving some furniture round created WAY more space. Freeing up the entrance really helped to create the feeling of space and I was able to create a really good area for her to play. I noticed the difference immediately, Littlelish played a lot more in her bedroom that week.
I then decided I needed a trip to ikea for some serious toy storage. Since this was a huge problem in her room I decided I might need to allocate a little of my own funds here, she really needed a key item of storage to put away her toys. I ended up going for the expedit bookcase which I layed on it’s side so it was more at her level. I used the top of it as a bookshelf as Littlelish owns an awful lot of books. This is great as it is at a perfect height for her to be able to select them herself. This item cost me £41.95 with an ikea family card but I did not include this in my £50 as really it was something that needed purchasing a long time ago. A kids bedroom is nothing without good toy storage I tell you! I also bought 3 green Drona drawers to fill the expedit bookshelf which I have included in the grand total, they cost £2.50 each so £7.50 in total.
For the rest of the room I took inspiration from the pretty Rosalie bedding which I chose for Littlelish and it’s green, pink and red flowers. Luckily I already had a few cushions and throws that would work with this on her newly positioned bed and it looked perfect. I even had an extra pillow case to give the dolls cot the same bedding as Littlelish! The bedding cost me £15.
I felt that the wall by her bed needed a focal point so I decided to create my own collection of art and items personal to Littlelish. We already had the birth sampler and vintage horses picture and I added a few extra bits, her first ballet shoes, the wooden heart that was hanging on the back of her door to make a little feature wall. I decided to upcycle 2 little frames I had found in the charity shop for 50p each and include some vintage fairy illustration from a little vintage book I had also found in a charity shop for 20p. I just modpodged them into the frame and I think they look awesome and add a playful element that ties in with the fairytale books. Total for the fairy frames was £1.20.
Littlelish is a BIG reader so I wanted to include some bookshelves by the bed and I was able to incorporate these into the feature wall by using ikea spice racks, painted in pink and screwed onto the wall. I added an extra strip of washi tape (that I already had) to customise them a bit. And that was the feature wall complete! I love this idea and think it is a really fun way to personalise a childs room. The spice racks cost £3.50 each, £7 in total.
I used my washi tape in a few other places, my goodness does this stuff come in handy! I made a height measuring stick out of it which is a great way of measuring a child’s height if like us, you are in rented accommodation. No need for drawing on the walls and it just peels off when you don’t want it there anymore! I also used washi tape to soften up a black frame which I introduced to Littlelish’s room. It has her birthcard in it so I thought it would be nice to put up and add some more decoration to the walls for nothing just by hunting round for other things that would work in her room. As you can see I added washi tape just to the corner of the frame but I think this creates a really fun, almost oriental looking frame.
The other place I struggled for artwork was above the toy storage. I had now created a huge expanse of wall but I was not really able to buy anymore artwork to put up in her room so moved one of the pink paintings that was on the other wall. This did not fill the space at all and looked tiny and lost again so I decided to build my own washi tape frame which kind of extended the artwork. It all of a sudden filled the wall much better and I think looks really creative and quirky!
I’d also seen the trend for hanging paper pom poms in children’s rooms and remembered that I had a few of these left over from Littlelish’s fairy party last year and guess what, I had pink, green and red! Perfect!! This wall was also now full with minimum outlay and it looked gorgeous and so so fun!
The last thing that needed addressing was the window. I just couldn’t have a sheet at the window anymore! I bought the cheapest pair of white curtains from ikea at £10 and decided to customise them, firstly to make them fit the window (does help!) and secondly to add some interest. I cut them in half, hemmed them and added a row of handmade bunting that we already had to the top with a single straight stitch. I think they look fab and they literally took me 5 mins to make and not a minute longer. Total cost of the curtains £10.
So that is my makeover and entry for the room for improvement competition. You know what, I have really, really surprised myself by just how much you can makeover a room on a tiny budget. Sure it requires a bit more thought but actually many of my favourite elements of this room hardly cost anything, it was just creativity, working with things you already have, looking at things from a different perspective and giving things a different use that made such a difference. I just wish I could give you all a tour of the room I am so proud and my rubbish camera (boo hoo) just doesn’t do it justice!
Thank you so much moneysupermarket for inspiring me! Now to get working on the other rooms of my house!
Total spend: £40.70 (not including the expedit ikea bookshelf)