Redecorating a whole room for £50!

I was recently challenged by to redecorate a whole room for the princely sum of £50 as part of their Room For Improvement Competition!

My daughter’s bedroom has been on my to-do list for quite some time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch in and get creative.

We start with a perfectly ordinary child’s bedroom. The brief:

To turn this into an Alice in Wonderland haven!

Now for the big reveal….

My daughter loves her room and more importantly it cost very little.

The biggest tip to redecorating on a budget is to get creative and get stuck in, don’t buy anything ready made, alter and adjust, revive and reuse and you can change a surprising amount. Here’s how we completed this room.


Stop! Don’t buy new furniture, paint your old! In my case I actually reused paint I found in my cellar so it cost me nothing at all. Many of us have pots of paint lying about in cellars and garages, even if you don’t have enough in one tin mix a few together and make your own custom paint.

I did buy these wonderful giant plastic buttons from a local market stall, they cost £5.20 in total. I removed the old drawer handles and super-glued the buttons on top, fabulous one off buttons!

Total Cost = £5.20


I replaced the curtains for the bargain price of £5.59 from Argos the special offer on them has unfortunately ended, but even at their standard price of £13.99 they are a good deal. Admittedly they aren’t terribly thick, but linings can be bought at a later date if you require them. As they are a deep red I don’t feel I need them.

To stick to our theme I cut up some long strips of red and white craft felt and made Roses. These were then stitched to the curtains by hand. I spent just a few pounds on the felt, you could also use old clothes, sheets, whatever is available. Appliqueing is another cheap way to add interest to otherwise boring curtains.

Total Cost = £8.59


Brand new bedding to match your new room can be costly. Instead consider making a cover or blanket that can be thrown over your old bedding.

You don’t even need to be accomplished at sewing. I grabbed an old flat flannel sheet (instantly the perfect size for your bed!) out of the linen cupboard to make my cover. I then appliqued hearts, Qs and a Queen to make a giant playing card 🙂 I bought small pieces of flannel fabric for my applique.

Total Cost = £3


A feature lamp can really add to the overall theme of a room, but I wanted one that was inexpensive and child friendly. I found this wonderful battery operated lamp on Amazon for just £4.68 + £2.99 P&P. It can also be bought on eBay. Of course it may not last long, but we think it’s great (especially for the price!) Remember to check sites like eBay and Amazon for deals, especially items coming direct from manufacturers in China.

Total Cost = £7.67


Storage will instantly tidy up a room while adding to the overall feel. I spent just £12 at Tesco to receive this whimsical house themed box (I’m sure Alice is stuck inside there as we speak). I even had it delivered to my local store to avoid P&P charges.

I then handed my husband several old shoe boxes, some glue and newspaper and challenged him to papier mache giant books to hold bits and bobs, I think he did really well! As this was made out of old cardboard and newspaper it was free! The teeny tiny mushrooms were made by my children over a year ago and I just thought they looked good 🙂

Total Cost = £12

Decoration & Accessories

Those finishing touches that finish a room need not cost the earth. Make your own or do as I did and ask family and friends if they have anything they no longer need.

The giant playing cards that adorn my daughter’s wall are in fact left over pieces from a Yarn Bombing project for the Olympics and Derby Feste. They were made by gluing felt pieces together.

The wonderful pictures in their ornate frames are actually print outs, put on the wall with blue tack. They were made by my sister in law for a party and had been sitting in her garage ever since. Unless you look closely you really could believe the frames were real.

The sign post…another fake printed out on simple paper! The great thing about these decorations is they are not precious around little hands.

My biggest expense was the giant flowers. I spent £4.99 for my massive Calla Lilly which came from Home Bargains. The extra flowers came from Wilkinsons where they were on offer at 3 for £3.

Total Cost = £7.99


I also bought a clock for £4 from Wilkinsons. This is intended for a child to paint (and is a great idea) but in our case my husband painted a Cheshire cat onto the face 🙂

Total Cost

Furniture = £5.20

Curtains = £8.59

Bed Cover = £3

Lamp = £7.67

Storage = £12

Accessories = £7.99

Clock = £4

Grand Total = £48.45

Check out the Money Supermarket Pinterest board to see what others spent their £50 on.

Revamping Your Kitchen Cheaply!

I’ve talked recently about my bathroom and it’s need for a makeover, but the other common woe for householders all over the world is disdain for their kitchen.

Supposedly your kitchen should be the heart of your home but with a new fitted kitchen often costing an arm and a leg, plus all the associated mess and disruption it’s not always easy to revamp quickly. Home style TV programs often tell us that it increases your houses value but a 2012 survey by HSBC found that it only actuallyupped the selling price by £4,577.

So today on the blog we have a few options to spruce up your kitchen with a bit of DIY. Even if the end result doesn’t make you love your kitchen anew, it might tide you over until you can afford a huge makeover or make your house more saleable. Also don’t underestimate the value of a few new appliances, they can lift the whole room.

Get painting!

Instead of replacing whole units, restyle your existing cupboards and storage. A new coat of paint can instantly brighten and modernise a space, whilst replacing handles adds a fresh, clean look.

Change those worktops

Chipped, scratched or outdated worktops (countertops) can be given a new lease of life by replacing the work surface, rather than the whole unit. Laminated worktops are a good option being both durable and mimicing the look of more expensive finishes like granite, marble and wood. If you’re handy with a saw or jigsaw cut and fit them yourself for maximum savings.

Create more space

Suffering from a small kitchen? Don’t grab the sledgehammer just yet, create the illusion of space by removing wall cupboard doors and replacing with glass, if the contents isn’t pretty just use some frosted glass 🙂 Make sure tired pots and pans are kept neatly tucked away, and instead use these shelves to display colour-coordinated crockery or elegant glassware. You could even pop down to your local charity shop and grab some vintage gems.


Many jobs don’t require calling in a pro, and a DIY attempt can often achieve the same effect. A tiled splashback can inject style instantly while keeping clean and tidy for a lot longer than a painted wall. Small mosaic tiles in neutral tones look amazing but come in easy-to-apply sheets. If you’d prefer larger tiles just purchase some tile spacers (little plastic crosses to keep your tiling perfect).

Theme your room

Keep your kitchen makeover framed around a defined theme. Neutral rooms look great with a signature colour focused on bright textiles and accessories: look for coloured or printed chair cushions, vases and wall art. Or, for a really sleek finish, try out metallic cupboard handles, a steel-look light fitting and dark-tiled splashbacks.

Take advantage of payment plans

The thought of finding the money to update appliances can put many people off getting stuck into their kitchen re-style, but these purchases can actually be surprisingly affordable if your payments are staggered. Big ticket items like fridge freezers on credit is a great option offered by household companies like Littlewoods, enabling you to spread the cost over a number of months should you need it, avoiding an instant hit on your wallet.

A New Lease Of Life For Old Furniture

My children are quite artistic little people, so creative in fact that just occasionally they decorate something I’d rather they left alone. A couple of months ago they took a pen to two small chest of drawers. My reaction was one less of artistic delight and more of ‘what on earth am I going to do with these chests now?’

Shabby Chic makeovers for old furniture seem to be gaining in popularity at the moment. Some of them are absolutely adorable, but some are definitely verging on the shabby side rather than chic. Thankfully I was able to consult one of the masters of Shabby Chic ‘Ruby & Betty’s Attic‘, who gave me some wonderful tips on which paint brands to use and which to avoid. So armed with a rather lovely shade of Farrow & Ball paint we started about the transformation.

The paint went on very smoothly and soon the artwork started to disappear. We’d also lost most of the drawer handles, so they were replaced with something a bit more stylish.

I love the finished chest, admittedly there wasn’t a lot of stylish shabby-ing going on but paint effects are still a new area for us. The handles are a wonderful cracked porcelain design.

With a lot of leftover paint I started looking around for our next project. On a recent trip to an Antiques Centre I came across an Edwardian towel rail. It had definitely seen better days and looked a little unloved. In the photos it appears quite Shabby Chic already, but in reality the paint was peeling and rough, which made the rail unusable. After some haggling on price, we took it home. A foot fell off in the car, but luckily we found it and survived further dramas. We treated the towel rail to a good sanding and priming, before painting to match the bedside drawers.

Here is the finished result. Now it’s painted I think it looks ever so cute! One of the lower bars is missing a chunk where a knot has fallen out, but even this has a quirky charm. The rail has taken up residence upstairs and is improving the look of towels that were previously draped over a radiator. I quite fancy picking up another one of these for the bathroom.

The only problem now is, the rather addictive nature of painting furniture. I better invest in some new colours before my whole house turns green!