I was recently contacted by Direct Blinds and invited to take part in a challenge – to renovate a room on a £50 budget.
I’ve been meaning to decorate our bedroom since we moved in in March, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get creative, so of course I agreed to take part!
So, what did I end up with?
I have to be honest, I’m used to doing things cheaply but I have no idea how to set a budget, but I found it really useful to think about items I already had, and what I wanted.
From there I started to make small changes to the room, and I was being really careful with the budget to begin with – scared of maxing myself out before I was done!
We decided to go for a monochrome look so that we could switch up accessories easily, so opted for a slate grey on the breast wall. We had a leftover tub of emulsion in “seashell” and I just mixed in 2x sample pots of “jet black” emulsion to create a beautiful slate grey colour. Total cost? £2.20.
The wall looked tons better, but still kinda bare, so I decided we had to have something hanging there. I researched hanging art for ages, trying to get inspired for something calming and natural in feel. The thing with artwork is that its really expensive – so I decided to make my own in the end. You can see my DIY for this giant dreamcatcher in a post coming soon.
Total cost? Approximately £1.30 – the hoop was £1 and the yarn was £1, and I didn’t use it all.
Running todal £3.30.
I also really wanted all of our bedroom furniture to match, as much as possible. The bedside cabinets were already crisp white, so I decided to restyle the bedding box using the eggshell colour to offer some continuity. You can see the tutorial here – and the total cost was just £4.45 for the fabric, some of which was left over. With the leftovers, I made a couple of scatter cushions which you can see on the bed. You can see the tutorial for them here.
When I emptied the bedding box to paint it, I also found the super cute picnic rug which was gifted to me a few months ago & had been in storage! I had been thinking about something to put on the floor, and we’d already agreed to accent the monochrome with red.
That was £7.95 of my spend down, and I still had such a vision for the project that I was starting to get spoilt for choice on what else I’d do. I’d highly recommend spending some time just being in the room and seeing how you feel.
After laying on the bed for a while I felt that the facing wall was a little bare. I have recently been gifted 3 stuffed hearts by Jess from Chique Unique Critique and they look so sweet on the wall between our 2 windows (you can just see them below).
I still needed something for the wall facing the bed, but for now I’ve decided to leave it blank. I don’t want to run the risk of over cluttering the space, and subtracting from the calmness.
One thing I find super important in pulling together the feel of a room is the textiles.
I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately, and snuggling up has been high on my agenda – this neutral, natural bedroom style had me lusting after faux furs and natural fibres to layer up on the bed.
Luckily, I stumbled across an absolute steal with a grey faux fur throw from B&M Bargains at just £12.99.
The same day, my mum kindly donated the pictured curtains to us, and I ordered a bottle of grey dylon to recolour them for just £5.65 from eBay (note, that didn’t arrive yet, so the curtains are currently brown, but I had to hang them for the photo just for effect!)
My running total is now £21.94 and I feel like I’m almost complete – so I decided to invest in a few more textiles!
I picked up the white rocking chair for just £15 on Gumtree, so cheap because a family were moving abroad, and needed it gone pronto! For the cushion I bought a metre of “Lenda” fabric and a “Gurli” cushion from Ikea (Total £6) and recreated the previous pillow DIY.
Had I thought of this the weekend previously I’d have used the spare fabric from the bedsheet I used for the Deer motifs and saved myself £4!
Anyway, that was complete & my running total was £42.94 With just over £7 left to spend I had managed to come much further on a teensy budget than I ever imagined!
The only thing I can think of that I really want to see more of in our room is a tall plant, ideally a cactus like this – but how expensive are cacti really! If anyone fancies gifting me a cactus, that would be OK.
I decided instead to make a hanging planter which will go above each lamp table – inspired by this but using some steaming baskets and spider plants.
These items are all on order (except the spider plant, which a lady from work is bringing me a cutting of when I’m ready – Thanks, Karen!)
Bamboo steamers from here at £ 1.90 each – x2.
Craft cord (seen in the picture above) is 80p per metre at my local haberdashery – 3metres.
When that’s done I’ll be coming in just under budget at £49.14!
What do you think? I love our “new” retreat – sleeping is easier, cosier and downright more attractive.
I can’t wait until the last bits arrive to complete the look. I’ll share it when they do, but since we’re on holiday soon I didn’t want to wait before posting the whole thing!
Very quickly, I’d like to share a few of my top tips for renovating on a budget.
1. Use what you already have.
It might not be loved in its current condition, but with a bit of attention items can take on new life!
2. Don’t be in a rush.
If you’re willing to wait, you can often get things for much cheaper than on the high street.
The terrarium/tealight orbs for example retail at around £4 each in the UK but I could have gotten them for 70p each shipped from Hong Kong.
If you’re already taking your time waiting for products to arrive, you’ve got plenty of time to research design ideas and practise DIY techniques.
Youtube is a great resource, as are some blogs. If you have ever dreamt of a specific product, do a google image search with “DIY” in front of it. Some clever soul has probably done all the hard work for you and written instructions that are just waiting to be accessed!
4. Embrace Hand-me-downs.
I would have never come in with such a close budget if it hadn’t been for my mum donating curtains to us. I’d priced some up at £20 but they weren’t awesome quality. In the end, for just the price of some dylon I got some great quality curtains and spared my mum a journey to the tip and recycled.
5. Items can multi-task.
Confession: The rug is actually a picnic blanket – looks good though doesn’t it!
If you have something that’s pretty, then think about how you can make it multi-functional – that old road map might be a great wall hanging, or that unused cake stand could be a quaint nightstand ornament.