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Taking on one room makeover at a time is enough for most of us, but this brave mum transformed three – and on a tight budget!
After spending large amounts of money on her previous home refurbishments, Mel Hamblett from Gloucester took on the challenge of brainstorming bathroom ideas to revamp her en-suite bathroom and downstairs cloakroom, plus her spare bedroom to boot, all for you £717 in total.
As a lover of colourful interiors, Mel often shows off her home on Instagram (opens in new tab), offering ways to add character and style to a new-build to transform any interior design scheme.
'We started refurbishing some of the other rooms in our home, including our master bedroom and living room, which included some more expensive updates like fitted wardrobes, sofas and new flooring,' Mel told finance experts ABC Finance (opens in new tab).
'Once I'd started making home improvements, I wanted to bring other rooms in line with our colourful style, but we didn't have a big budget, so we had to find ways to update on a shoestring.'
'I love finding bargains on Facebook Marketplace and eBay and upcycling them with paint and patterned vinyl,' she continues. 'Over the last two years I've been learning a lot of DIY to save money on hiring tradespeople, and I always search for discount codes before buying anything online.'
Let's start with Mel's spare bedroom, which you can see was looking a little lackluster. 'I'd attempted to give the room a nautical theme, but it never felt quite right and over time it became a dumping ground,' says Mel. 'We even used it as a temporary home for an old sofa at one point!'
You can hardly recognise the room, with its colourful bedroom ideas, quirky accessories and patterned walls.
'I was heavily inspired by another Instagrammer who has a teal bed with similar colour pops,' says Mel. 'My husband thought the colour palette I had chosen would be too bright, but upon showing him pictures of her room, he became more on board and trusted my idea.'
Mel used white paint to brighten and refresh the walls. She then covered one of the walls in dalmatian-print stickers from eBay and found upcycled furniture ideas to transform existing pieces.
The old telephone table, for example, used to be in Mel's hallway. After giving it a lick of paint in blue, pink and yellow, and covering the shelf in a wallpaper sample, it now looks completely different.
'Really, the only "new" thing in the room is the bed from Dunelm, which was £230 using a discount code,' she says.
On the other side of the room, some prints make a small feature wall, while an old pine mirror was upcycled using Frenchic's Plum Pudding paint (opens in new tab). The whole room cost £364.99 in total, with blinds from The Range, bedding from B&M and a neon light from Dunelm providing the finishing touches.
Mel's neutral-coloured bathroom was next to get a glow-up and you can see the beginnings of it here with a tester paint colour on the wall by the sink.
'The inspiration for this room came from an Airbnb we stayed in a few years ago in Croyde, North Devon,' she says. 'They had mixed lime green with slate and we thought it made a lovely bright en-suite bathroom.'
Not one for the faint-hearted, this vibrant scheme is a masterclass in bathroom colour schemes that make a huge statement.
'We used the colour Kiwi Crush from Dulux (opens in new tab) to paint the walls and I updated our silver shower enclosure with black electrical tape to give it the effect of a Crittall door,' says Mel. 'It's easily removable if we ever change our minds on this look.'
Jungle-theme Mowgli wallpaper from Lust Home (opens in new tab) adds a tropical vibe on the other side of the room, and wood accents and woven baskets offer natural touches to the room. Unbelievably, Mel's en-suite cost her just £128 to update!
Lastly, it's on to Mel's downstairs cloakroom loo, which didn't fit with her usual colourful style.
'The room had become a running joke amongst friends, following a terrible decorating job I did not long after moving in,' she says. 'With no DIY experience I'd picked the wrong bright blue paint and did an awful job of cutting in. I tried to cover my mistakes with white paint and shortly after that we had a baby, so it stayed and became known as the "cloud toilet"!'
'I eventually painted over it with some leftover brown paint that we had in the garage and although it covered the "cloud" effect, it wasn't an attractive colour.'
Now a pink paradise, complete with wall panelling, colourful animal-print wallpaper and contrasting floor tiles, the small space has been given a huge boost in the style stakes.
'After improving my DIY skills, I fell in love with a wallpaper called Wild Thing Brights from Lust Home (opens in new tab), which is a multi-coloured leopard-print design, and I knew it would be perfect for brightening the embarrassing loo!' says Mel.
For the wall panelling idea, Mel used a local timber merchant to get her MDF panels cut to size. 'It was very reasonable and I still have a huge sheet of MDF left for another project,' she says.
'I then colour-matched the panels to the same pink featured in the paper and used some leftover stick-on wall tiles from a previous upcycle to cover the beige ones behind the sink.'
Covering up the old floor was easy – Mel simply added a powder blue patterned vinyl floor from For The Floor & More to complete the look. This final makeover came in at £224 – a bargain considering how different it is.
'We don't all have the budget for a home with high ceilings and period character, but with a bit of bravery when it comes to DIY, the ways you can add your stamp to a new build are endless,' says Mel.
We couldn't agree more.
Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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