See how a thrifty homeowner transformed her drab spare room into a glamorous dressing room

You'll spot bargain buys galore!
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • It’s not only celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham that get to have dedicated wardrobe rooms – this homeowner created a glamorous dressing room for just £414!

    Related: Walk-in wardrobe ideas – how to store your clothes in style

    Kim Heslip from Leeds transformed her drab spare room into a feminine space that’s full of bargain buys. ‘I wanted to create a dressing room that felt like a changing room in a glamorous clothing boutique,’ she told money-saving community’ I wanted it to be fun and positive, and something that would put me in a good mood when I get ready in the morning or before a night out.’

    Kim, a nurse, dog walker and blogger sourced her supplies from online sales and affordable shops to keep costs down. ‘I decided to decorate this room on a whim when the lockdown was announced after Christmas,’ she says.

    ‘I wanted a project to keep me going and somewhere that I could escape to for a bit of headspace in between homeschooling and work. There wasn’t much of a budget and I largely reused and upcycled items we already had.’

    Dressing room transformation


    Image credit: Kim Heslip

    As you can see, Kim’s spare room was fairly plain before the transformation. With faded blue walls, a wooden dresser, matching mirrors and a wicker basket for storage, it certainly wasn’t the inspiring dressing room she craved.

    ‘I had fitted wardrobes and a dressing table, which was good quality, but just a little drab for my liking,’ she says. ‘I could see that giving them a revamp could bring some fun and style into the room, so the design was really based around working with what we already had – as well as injecting my personality into the space.’

    Image credit: Kim Heslip

    The room wasn’t the most straightforward of shapes, however, and Kim started by planning out what she’d need in order to create the look she wanted.

    ‘We already had plenty of storage in the room, but there was also an awkward wasted space over the steps between the dressing table and the wardrobe,’ she recalls. ‘I decided to build some extra storage there to make use of it.’

    ‘I also wanted a seating area so I could have a friend join me for a chat and outfit advice while I’m getting ready. Plus I wanted somewhere to plan outfits, so I thought I’d add some wall hooks, so I could hang clothes up and see what works together.’


    Image credit: Kim Heslip

    Get the look: Safari rug, £79, iRugs

    The new space is a far cry from the drab-looking room it was before and has some really fun touches, such as a small bench and wall-hung shelves where Kim stores her perfumes, along with newly sprayed gold handles on the furniture.

    ‘My friend gave me an old cream bench, which I cleaned up and painted yellow,’ she says. ‘This was the first time I’d tried painting upholstery, but it was easy to do. You just need to add the paint in thin layers and give it a good sanding between coats.’

    Although it looks as though she spent a lot, Kim did her best to reduce costs wherever possible. ‘All of my paint came from my local decorating store,’ she says. ‘I bought Johnstone’s matt emulsion for the walls and Bradite One Can for the wardrobes. Both paints were colour-matched to the shade Middleton Pink by Farrow & Ball, and the total cost was £80.’

    This wasn’t the original colour that Kim had chosen to paint the furniture, however. Initially, she picked an off-black shade, but there was a mix up with the paint and she ended up being given someone else’s order, which was pure black, instead.

    ‘The decorating centre realised their mistake and offered to replace my paint,’ she laughs. ‘At this point, having painted some of the wardrobes and skirting boards black and realising that it just didn’t work, I decided to opt for the same pink shade as the walls instead. As you can imagine, it took a fair few coats to get them pale pink after being painted black!’

    Image credit: Kim Heslip

    Get the look: Trio wallpaper, £20 for a 10m roll, Made

    Get the look: Bond Girls wallpaper, £45, Wallpaperking

    The dressing table looks different again, too, with wallpaper covering the old drawers and a feature wall surrounding it. The original dressing table top was removed and used (along with some leftover MDF from a previous project) to create some new shelves. Meanwhile, Kim replaced it with a second-hand kitchen worktop that she bought for £20 from eBay and wrapped it in marble-effect vinyl.

    The dressing table chair was originally from IKEA and Kim has had it for about 15 years. To give it a new look, she painted part of it yellow and re-covered the seat pad with some black and white cow-print fabric that she had leftover from another project.

    ‘The oval mirror above the dressing table was a charity shop find and the prints on the wall came from a number of small businesses, such as Dyl & the Gang, Modern Print Studio, Punkhaus, and various others.’ she says. ‘They cost between £5 and £25 each, and I won a few of them in giveaways.’

    Once all the painting had been finished, it was a case of faffing around with prints, faux plants, wall hangings and cushions to dress the space up. ‘It was a pretty straightforward makeover, as I’m fairly confident when it comes to DIY and there was nothing to taxing involved in this project,’ says Kim. ‘My rule of thumb with home renovations is if I can do it, then I do it. That way I save money to spend on the jobs I can’t do myself, such as electrics, plastering and building work.’

    Related: See how a DIY fan gave her Primark bar cart a stylish monochrome makeover

    What do you think of Kim’s dressing room makeover? Do you have a favourite part?

    All the latest from Ideal Home