The spare room has been the ugly little duckling of the house for the entire time we’ve lived here. As only three of the bedrooms in our house are occupied, the least appealing (and smallest) room became the ‘spare room’, which became a euphamism for laundry room, furniture storage, and general dumping ground for anything we didn’t want in our own rooms. Then Money Supermarket happened. It was a very exciting surprise, but I was invited to take part in their ‘Room For Improvement’ campaign, where I was offered £50 to decorate a room and blog about it. How could I resist? I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bluebird Sunshine for recommending me for this amazing opportunity. Bluebird Sunshine is a wonderful blog about family, food and other beautiful things in life and I can’t recommend it more!
As you can see, the spare room was an absolute state. We recently had people to stay and we had to remove the laundry and stack all of the boxes. It looked neat, but the mess has slowly crept back. So what did I want to change?
I decided to make the spare room a ‘chill out room’; a quieter area than the sitting room that can also be used as a guest bedroom for our occasional visitors. The main goal was to have an appealing sitting/sleeping area as at the moment the bed is really uninviting. I also wanted to add a bit of personality to the room as it was quite bare, as it is no-one’s room exclusively, it means that it lacks the homely feel that the other, more used, rooms have.
As I live in rented accommodation, unfortunately permanent fixes that really would make the room look different (such as painting the blue wall or doing something about the carpet!) were off limits to me. Instead, I chose to focus on impermanent changes that would make a real difference to how the room feels.
The first thing that I did was remove all of the stuff that was in the room. It took a while but it was worth it! I cleaned the window and hoovered the carpet. I also took down the old blue curtains; they were very thick and didn’t let any light into the room. They also didn’t do that horrible blue wall any favours as the very bright blue curtains and darker walls seemed mis-matched. I moved the bed away from the window to where it fitted perfectly behind the build in cupboard. The room already feels like it has more purpose!
And this is the finished result! I went for a bit of a shabby chic theme as it calmed the room down and made it feel more delicate and less distressed! I wanted the main focus to be on the seating/sleeping area as it is a small room, leaving only space for one function and not a lot of furniture. I didn’t want the room to feel crowded so I kept things minimal.This ‘bicycle‘ cushion was a bit of a splurge, but it was worth it! When I look at the bed, the first thing I see is the adorable cushion. I bought it from Wilkinsons for £6.50, it had so much character I couldn’t resist!
This shelf was bare and as it sat above the bed I wanted to give it a bit more personality! I bought these amazing glass jars 2 for 1 at Store 21 and the pair cost £3.99. They’re quite big and were such a bargain as all the other similar jars I’ve seen have been over a fiver for just one. I filled them with the cutest Pot Pourri ever from Wilkinson’s (can you see a trend here?) for £4, which was a bit expensive but it gives the room more of a colour scheme, and ties that horrendous blue wall subtly in with the pinks, purples and other colours used in this room.
As the carpet is green it was important to try and bring that into the decor so it feels less mis-matched. I bought these two Ivy plants at Homebase for £1.99 each and I think they’re adorable! Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to get them pots – a misadventure to HomeSense were Ali and I got lost put a stop to that one! Instead, I used washi tape to jazz up the ones I already had. I also purchased an Azalea plant on sale from Homebase for £1.99 (reduced from £3.99) which I thought was a bargain… until it died on me! I replaced the Azalea with this cute little owl which was £1.99 from B&M Home Bargains that I bought with Ali and Gary’s owl obsession in mind.I looked for a cheap coffee table or trunk but I couldn’t find anything that I felt was right. Instead, I stacked these white painted crates and it turned out quite well! These crates were free as we rescued them from being thrown away, and I’d already painted them white so this gave them a new purpose. The little birdcage came from Store 21 and cost £3.99, and I filled it with a couple of hair flowers that I had to give it a bit of colour. The book open on the table is Rachel Ashwell’s ‘Shabby Chic Inspirations’ which is one of my favourites.
The two most ‘dramatic’ changes to the room were the bed linen and the curtains. The sheet and pillowcases came from B&M Home Bargains and were £4.99. I decided to go for long, sheer white curtains to maximise light. Light, in my opinion, is the most important part of decorating a room as it can make a space seem larger. The new chill out room is quite small, so ensuring the space was as bright and open as possible was a must. The curtains came from Wilkinson’s and were £5. Hanging them was surprisingly simple too!
So what was my total?
– Pot Pourri, Wilkinson, £4
– Sheer Curtains, Wilkinson, £5
– Bicycle Cushion, Wilkinson, £6.50
– Milk Bottle, Wilkinson, £2.50
– Sheet & Pillowcases, B&M, £4.99
– Ceramic Owl, B&M, £1.99
– Ivy, Homebase, £1.99 (x2)
– Azalea, Homebase, £1.99
– Glass Jar, Store 21, £3.99
– Glass Bird Bottle, Store 21, £2.99
– Mini Birdcage, Store 21, £3.99
(the rest of the money went on petrol for travel to get the items)
One of the most important things when working on such a small budget was not to waste money. As we’re moving soon, I wanted to make sure that all of the items bought would have a place in the new house to make it feel like home. That way, we’ll be saving money decorating the new flat by reusing items we already have. The plants especially will come in handy, I can already see them in the new living room window…
I’d like to say a huge thank you to MoneySupermarket for making this happen! Check out their Pinterest board here for more ‘Room For Improvement‘ makeovers on a budget. You can also check out my own ‘Room for Improvement’ Pinterest board here.