I was challenged by Money Supermarket to redesign a room for £50, a Home Improvement Hero challenge nonetheless. Apparently, we as a nation have been reducing our annual spend on DIY since 2008 and we are also spending less time on DIY. I was stuck for time and money, so I hope you like what I came up with. It cost just under £50 and took me around four hours to complete.
Initially, I thought I might sort out our hallway, but it was too big a job so close to the deadline, so I opted for our downstairs toilet room instead. It was one of the most dated rooms in our house, with yellow raised wallpaper and a zingy orange border. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a room I enjoyed being in, or a room which I used often.
It is the smallest room in the house and, with two small children, holds more than it should, with the addition of steps, toilet seats and a potty.
I set to work stripping the walls, which was rather rewarding. I hadn't realised how much I disliked the yellow textured wallpaper and I have never been a fan of borders.
I bought my supplies to redecorate with from Ebay. I had an idea in mind, to create a toilet room which looks like a library! The original wallpaper was I had seen was around £110 per roll, so I thought Ebay would be able to help me! I was in luck, a cheap copy being readily available.
What I spent on materials for the new toilet room:
2 Rolls Wallpaper £29.98
Brass bathroom accessories £17.00
Wallpaper paste: £2.19
I was lucky that I already have all the kit for wallpapering. If you are considering it, I would recommend a paste table, a brush, a spirit level, a stanley knife, or throwaway cutter and an edge roller. The edge roller is possibly my favourite thing about wallpapering!
I had grand plans of creating a splashback on the sink, but it has been many years since I last did any tiling, and I was a bit rusty, so decided to quit whilst I was ahead. It can be a project for the future!
The paper went up quickly and easily. One top tip for wallpapering is to apply the paste with a small roller. It ensures even coverage and is very easy to apply to the paper. Fold the paper loosely in half at either end before you attempt to hang it. Once on the wall, brush out any bubbles with the brush and then use the edge roller to roll the edges down, ensuring a really smooth finish and no peeling! It was the first time that I have matched a pattern, but this one was pretty easy and didn't take long to do. I was surprised that instead of making the room feel smaller, the illusion of books on shelves actually makes the room feel larger. I think mainly because it looks as if there are recessed shelves.
Next I had to attach all the fixtures to the wall. If you are drilling into a plasterboard wall, as opposed to brick, then you will need these special plasterboard rawl plugs. If you are drilling into a normal wall, then normal rawl plugs will suffice! Make sure all your accessories are securely fitted to the wall, especially if you have children. The last thing you want is them destroying your hard work!
We thought long and hard about what kind of fixtures we wanted. We looked at chrome, but it didn't really fit with the dark walls. In the end we opted for brass, very heavy and dark, like the walls. Now that I have finished it though, I think that glass fittings might have been cool!
I put a soap dish next to the sink to grab us a little bit of space next to the teeny tiny sink.
I ended up getting a new toilet seat too, because the old one was very flimsy and I wanted to do the job properly!
I love it! I really, really love it! I think everyone should have at least one eclectic room in their house. Thank you very much to Money Supermarket for the chance to change a room in our house! Have a look at the other competitions they are running.What do you think? Cool kitsch, or a step too far?
Disclosure: I was provided with £50 in order to redecorate a room in my house. All ideas and opinions are my own.