Friday, 31 May 2013

Room For Improvement Challenge: The Hallway

I just love a home makeover challenge, so when I was challenged to do a little mini makeover with a budget of £50, well I couldn't resist saying yes! I would loved to have done a room, but I think even with my thrifty ways, I'd be pushing it to get an entire room done with a budget of £50. So, after much thought I decided to transform a 'space' into a special little retreat. Somewhere pretty, girly, that we all can sit and relax, take time to have a cup of tea, read a book etc. A space I thought perfect was the area under our stairs in the hallway, and normally somewhat of a dumping ground. An old computer sits on a well past its sell by date desk, an old Ikea bookcase takes up quite a big area, and it generally just looks a very unappealing area to sit and relax in. You just want to walk straight past, getting from a to b without stopping to stay a while.

What this challenge has inspired me to do, along with the £50 budget, is utilize what I already have, to source new and second hand and to create a special area, that I DID want to stop a while and relax in. I do hope I've achieved that. So, here is the 'before' space, yes a little uninspiring huh?

Did I mention the walls are still unpainted, plaster pink has become a very fashionable colour in our home sweet home ;) It is a forever work in progress home, I love how it evolves but don't think the time shall come that it'll be completely 'finished'. Mind you, what would I do with my time in a 'finished' house ;) I love that its 'work in progress' state brings with it new challenges for me every day.

Knowing me, there had to be an element of pink in the new transformed space, and all things HOME related was definitely my inspiration. My starting point was that I knew I wanted some wall art for the back wall, and I really liked the idea of a pretty candy floss pink for the paint. I have always wanted to try out these vinyl wall art 'quotes' but had wondered if they were that easy to apply to the wall and whether, well, that it might look a bit naff. With my £9.99 in hand from my budget, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go, searching on ebay I found the perfect words! I just love the feature wall, and the inspiring words mean so much to us as a family. Regarding the application, it all went well, but my advice is, read the instructions carefully, then read them again and go slowly, very, very slowly when applying to the wall. So, that was my first inspired purchase and then the space evolved from there into a new, pretty, relaxing area that I just love!

Oh I did have fun! Miss Poppins took a hand in styling the area and I have to say we feel we can now stop for a little sit down in an area I can be proud of. So, what did I do and how much did I spend? Well, here's a little break down...

After I had purchased the wall art, I had a little mooch on freecycle and on offer was a well used but practical chest of drawers. Although a little shabby looking, I knew I could pretty them up. I enquired and was very kindly given them. Here they are awaiting a little TLC.

And here's what they looked like after a little paint job using some Annie Sloan 'Antoinette' pink and 'Old white'.

Ah, much better! I wanted to really go for it with the girly-ness and found a stash of unused floral stickers, which I think looked rather sweet.

Lining the drawers in some lovely vintage style floral wallpaper creates just a little more girly love!

So, that's the drawers done all for £0.00!! I already had many tins paint and rolls of unused wallpaper lying in wait for a pretty project like this. Next it was on to the chair. I kept the chapel chair from the 'before' photograph and decided to shabby it up, in keeping with my girly/pretty/shabby chic theme. Loving the distressed look, after painting it, I gave it a little sand here and there and popped one of my handmade cushions on it too.

And a little space for my pretty books.

As for the back wall I mixed a candy floss colour using mostly white with a little bubble gum pink, and a spoonful or two of the Annie Sloan 'Antoinette' pink. Perfick!

I was not brave enough to apply the wall art quote myself, so all the family got involved on that one! I spent a while making sure it was level, before doing the peeling back.

It got a little nerve wracking as the peeling back commenced.

Phew we got there! I loved the look of it straight away :)

The little canvas you can see was a purchase from Wilkinson, and at £3.00 didn't eat too much into my budget.

Another Wilkinson purchase was the pot pourri at £4.00, it has a really lovely, delicate spring scent.

Whilst in HomeSense I couldn't resist some purchases as I thought would sit beautifully in my our little sanctuary. First up is this floral suitcase at £7.99, I love it!

Next, I fell in love with this beautiful artificial posy that again cost £7.99. Just looking at it makes me smile so very, very much.

And what a bargain! The original Sia label reveals its rrp. Thank you HomeSense for providing me with such a bargantastic item there.

Whilst in the queue waiting to pay for the two items, I saw these.

Well, it would be rude not too at £2.29 and they look very pretty! With my girly-ness kicking in again, I decorated the lovely bon bon sweet jar with some sticky fabric tape and a little ribbon.

Next it was back to ebay to purchase a couple of pretties. First was this brand new Home Sweet Home wooden heart at £2.85 (with free P&P).

Next up on ebay I found a real bargain with this lovely lantern at £3.70, normally a candle would be housed inside, but I went for some pretty floral lights.

It looks lovely at night, providing a atmospheric glow over my little space under the stairs.

The pretty vintage bowl and Cath Kidston playing cards were a charity shop find at £1.00 for the little bowl and £2.00 for the sealed cards.

We ate the original sweets, hard work this makeover challenge stuff ya know ;) They were our own so replaced them with some more out of budget at £1.00. Yes more pink! My final purchase was this gorgeous Prima spring time craft magazine. I think it has been out a while, but I hadn't seen it and I thought it a perfect buy to help me relax in my our special corner. Possibly the best £3.99 I have ever spent on any craft magazine, and so up my street the the girly look inside.. I urge you to have a nosy if you see it in a shop.

The pretty handmade Daisy crochet blanket has been kindly borrowed from Miss. Poppins, it was a special gift for her from mummy and daddy, made by The Patchwork Heart. She loves it and not sure she'll let me borrow it for that long ;) The round wicker stool was another eBay purchase from a little while ago, that again I utilised for the space. Of course there has to be comfy slippers close by, and only my poshest ones would do for this special area ;)

One of my handmade hearts hopefully makes for a personal touch.

I doubt I'll ever get bored here, though if I do, I have a selection of pretty books and magazines to occupy me. I painted the wooden magazine rack and I think looks loverly jubberly in the far corner.

So all in all, here is my list of costs, that helped me to improve this area...

Floral Suitcase (HomeSense) : £7.99
Flower Posy (HomeSense) : £7.99
Pink Bons Bons (Home Sense) : £2.29
Wall Art 'Home' Quote (ebay) : £9.99
Home Sweet Home Heart (ebay) : £2.85
Lantern (ebay) : £3.70
Canvas (Wilkinson) : £3.00
Pot Pourri (Wilkinson) : £4.00
Craft Magazine (M&S) : £3.99
Sweeties (newsagent) : £1.00
Vintage Bowl (Charity Shop) £1.00
CK Playing Cards (Charity Shop) : £2.00  

Total spend: £49.80!

So with a relatively small budget, you really can get inspired to turn an unused and not very pretty area into that perfect little space to relax and unwind in. Re purposing old furniture, sourcing places like freecycle and mooching on ebay means you really don't have to spend a small fortune to transform a space.
Right, I'm off to put my feet up, I hope you liked my finished look.



  1. Absolutely adorable. You did a great job!

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  2. Thank you Susan and Bentley, we put a lotta love in doing it, hope it shows :) x

  3. Wow amazing before and after photos. What a wonderful difference Mx

    1. Thanks forgetmenots, I really enjoyed playing with all that pink-ness! :) x

  4. Wow, it all looks fab!

  5. Stunning. I would love a little space like this in our home.

    1. It really is a special little space and hopefully I shall get the opportunity for a little rest & relexation there. I thought a great little space for story time with the children too :) x

  6. Wowzer!!!!! I can't believe you achieved such a HUGE transformation!! Well done you, it looks absolutely stunning. I know it's a random draw, but I really, really hope you win the big prize; you deserve it!! xx

    1. Ah thanks :) I had almost forgot there was a little competition to get entered into a random draw. Oh yes would be lovely to win, and everyone's rooms/spaces are great too :) Thanks for the lovely comments x

  7. This is so beautiful. That's just how I would make a reading or blogging corner for me to look like. Gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Carolin, tis very pink, but very me ;)) x

  8. Very pretty, love the pale pink :)

    1. Thanks Jean, took me a while to mix to a pink I liked. Is quite a subtle pink but it works I think :) x

  9. Absolutley amazed by your transformation! Well done, it looks so relaxing.

    1. Thank you so much, it is very relaxing indeed. Now I stop to sit a while, rather than just running past! :) x

  10. just breathtaking! i wish i had your talent!

    1. Ah thanks for the lovely comment, am very impressed with your transformation too :) Well done! x

  11. Very pretty: a total transformation.

    1. Thank you, yes hopefully looks a little more appealing now than it did before :) x

  12. Gorgeous makeover! I love it all ......the painted furniture and all the decorative touches work so well.......such a pretty effect.
    Helen x

    1. Thanks Helen, I'm such a girly girl and these pretty candy colours (that indeed you love to use in your beautiful work too) just make me smile everytime I look at them. Pretty, pretty, pretty! Thanks for commenting x

  13. It looks really lovely! I need to go to Homesense - what great bargains! I love the stickers on your drawers, might use that idea in my daughters bedroom xx

  14. I've an American living in the UK for 3 years now and had no idea there was something like Homesense here! I will be going to find my nearest as soon as school is back in. Thank you!


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