Monday, 3 June 2013

The £50 Room for Improvement challenge ~ before and after

Last week I took on the challenge of updating a room on a budget of £50, sponsored by Money Supermarket. The Room for Improvement challenge has really caught the imagination of lots of other bloggers too, and I've seen some fantastic makeovers on the limited budget.

Here's what I bought with my £50:

Seaside print ~ £15 from Next
Beach huts cushion ~ £12, also from Next
Graham & Brown emulsion (colour is Jewel in the Crown) ~ £15 from Wilkinsons
Primer ~ £6.95 also from Wilkinson
Total spend = £48.95

I already had white satinwood paint, brilliant white emulsion, plus other accessories and bits and pieces.

Okay, so it was harder than I thought to get all the work done in time.

I decided in my wisdom to try and decorate without moving all of the furniture out of the room. Big mistake. It would have been so much easier to clear the room but I didn't have the brute force to do it, or anywhere to put it all.  Plus, it was half-term and I had to spend some time doing other things with my daughters. Tsk.

Just to remind you, I tackled the dining room which was okay but ever since pinning this picture a few months ago I've been keen to use that dark teal colour in one of the rooms and the dining room seemed ideal. It's a very sunny room, south-facing and leading onto the garden and two of the walls were already brown so I thought it might take a darker tone.

Here's the dining room before:


Here's the work in progress photos:
room for improvement challenge

I chose a dark colour that needed two coats, plus the other walls needed two coats of white - so quite a long painting process. Plus I sanded, primed and repainted the woodwork and painted over some of the dark woodwork that I really didn't like. In the end though I decided not to paint the archway between the kitchen and dining room because it' natural wood with a clear varnish, whereas the other dark woodwork was stained a nasty dark colour.

Even though two of the walls were 'white' as soon as we applied a bit of brilliant white to the wall it became obvious that it wasn't white after all but a creamy colour, so two coats of white were needed to freshen it up.

As soon as I applied the teal to the wall I liked it, but when I painted the whole wall I started getting a bit nervous. It's a strong colour - and I'm sure not to everyone's taste - but I hoped it would work. I also primed and painted the windowsill to brighten it up a bit. Oh, and I washed and ironed the curtains!

Tip: if you have to take an overnight break between painting emulsion the easiest way to keep the brush fresh is to wrap it in cling film. No need to wash the brush out, in fact better if you don't because when you go back to painting the next day it doesn't splash the paint around. Next day, take the cling film off and away you go.

I finished the room late last night, and took these photos this morning after putting everything back in place and tidying up, so it's all very last minute!

The final result is much better than I expected and I'm glad I took the plunge with the teal - it works, and as an unexpected bonus it takes on a deeper green tone in the evening when the lamps or candles are lit.

Thanks to Money Supermarket for the makeover money - I really enjoyed planning it and seeing the final results.

Have you taken part? If so, please leave a link in the comments - I'm trying to see as many as possible!

Disclosure: as explained, I received £50 from Money Supermarket to take part but all of the work was carried out by me.