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Redefining your space: Updating your home needn’t cost a fortune

Quick updates to your home image

Transforming your home needn’t cost a fortune.

While everyone else tuned in to watch Marie Kondo declutter on Netflix, I came across the Great British Design Challenge – which originally aired on BBC2. It is a competition where each episode two amateur interior designers are given a budget, and a room (or two) to transform over two days.

They achieve great results while spending relatively little

Little projects can transform an entire room.

I have several little projects I have thought about doing in the house, and re-watching this programme made me realise that if these designers could transform an entire room in two days, I should take the plunge and start on my own far less ambitious projects.

I love being creative – and am quite happy to paint away with music playing in the background.

My budget was pretty much non-existent, my only purchase was paint. My first task was to turn what had essentially become a small junk room into a room that could be used- in my case to resume my video reviews of products for the website, where I could permanently set up lights etc.  Apart from clearing out the clutter the main task was to paint the existing pine furniture.

I bought one 750 ml can of chalky emulsion which was suitable for both furniture and walls, and some metallic spray paint. The total cost was in the region of £25.

It took me about two to three hours to paint each piece- I did the first coat with a brush and the second with a roller. I did my initial  paint colour test on the back of one of the drawers.

chest of drawers before upcycle image





chest of drawers after upcyclingI had intended to change the pine knobs for glass ones – but I came across a problem with the way some were screwed in – so had to come up with a Plan B-  and  decided to spray paint the knobs with silver metallic paint instead to provide some contrast.

Spray painting chairs

I also had a couple of old loom chairs in the back of the garage – so decided to give them a new lease of life by spray painting one silver and the other in gun metal grey.  Whereas everyone else was out and about on a sunny Saturday – I became excited at the prospect of being able to tackle my spray painting outside – laying out plastic sheeting and spraying away.

loom chair before upcycling























Ultimately I am really happy with the results.  I probably wouldn’t go out and buy furniture like this, but it seemed a pity to throw out perfectly solid items when they could be transformed.

upcycled furniture in box room image

I thoroughly enjoyed doing it – and in fact had enough paint left over for another mini project. I had wanted to paint a panel behind the mirror in the dining area for ages – and so used the left over paint for that – I also decided to paint a panel behind two framed prints so that looked a little less ‘lost’ on the wall.

painting a panel behind wall


paint behind pics to create impact

Inspired by the results I then decided to paint the fireplace – it never did look right painted white – and found that rather than buy a whole pot, two tester pots was sufficient to do the whole job.

I have now caught my painting ‘bug’ and am looking for other pieces I can transform around the house. I personally find doing things like this quite therapeutic.

Transforming a room needn’t cost a fortune. I think my total budget for all three of my  mini projects  was in the region of £30. A bargain!!

My little upcycling project has inspired friends to salvage old cupboards and do similar. I hadn’t intended to post this on the site – but I have been encouraged to do so by friends who thought others might be inspired too – and also it shares a little more about me – and the things I like to do.






Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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