Redecorating on a budget

A few months back, my two girls decided that they didn’t want to share a bedroom anymore. Having shared since they were tiny, it was time for a change. This meant that I’d lose my office, which needed a complete overhaul ready to become a bedroom. We were on a budget for decorating. I didn’t have loads of time but couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it for us. Of course, as soon as I got started I realised it was a much bigger job than anticipated.

How we saved money

Preparing the walls and skirting boards ended up being a huge job. I had to fill a significant number of holes in the plaster. Then, we realised that the paint on the skirting boards was peeling off. It would all have to come off before repainting. I got the children involved in sanding down the skirting boards and spent a long time completely preparing all the walls before we got started on the paint.

I made my first saving by picking up some relatively cheap paint. It was a huge mistake. Each wall took several coats and the skirting board took two. For the one wall we were doing in colour, I bought a more expensive paint. It only needed one coat and touching up in a few places. I’m sure that worked out cheaper than the vast quantities of cheap paint I ended up using. There were some cupboard doors that needed a revamp as well. To keep costs down, I decided to paint those before deciding whether to buy new handles. Having learned from my mistake on the walls, I bought an expensive furniture paint. This transformed the cupboard and I didn’t end up needing new handles at all.

The final savings I made were on the curtains and the bed. The curtains were second hand from eBay. I made sure I measured them up and chose some pretty blackout curtains that would brighten up the room. Then, my husband found a cabin bed in a charity shop. We bought it and set about customising it to the room. Because the room is above the stairs, I needed to cut one leg off the bed to make best use of space. Then, we were able to put the bed above the box created by the stairs. This allowed us keep the window free and Lia has almost the whole of the floor space in the room to play in. We did the carpet at the same time as the stair carpet for one last saving – they used offcuts from the bedroom on the stairs.

Where I won’t cut corners

Much as we have done this refurb on a tight budget, there are a few things I won’t compromise on. Paint now makes that list since I’ve learnt the hard way. The other hugely important one is a mattress. I realised Lia’s old mattress was quite old and uncomfortable. As a decent mattress is so important for both back health and good sleep, it was definitely time for an upgrade.

The variety of single mattresses from Happy Beds allows customers to choose the right one for them. Memory foam, orthopaedic, extra firm and a plethora of others are available. Buying a good mattress and saving money by buying a bed second hand will always be my preference.

Much as it has been a long and painstaking task, I’m really happy with the way Lia’s room has turned out. I’ve already made a start on Libby’s but working freelance alongside teaching the girls at home has made it slow progress. Hopefully we’ll get there in a few weeks.

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  1. Oh great job and good luck with the rest. It is a year since we started decorating upstairs and we too learnt not to buy cheap paint (we got ours in the reduced section and never again!). We are currently slowly stripping our room and it feels like it is taking forever. We will need the walls re-skimming though and can’t do it ourselves so we have plenty of time just to prepare everything else.

    Will look at that company for a mattress because our bed needing replacing is one of the main reasons for doing up our room.

    1. Oh it does take such a long time doesn’t it? We’re still ploughing on with Libby’s room but preparing the walls to paint is such a big job. I don’t think the painting will take long at all now we’ve got decent paint! I hope yours goes well.