My spare room plays hosts to guests (mostly my mum, my best friend or my stepson), not as often as I’d like, but then it’s very plain and boring. Between guests, it is used as a dumping ground and a room to store clean washing, to delay having to fold it and put it away! Every time guests come, I put on a different duvet cover – in attempt to brighten up the bland walls, bland curtains, bland furniture.

Enough is enough. I decided to take Money Supermarket’s Home Improvement Hero challenge: to improve the look and functionality of a room in my house, on a budget of £50.

My spare room is also used by my step son Rhino, when he comes to stay, so I wanted a themed room that would be suitable for all guests, but also suitable for a 9 year old boy to feel comfortable in.

I’m loving all the Nautical themed things that are around in the shops right now. Nautical seems to be bang on trend, but in my mind, it’s pretty timeless. I used to love my Grandad’s study when I was a little girl. He has always loved boats, trains and planes, and but it’s the boat paraphernalia I remember in his study. Now he has a room dedicated to trains and a shed dedicated to boats (or it was last time I checked)!

So here are the Before and After’s…



What a difference hey!

And here’s what I did:

1. Clear all the junk, washing etc out of the room… but make sure you find a home for it all or plan a car boot. Moving it from one room to another will not achieve a great deal!

2. Paint a feature wall. We already had brushes, rollers, paint trays and masking tape, so I didn’t need to buy these. If you look after them well, you can use them again. Make sure to cover carpets and furniture with dust sheets and put masking tape around the edges of the wall you are painting and any sockets – so as not to get paint on the wrong wall.

3. Put back the furniture that is staying and hide what you don’t want seen! We unfortunately have an abundance of beds which don’t belong to us, but we are not allowed to get rid of. They are in bits around the spare bed (which is why it is so high – several mattresses!) In order to hide them, we put an old white valance sheet over the middle mattress; so now, the pieces of other beds are far less noticable.

4. Put up some pictures, bunting and a mirror. Jonny left this job to me (he did everything else – Thankyou darling!) and I literally just poked a picture hook into the wall and gave it a bit of a hammering. Always be careful to use the right length of nail though and don’t hammer nails into the wall above sockets!

5. Make the bed with some fresh clean bedding and admire your handiwork (or your husbands)! I added a beach themed cushion and plan to add lots more cushions as I find them.


What I spent:

£5.98 Paint (two 250ml tester pots of mix it yourself paint)
£8.00 Beach themed cushion
£9.99 Large nautical themed canvas painting
£11.98 Two smaller nautical canvas pictures
£7.99 Nautical themed mirror
£2.99 Nautical themed bunting
£2.99 Sailing boat

Total Spend £49.92

This is a theme I think I will add to over the years as I find more cushions and pictures. I really enjoyed this challenge. It took us 4 hours to go from the Before picture to the After picture!


Disclaimer: Moneysupermarket gave us £50 to cover our expenses. All opinions, decisions, shopping, work and words were entirely by myself and my husband.

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