How I Revamped Ella's Bedroom On A Budget

When we moved into our house, one of the selling points was that it had three good sized bedrooms for the kids.  The people who owned the house before us just had the one daughter so her room had been beautifully done with a baroque patterned feature wall and the remaining walls painted pale pink to match.  The carpet was brand spanking new white and there was a gorgeous original fireplace.  Surely this was every 14 year olds dream?

Nope, not Ella's.  

She moaned about the girlie pink. She didn't like the fireplace, she said it was ugly.  It didn't help that within the first week that Buddy the dog, obviously drawn like a magnet to it's sparkly newness, had wee'd three times on the carpet unnoticed and urine stained it for life.  And the two shallow cupboards either side of the fireplace meant that she had limited space to put her furniture.  In order to placate her, I was bribed into buying a Jack Wills duvet cover that cost more than the IKEA bed.  

So when Good Homes asked if they could photograph our house and wanted to include Ella's bedroom, I was forced to give in and agreed that we would revamp it over the Summer holidays.  A girl after her mother's heart, she had already set up a Pinterest board so after I'd looked at/ruled out her ideas, we embarked on our plan.

Ella's bedroom prior to us moving in taken from the brochure.  A picture of tidy perfection.

Ella's bedroom prior to us moving in taken from the brochure.  A picture of tidy perfection.

Four months after we moved in. Check out those make up stains.  White carpet destroyed.

Four months after we moved in. Check out those make up stains.  White carpet destroyed.

This is what we did.

Cleared Out The Wardrobe Of Doom

It quickly became apparent when we opened the wardrobe that Ella owned enough Superdry, Hollister and Jack Wills hoodies to keep a small country warm for a decade.  Combined with hugely expensive yet unworn trainers and half of Top Shop, it was time for stripping it all back.  If it hadn't been worn in the last two months, it was eBayed or given to unsuspecting friends with younger girls.  Parents who as yet had no idea that they were about to enter a world that involved having to navigate Hollister with a torch or having palpitations about the cost of a pair of pants in Jack Wills.  Instead of saving the profits of her eBay sales to invest in new clothes, Ella immediately spent it all on a Pandora bracelet.  No words.

Ella looking casual whilst being photographed for Good Homes.

Ella looking casual whilst being photographed for Good Homes.

F**ked Up The Walls But You'd Never Know

As you may know from my earlier blogs, I am absolutely committed to having a professional decorator downstairs but upstairs, I simply cannot justify it.  Unfortunately, my skills with a paintbrush can only be described as slapdash and my work is usually mistaken for that done by a five year old.  So it was with a heavy heart that we went to B&Q and bought Valspar paint to match Plummet and Pavillion Grey.  On the positive side, we had managed to agree on the colours so that was a bonus.  We didn't strip off the wallpaper on the feature wall, we painted over it - if you are a decorating purest feel free to have apoplexy.  We spent a full day decorating and were more than happy with our efforts.  Just don't look at the skirting boards.  The speckled effect is on trend.

I wouldn't suggest using the zoom feature on this photo.

I wouldn't suggest using the zoom feature on this photo.

Made Storage For Biggest Cosmetic Collection Ever Seen

For reasons unknown, whilst my make up collection consists mainly of Maybelline, five year old mascaras and a make up brush that could be classed as a health hazard, my daughter has a full collection of MAC, Urban Decay and Real Technique.  Prior to her room revamp, she would complete the hour long daily process of putting her make up on whilst sitting on the floor, thus grinding powder into the white carpet.  This despite the fact that make up was actually banned at Ella's school and she had been on Make Up Report (who knew there was such a thing?) three times.  So  the revamp needed to take into account storage for her products.  Off we went to my shop of choice, The Range, and bought Curver baskets in white lace latticed plastic that fitted perfectly into her newly cleared out drawers.  Perfect.

So much make up, so little time.

So much make up, so little time.

Decked The Walls

Having seen a photograph on Pinterest, Ella wanted to reproduce a fairy light photo wall.  In the interests of economy, I selflessly sacrificed my mini white festoons from John Lewis that had previously been in the bar.  I used gold picture nails to hook the wire cord around and Ella attached photographs using pink paperclips.  It looked really effective and the clips meant she could change the photos as and when she fell out/made up with friends.  Ideal.

Donated my bar lights.  Parenting goals achieved.

Donated my bar lights.  Parenting goals achieved.

Made A Photo Wall

In the age of the mobile, Ella has thousands of photos that she takes on her phone and every now and then she goes to Boots and prints a load off.  She decided to create a photo wall with all her favourites, completely covering one wall from edge to edge.  She's half way up at the moment and still has loads to stick on but it looks really good already.  We so rarely print photos off nowadays and it's lovely to see them on display.  

Lots of pouting.  Lots of girls hugging wearing very short dresses.  Lots of boys.

Lots of pouting.  Lots of girls hugging wearing very short dresses.  Lots of boys.

Multi Tasked Furniture & Accessories

It's bloody freezing today so I'm taking that as a sign that our British Summer is well and truly over.   My Home Bargains outdoor hanging egg chair was looking sad and underused on the patio so after seeing it on another Instagram feed, I moved it up to Ella's room.  We added a couple of gorgeous cushions from Suburban Salon, Tin Design and Hilary & Flo and it looks like it was made to be there.  We moved in my favourite shoe last print from We Are Amused which she now refuses to give back.  Finally, I moved the large flakarti rug from the sitting room which covered all signs of dog wee and make up stains.

Bringing the outside in.  Love a bit of multi tasking furniture.

Bringing the outside in.  Love a bit of multi tasking furniture.

Let There Be Light

Ella already had two side lights with patterned shades, so I changed the bases to white ones I had previously had in the kitchen which fitted in with her new scheme better.   Her ceiling light was over ten years old and she wanted something a bit more glam.  Again, The Range came up trumps - an empire style chandelier in the Sale for only £10.  We used festoon lighting from Festive Lights in the fireplace and a neon heart from Bag and Bones above.  The fairy lighting is so effective that the ceiling and side lights are rarely used and the neon gives the most brilliant glow.  

Best bargain light ever from The Range.

Best bargain light ever from The Range.

Here's The Breakdown

This is what it would cost to achieve the same effect.

Valspar Pavillion Grey matched paint and Valspar Plummet matched paint:  £65

Ceiling light from The Range:  £10

Curver make up baskets from The Range:  £14

Festoon lighting fireplace and wall - John Lewis and Festive Lights:  £37

TOTAL EXPENDITURE:  £126

I managed to keep the outlay low by reusing and revamping what we already had which seriously cut down on costs.  Ella now has a room she loves which is fab.  Especially considering that the only reason she emerges from it and off FaceTime is when she goes to school, to Top Shop or at Christmas.  And Buddy is definitely doggy non grata.

PS: If you want to see Ella's bedroom in it's full revamped glory, we are featured in the November issue of Good Homes Magazine which is in the shops 26 September.