Can you really renovate a room for zero costs? The bedroom challenge is on.

This blog post sets out my bedroom challenge. But first, let me give you an introduction to my current predicament.

I’ve recently moved into a house in the country. I moved from my cosy little house in South West London to a sprawling country home (well it is compared to my last place) in West Sussex which is a Victorian stables and Coach house and was turned into Residential accommodation 40 years ago by the previous owner.

jane fitch interiors west sussex victorian coach house and stables

When Brenden and I came to view the house in the Summer, it’s true to say we were blown away by the large garden and views over the South Downs, especially as we’d moved from a tiny house with a postage stamp garden and view of our neighbour’s side wall.

Even with my building and project management experience and armed with a full structural survey, we were literally blind to the amount of money we needed to spend on the house in order to bring it up to 21st Century standards. To say we wore rose coloured specs is a massive under statement.

We are spending money at the moment like there is no tomorrow, but the house has come on leaps and bounds already. However, we do not have a bottomless pit of savings. We will not have enough to do everything. By a long stretch.

We still have a list as long as my arm on what NEEDS doing to the house, let alone what we’d LIKE to do to it.

I love seeing blog posts on how to revamp your rooms on next to no money at all. However I let out a small whimper. No one hears me.

I have a master bedroom with a permanent damp wall, which I know I have to hack all the plaster off and render and skim the wall before I tackle any painting. I have a utility room, with a structural crack down it which I could hide the family savings in (if of course we had any after this money pit). On the outside patio, indoor tiles have been used and it’s super slippy out there, my daughter has already gone flying after a rather zealous 2 footed jump onto the slightly damped and inappropriately tiled area. Then there’s the flat roof extension (which is not flat on the inside. I think I have painted a picture.

In my current financial predicament I would love to upgrade my rooms for next to nothing, but that can’t be done! Can it?

 

I have decided to set myself a challenge for the first quarter of this year. Don’t they say that you should write your challenges down and share them in order to make them happen.

I want to try and renovate my Master Bedroom for no money at all. Bearing in mind, the renovation costs for my other two bedrooms was around £1000 each (including labour, new carpets, cast iron radiator splurge, skirting board). I do not want to spend a penny on it.

So now it comes to how to do it for nothing. I don’t want it to look cheap. It’s got to look the dogs b@£%$*ks. I’ve come up with this 6 point approach to pimp out my bedroom.

  1. I’ll be upcycling any freebies I can find or convince people to give me. I’m pretty good at painting furniture, but I want to be more like my instagram buddy in Bristol Marcie or lovely SE London furniture transformers Muck n Brass. Check them both out for inspo or purchases. Sorry guys – I’m mentioning you all over the place at the moment, but I’m totally in awe of what you do.
  2. I will be making things myself – including curtains/ blinds/ decorations (ok, maybe not curtains. I’ve been on a curtain making course many years ago. The results are not HIGH END!).
  3. Using free art wherever I can find it. (commission my 5 year old daughter maybe)
  4. Of course making use of what I already have in the house (and stored in the garage, summer house, in boxes – you get the gist)
  5. Enter competitions. Instagram is full of fabulous ones. I have won a couple of things on there in the last year. Sadly nothing for my bedroom, unless a Christmas wreath is the next bedroom accessory trend!
  6. Lastly, and most excitingly I will approach companies/ PRs to be a part of the makeover. Of course, they will get something in return. This is the bit I’m most nervous about. What if they say NO (which most of them will of that I’m pretty sure). To be honest with you, half the time I’m afraid to ask random people for directions, so what’s the chances I’m going to approach anyone else. We’ll see. This is my biggest challenge.

The only thing I won’t be doing myself is plastering walls. But I’ll see if my current builders will do it as a favour to me, especially if I hack the plaster off myself.

If you want to see if I can do it, or watch me fail magnificently then please subscribe and I’ll give you regular updates on my progress. Of course, if you’re into Instagram stories, some bits will be featured on there too.

But for now, let me leave you with some of the images of my bedroom to wet your appetite, and see what I’m up against.

jane fitch before photo bedroom challenge

This was the bedroom when we viewed the house. Complete with built in wardrobes. Cute teddy – hey. That’s what sold us this house.

bedroom challenge

Here’s the bedroom with the built in wardrobes removed. I’ve de-spidered the walls here. Please don’t look under the bed (oh – no). And look at that delightful light fitting. Plus there are some worrying damp patches!

bedroom challenge

Bedroom is East facing, so lots of early morning light in here. But this laminate flooring squeaks – and even farts in some places! I would love a patio door to go where the window is, leading out to our hot tub! Yes of course, I am dreaming. A hot tub, for free – haha.

bedroom challenge

Here’s a pic including the original wooden beams from it’s previous life as a stable. I’ve started to take off the wallpaper already. Plus this bed has GOT TO go. It takes up way too much space with that footboard.

The room size is 4m x 3.5. So it’s not huge, but it’s much bigger with those fitted wardrobes removed.

Wish me luck on my challenge. Plus if you want to play along too, then let me know. I will feature your progress on my blog too if you want me to.

See you soon.

p.s. If you’ve managed to blag freebies. Please let me know your secrets. Everything helps.