A Little Ingenuity Goes a Long Way [Room Makeover]

I think it’s safe to say that before last week, the larger of our spare rooms resembled something that would have made ‘Stig of the Dump’ proud. It was more shed than spare room and was stuffed with bike parts (Mr T is a bike fanatic!), various DIY tools, a dismantled wardrobe and a battered old bed frame. Conveniently enough I don’t seem to have any ‘before’ photos to show you. But last weekend we finally decided enough was enough. I desperately needed a space to work, so we tackled the chaos! I thought I’d share with you a little room tour, and how we got to where the room looks currently. There are still a few things that we’d like to change (the textured wallpaper being one of them…) but for now just having space to concentrate is enough.

As with all of our home projects, we wanted to reuse or repurpose as many items as we could for our new office/spare bedroom. Most parts of the dismantled old wardrobe went to the recycling centre, but we kept hold of the drawers and the doors. The doors have been stored away, and I’m hoping to use cork floor tiles to transform them into memo boards (watch this space). The drawers have been repurposed into the perfect storage boxes for keeping books and craft materials within easy reach. The heart-print backing is a very generous wallpaper sample that has been lightly fixed to the boxes with double-sided tape. This means if I get bored, which is likely, I can easily switch out the design for something different. It’s great to also have somewhere to display some of our long-stored trinkets, such as the origami cranes and flowers we made for our wedding.

I’ve been lusting after a hairpin leg desk for months, but we could never justify the £200+ price tag of a new one. So I’ve waited patiently, scouring the local selling sites for the perfect item to repurpose. And I managed to nab this beauty for £15. It’s a piece of solid wood worktop with Ikea table legs. At some point the top will be sanded and oiled, and the legs swapped out for some in the hairpin style from eBay. I’ll finally have the perfect desk for a fraction of the price!

The chair shown was also a bargain from a local selling site, costing the grand total of £5. It’s been reupholstered and given a lick of paint, and is now a great spot to cosy up on the sheepskin rug we bought on our recent trip to North Wales.

The cupboard next to the desk was given to us by a friend, and was used to store clothes in our old house. It’s new use is to keep our most used DIY tools out of sight, and store away any samples and odds-and-ends for my Interior Design course.


It was important when planning the new space that we dedicated an area to relaxing, and for guests to sleep in. The room isn’t quite big enough for a day-bed. So, we dug our bean chairs out of the loft and covered them with pretty cushions and a throw. These are hugely versatile and can be used as a seating area, or as a small double bed when flattened. They’re even waterproof, so can be dragged out and used in the garden on the rare occasion that the weather allows it!

It’s been so great to finally have an organised space to focus in, instead of working from the kitchen table. I hope this post has inspired you to make some changes to the unloved spaces around your home. Never feel like you have to wait until you have enough time or money. Start small, and remember, a little ingenuity goes a long way…


This room has now had a second makeover, after a leak in the roof damaged it! Read the update here.




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