Room for Improvement Challenge: From En-suite to Closet

A few months ago, I can't quite remember how, I randomly discovered that there was such a thing as a network of Irish Parenting Bloggers and, on a whim, I sent a message to the administrator of the group and suddenly found myself a member. (See, I even have a badge over there on the right!)

The group is full of brilliant, bright bloggers and there is always someone online ready to share their experiences of everything from blogging technicalities to parenting advice. The group also attracts a lot of opportunities and in a flurry of new member excitement, I signed up for a few things that were being offered at the time... without really giving much thought to the fact that I would then actually have to do something...

So, waaaaay back in May, I signed up for a competition that was being organised by MoneySupermarket. All I had to do was register my interest, they (immediately) sent me £50 (almost €60). I then had to give a room in my home a makeover and blog about it, explaining how I did it and how far I stretched the money. Not only that, but there was a chance to win £500 of vouchers for a large DIY store, which would have been lovely... but as you can see, it is not May and I am *ahem* slightly late posting about my project... so I guess those vouchers are long gone... although I do have a fairly decent excuse...

The moment I read about the competition I knew EXACTLY which room I wanted to makeover.

The dreaded, derelict en-suite. The awful room of awfulness.

It was a relatively new addition to the house when we bought it, and served as the only bathroom for quite some time while we renovated the main bathroom in the house. You see, we live in quite a small 3-bed, semi-detached, post war house. A large chunk of the back bedroom had been taken up by this en-suite, which was positioned right next door to (literally, one footstep away from) the main bathroom. Once our main bathroom was finished, this ill-designed, ugly room fell into disuse/disrepair/disgusting awful awfulness, because in a house this size you don't really need two bathrooms right next door to each other. After we also added a downstairs loo, we knew we would probably never realistically use this space as a bathroom and began to discuss what should be done with it.

Devo, at some point had ripped out the toilet, basin and shower and we were left with what you see above.


My plan for the space was to create a walk-in closet for the girls, as it is in their room. They have quite a lot of toys at this stage in their lives, and I foresee quite a lot of clothes in their future, so it makes sense to me that they would have a dedicated storage space.

I naively thought that renovating a small room would mean it wouldn't cost a lot of money and that we could easily fit it into the budget. One trip to the DIY store later, and I realise what I've signed up for...

A) Wooden cladding is expensive
B) Plaster board is not very expensive, but when you need quite a bit of it, it all adds up.
C) This was not a project I would actually be physically able to do
D) This was a project I had to rely completely on Devo to complete (thanks Devo x)

So, without enough money to actually buy enough materials to do the job we had to get creative. And patient.

We wanted the walls to be wooden, so that the room would have a cosy, natural feel... like a little cabin. We would have bought wooden cladding, but it was too costly, and we considered finding wooden pallets to dismantle and attach to the walls (like this) but pallets are harder to come by than you would imagine.

So, we were stumped... and discouraged and we missed the deadline ...

But, then, months later, my Mother in Law announced that she was changing the flooring in her bedroom and asked us if we had any use for the semi-solid wood click flooring she was getting rid of. Which we did, and when it was eventually removed from her floor, it was miraculously exactly enough to do the job we needed it to do. And it was free. And it looks amazing

But it was incredibly tough work to actually get it to stay on the wall because it is HEAVY and ... a floor.

ALL credit to Devo for making it happen.

The major cost of the makeover was all of the beading/strip wood to tidy up the edges of the cladding.

We spent €55 on 8 lengths of strip wood, leaving €2 in the kitty.

To finish off the room, Devo painted the ceiling with white paint we already had, so that didn't cost anything and my brother in law generously offered us some carpet remnants. After Devo leveled the floor with some excess flooring, and put down the carpet, the room looks very inviting indeed. A vast improvement. I absolutely LOVE it!


With the final €2 I purchased a little hook each for the girls from Tiger.
Cute hooks

We will relocate some shelving systems we already own to this space and free up some much needed floor space in their bedroom. All of their toys will be easily accessible, but can be hidden away too which will hopefully make our small house feel less cluttered.

I can just picture them curled up on cushions in there, reading books on rainy days too and I can't wait to get it all set up for them.

Disclosure: Many thanks to MoneySupermarket for providing the £50/€57 and the catalyst for this project.

1 comment

A penny for your thoughts?