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Savvy Homeowner Saves £250 On Christmas Decs For Her New-Look Living Room

December 18, 2020, 9:15 AM
  • Decorating novice Lisa Allison, 33, turned her brown and beige shell of a living room into a glimmering blush pink and rose gold festive haven on a £450 budget
  • Says she saved hundreds on the room makeover – including £250 on the Christmas decorations alone – by shopping in the sales, upcycling and crafting her own festive touches
  • “Absolutely loves” the end result and is looking forward to hosting her first family Christmas at home

Snuggling up around the fireplace for a cosy Christmas at home is peak festive bliss.

If your house could use some Christmas magic, take a tip from Lisa Allison, 33, who transformed her empty shell of a living room into a warm and inviting festive setting on a £450 budget in just four days. This included prepping the walls, wallpapering, painting, having a new carpet fitted, upcycling the fireplace and coffee table, new blinds, and all the decorations.

Having just moved into her new house, the media and digital content specialist from Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, was on a Christmas countdown to get the place ready in time for the big day.

“I was on a tight schedule to get it finished and make sure I was in my new home for Christmas,” she told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. “As it’s my first home, I wanted to make a statement. I lived with my parents while saving for a house and their festive decorations were always classy and understated. I wanted something bold and different. I was leaning towards a grey and mustard colour scheme but wasn’t entirely convinced.”

Creative inspiration struck when she was handed a glamorous gift.

“My mum gave some rose gold wine glasses as a moving-in present and I fell in love with them,” she says. “From that moment I knew I wanted to incorporate rose gold into my home.”

Lisa stuck with grey as the base shade, teamed with rose golds and pinks for a pop of colour.

“I wanted it to be warm, but also modern and pretty,” she explains. She set about searching for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, as well as scouring online stores for wallpaper, furniture and accessories.

“I bought a lot of the items secondhand and upcycled them,” she says. “I also made some items myself. Everything else was bought in the sales. The Christmas tree was probably the most expensive item in the room – I got it in the Very sale last year for £80 compared to £130 fully-priced. The baubles and other tree decorations cost £50 in the sales compared to £100 and I made my wreaths and garland for £50 as opposed to spending £200 on new ones I'd seen in the shops."

One of the first steps of the transformation was wallpapering the feature wall in a grey and rose gold geometric wallpaper.

“This is honestly the worst job, along with glossing,” jokes Lisa. “It’s especially complicated when it’s an intricate pattern. I salute anyone who wallpapers their entire room. I know I couldn’t do it.

“I was going to paint the wall and use gold tape to make the same pattern but I thought it would be more complicated than wallpaper. On reflection, I should have just taped it. However, I am really happy with the outcome.”

The £20 fireplace surround was found on Facebook Marketplace.

“It’s always worth looking there – and on Gumtree – for old furniture to upcycle,” she says. “I knew I would need to sand it and paint it, but it was exactly what I was looking for and it was worth the effort for how well it turned out.”

To prevent the fireplace from dominating the room, Lisa painted it a shade of grey that blended in with the wallpaper behind it.

The carpet was fitted by a local tradesperson, which Lisa says was “half the price of the bigger stores”.

To tie in with the theme, Lisa got her hands on a secondhand geometric coffee table and spray painted the base rose gold. She added giant stars from Lights4fun, as well as some twig lights, faux roses and pink pampas grass for a sense of comfort and a warm glow.

“I don’t use my overhead light or my lamps that often,” she says. “I like to have that cosy feel in the evenings.”

Next came the Christmas decorations, which are a glimmering mix of blush pinks and metallics.

“I wanted my tree to match the rest of my décor,” she says. “I had a lot of the baubles already in storage as I bought them in the sales last year. However, places like The Range, Home Bargains and B&M are amazing if you need to buy them new – they’re cheap and very nice.

"I got my silk roses from my local garden centre, but ebay is also great for foliage and faux flowers. I added a few pricier baubles that I bought this Christmas but the cheaper ones look just as good."

A lot of time and planning went into dressing the faux fir and Lisa is full of top tips for getting a similar result.

“I wanted it to look full but also pretty, so I used different elements like feathers, bows, fake flowers, dragonflies, and butterflies," she says. "The more the merrier is my motto.

“Most people just hang baubles on neat lines across the tree, but if you hang them so some touch or overlap then it looks more natural. Try not to think about order, just look for gaps and fill them, as this will make the tree look fuller.

"Also think about adding different elements, like bows, feathers or fake flowers and go for a mixture of bauble sizes to make your tree stand out. Don’t be afraid to add oversized baubles – they are really on trend at the moment.”

For the fireplace garland, Lisa turned to crafting. She also made a couple of wreaths from scratch – one green, one gold – using a similar approach.

“I used pine branches and thick but bendable floristry wire for the garland frame,” she says. “I wanted snow-tipped edges, so I bought display snow and some PVA glue to dab onto the parts where I wanted a dusting and then simply dipped the branches into the bag of snow.

"I attached the branches to the wire by wrapping them around and securing them with either more floristry wire or the glue gun. Next, I weaved through the battery-powered fairy lights and started to glue on the baubles, flowers, poinsettias and dragonfly ornaments.

“It takes a few hours to do this but it saves so much money. All three cost me £50 to make and they will last for years, but they would have cost me £200 to buy them new.”

“If you don't think you can make a wreath from scratch, you can always take a shortcut by buying a pre-made wreath and attaching your own decorations. This will be cheaper than buying a big, fancy, designer wreath."

Makeover complete, all that was left to do was sit back and relax.

“I absolutely love the end result,” she says. “Finally having my own home to decorate how I wanted and being able to create blush pink and gold Christmas decorations has felt like an amazing achievement. It turned out better than I could imagine and I get lots of compliments from friends when I share photos.

“I feel as if I’ve discovered I have a hidden talent for renovating and decorating. I’ve even helped my friend to transform her living room after she came to me for advice. I’m glad I did it, but I won’t be changing the décor any time soon as it was tough.

“This Christmas Day, I am hosting for the very first time and doing all the cooking. My mum and dad are coming over and I can’t wait. It’s exciting to finally have the living room finished so we can celebrate.”

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk comments: “Lisa has discovered a knack for home interiors and crafting and her hard work has paid off.

“She estimates that she saved £250 on Christmas decorations alone, which is a fantastic achievement.

“It also goes to show how a bit of savvy shopping can help you turn a room around in super quick time, without blowing the budget.”

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