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Thrifty Mum Creates Chic Jungle Bathroom On A Budget With Upcycled Freebies

ImogenGroome
April 23, 2021, 11:00 AM
  • Nat, 35, turned her cluttered bathroom into a sleek jungle-themed space
  • Most of the supplies came from friends or the Facebook marketplace
  • The job took about two weeks but Nat says the hard work has paid off

It’s easy for bathrooms to become cluttered with products and begin to look grubby, but refurbishing the space professionally can cost a fortune. However, one thrifty mum has taken the plunge and managed to transform hers on the cheap.

Nat Cresswell, 35 from Ilkeston, Derbyshire and mum of one, had been considering the project for some time. ‘I'd been thinking of going dark in the bathroom for a while, but I'd been putting it off as everytime I looked at it I just thought, it's a big job!’ she told the money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.

‘I have a newborn baby too, so whilst also being really busy caring for her (and procrastinating), it gave me more time to think about how I wanted it.

‘I knew the colours and the sink idea I wanted, and I looked a little on Pinterest and on the Frenchic fan forum at bathrooms which confirmed the style choice.’

Nat, who is a support worker for United Response, wanted to bring an outdoors vibe into the space. ‘I love plants and I knew I wanted some in there, so that's why I thought of the dark green to compliment the tones and shades.’

The first step was to take everything except the bath out of the room. `We ripped the old flooring up and replastered the bathroom. That took about a week - we were lucky as a friend who is learning did it for free and we just bought the materials.

‘Once it was dry, I painted the walls and ceiling with Frenchic wall paint in the shade Dark Forest. I used a roller and applied two layers. Then I painted the bathroom door and bath side panels in Frenchic Blackjack.

‘The under sink storage I had made from some drawers I picked up for free off the Facebook marketplace. I thought they were painted yellow and I could easily sand them down. However they had white gloss underneath the yellow paint so I used some paint stripper and soaked them overnight then attempted to sand them again. They took a while as I hand sanded but I got there in the end.

‘I used Frenchic browning wax on the drawers and I got some new handles from B&Q. To make the drawers fit under the sink I asked my boyfriend to help as I couldn't figure it out. He marked out where to cut into the unit. I only needed to cut into the top drawer too and I made that one secure and still usable by making a little box around where I had cut it.

‘We took the pedestal off the sink, then put the drawers underneath and the sink on - hey presto, it worked!

‘My boyfriend made a new box behind the toilet area to cover the piping with some shelves added in. He used some plywood and we used old scaffold boards that we already had for the shelves. They were covered in cement so I got all that off, sanded them down and used browning wax on them.

‘I found the boxes I used for above the toilet area on the Facebook marketplace. I sanded them down and used Frenchic browning wax again.

‘With the tiles I used a black grouting pen from Amazon (or should I say 3). Ideally we would have loved new tiles but we did what we could with the ones we had.

‘The tile behind the sink was given to me by my neighbour and I used a stencil I had with Blackjack paint. It's only meant to be temporary, but I kind of like it.

‘We got a radiator from the Facebook marketplace too, a more modern one than what we had before, and that makes a big difference.

‘The flooring was last to go in. I ordered it from eBay and my boyfriend did that as he is better with working out how to cut it.

‘Then the plants were moved in - the big hanging one was a gift from my mum. I already had the mirror above the sink and the one above the radiator was another Facebook marketplace find. My partner made the curtain rail from copper pipe and fittings - so easy and effective!’

The project wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. ‘Having a 3 month old baby to look after meant some juggling was involved. Luckily my family were on hand to help.

‘Also, the under sink storage was a little harder than I had thought it was going to be, but I didn't mind as I got them for free. My partner also did all the plumbing and said the bath taps were a challenge.

‘At one point, I managed to accidentally spill my tin of wall paint! I had to buy another tin just for the final touches, but I didn't mind too much as I have extra now for more projects!’

Overall, the project took Nat five days to complete once the new plaster was dry. Plus, as she managed to upcycle existing furniture or find bargains on Facebook marketplace, the final bill wasn’t too high.‘The supplies only cost me around £250 in total!’

Now Nat can sit back, relax and enjoy her new bathroom. ‘I’m so happy with the final result. When it was all done I had a nice relaxing bath with candles and a glass of wine! It was so cosy.’

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Nat’s bathroom transformation is mind-blowing. All that hard work has clearly paid off, what a team effort!

‘Black is a bold choice which has worked in Nat’s favour here. If you’re thinking about painting your walls a darker shade, try taking a leaf out of her book by adding furniture or accessories with lighter colours to avoid creating an oppressive feeling.’

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