A THRIFTY mum managed to transform her council house on a budget – taking it from bleak to ‘farmhouse chic’.
Fiona Gall, from West Lothian, moved into her council house two years ago, which is adapted her husband, Mark’s, wheelchair after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
The couple, both 34, didn’t have the cash to spend thousands on renovation, but DIY-savvy Fiona managed to get the job done for just £218.
Fiona, mum to two-year-old Freddie, knew this was their ‘forever’ home so wanted to try and make it as inviting as possible.
She began re-decorating at the start of the year, starting with Freddie’s bedroom.
But she admitted she ‘hated’ the kitchen, which had a tired lino floor and drab wooden floors.
She said: “The kitchen was one of the rooms that I absolutely hated – I used to have the door shut all the time to try and hide it.
“My husband spends most of his time at home between hospital visits for his ongoing treatment, and because this will now be our forever home I wanted to try and decorate exactly how we wanted so it was a nice environment to live in.”
After researching colour schemes and design ideas, she settled on a polka-dot farmhouse theme and set to work.
She said: “I love polka dots so I tried to go with that theme and I wrapped all the counters, table surface and a chest of drawers with wood-effect Fablon.
“I make a lot of things myself, and every single room in my house has something DIY in it because I’m very crafty and like to upcycle furniture.
“I’m not afraid to look around charity shops either and I always shop about and try to find cheaper things, or even see if I can make them myself.
“A brand new kitchen wasn’t really an option for us as we had the rest of the house to decorate too, but still wanted to have family days out, and I was professionally quoted £3,000 for someone to fit the Fablon on our kitchen units and surfaces.
“I weighed it all up and decided to wrap the kitchen myself instead – I had to do a test patch inside the cupboard because I was scared that it would go badly.
“Wrapping the table and chest of drawers was fine but the worktops were more challenging because the corners were hard to cut around.”
Fiona managed to complete the kitchen project in just one month, and scoured local charity shops and Facebook marketplace for bargains.
The entire project cost £218, with Fiona spending £28 on wood-effect Fablon and the same on Duck Egg blue paint, with the white paint costing £30 in total.
She splashed £20 on brick wallpaper, with new bits of furniture coming to £52 and accessories costing £60.
Fiona adores the finished result, and already has her sights set on her next project – a playhouse for her son.
She said: “I absolutely love my kitchen now and I wanted it to be finished by Christmas as a present to myself!
“I’m really proud of how it turned out and I held a Christmas fun day for my family in the kitchen last week where we did lots of crafts with our children.
“The main reason I do this is because family is what is most important to me, and I love the satisfaction of doing something myself, but also by saving money I have more for family days out and making memories."
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