A savvy woman gave her tired bathroom a modern makeover on a budget and saved £600 by tackling the job herself.
Paula Atkins, 48 from Liverpool wanted to give her bland bathroom an overhaul to create a sophisticated space to relax and unwind, but knew getting the professionals in would be expensive, so she decided to tackle the makeover herself.
"The bathroom was looking old and tired, and I wanted to give it an update," she told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. "However, as the room is tiled from floor to ceiling, replacing the tiles would be costly.
"I knew we would not be able to afford getting the bathroom done professionally. When I looked at bathroom remodelling, the prices online were in the thousands. I wanted to have the challenge to do it ourselves so we could feel the sense of achievement when it was done."
Scrolling Pinterest for inspiration, Atkins decided she liked the look of wall panels for the space.
"I wanted it to be light as it is only a small room," she explains. "I had heard of wall panels before so I checked them out on YouTube and thought I would give it a go."
She also decided she wanted to create a huge black square mirror, but having searched online, knew buying one of the size she required would be expensive.
So instead she turned to DIY fan Stacey Solomon for inspiration, and was able to achieve the mirror of her dreams using the TV personality's 79p hack.
In January 2021, Solomon shared a DIY hack on her Instagram account which involved her creating a giant mirror out of frames and mirrors from IKEA, for a fraction of the cost of a similar designer mirror.
"I'm going to try and make a giant mirror. I feel like I really need something in these big white spaces (the living room) and I love those giant panel mirrors but they're so expensive," Solomon said at the time.
"So I bought these black frames and mirrors from Ikea, all together cost £30 so I really hope I can make it look nice," she added.
Following the TV presenter's lead, Atkins decided to go for a similar look.
"I wanted to create a black square mirror using a DIY hack I saw on Stacey Solomon’s Instagram page," Atkins explains.
"I was able to recreate what she did using picture frames and mirrors from Ikea. The mirrors were 99p each and the frames were 79p each, which I thought was great value for money. I got 16 frames and 16 mirrors for £28.48."
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Atkins bought the panels and other tools such as trims and glue from DBS Bathrooms, while the floor and bath tiles are PVC stick on ones from Amazon, at £7.99 per tile.
"The final price for everything was £360, which meant I actually overestimated how much I would need budget wise. I had enough left over to give my small toilet room a makeover too!"
Once Atkins had sourced all her supplies it was time to begin the makeover.
"I started by cleaning the walls and ensuring they were all dry," she explains. "Then I measured the length required for the panels and then applied the corner trim. Next up, I cut the panels to the required length with a thin handsaw.
"We applied the adhesive to the back before applying the panel. As each one had a groove for the next one to be slotted in, we were able to simply repeat the process," she adds.
When it came to making the mirror, the key was making sure all the frames were straight by using a spirit level.
"The mirrors also came with sticky tabs to fix to the wall," Atkins adds. "I then measured the tiles to fit the floor, cut them to size and applied them."
The hardest part of the project, according to Atkins, was applying the panels in tricky places such as behind the radiator and around the window.
"We also both work full time hours and have two children who were homeschooling due to the pandemic, which meant we could only fit the work in at weekends," she adds.
If she could share one tip to make the project slightly easier, Atkins says she would have bought better tools and measured the area correctly as she ended up buying way to many panels for the job.
But overall the family are thrilled with their purse-friendly makeover.
Commenting on the impressive overhaul Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: "Considering this is Paula’s first time at DIY she has done a stunning job. The bathroom has been completely transformed.
"Solutions such as stick-on PVC tiles can make a space look brand new with minimal effort and cost. What’s more, by spending just £360 on the project, Paula has saved at least £600 compared with professional jobs that could easily come with a bill of £1000 or more."