The Idealist

A Cloakroom Makeover – from bland to bold in a weekend (and under £100)

Many of us have a room or space that doesn’t quite match up to the rest of our home, a neglected space that hasn’t had the attention other areas might have received. For Ju De Paula this space was a small cloakroom that was, in her own words, “beige and boring”. Being an interior designer, Ju has transformed the rooms of numerous clients over the last 17 years including her own home and here’s how she transformed this small space into a stylish statement over a weekend.

Brief and Budget

As the rest of her home is based on a predominantly white backdrop with vibrant accent colours (cobalt blue, hot pink and bright yellow to name a few, drawing on her Brazilian heritage), Ju wanted to continue a similar look in the cloakroom. With a budget of just £100 and and the design brief chosen, De Paula prioritised which items to invest in and which to compromise on. She decided to spend on quality wallpaper to create a statement on the walls and chose a Designers Guild wallpaper with a white background with a large bold floral pattern in the same blue found in other rooms of her home. With limited time and resources replacing the tiles wasn’t an option so painting the tiles was a good cost-effective compromise.

Home Safari

Ju then went on a ‘home safari’, searching for items that she already owned and could use in a new place. In addition to decorative items, it also involved collecting preparation and decoration materials left over from other projects, another great way to keep the costs down if working to a tight budget.

Day One

With just two days to complete this makeover the project was split into two parts; preparation and decoration. The first day started with sugar soaping the tiles and cupboard to ensure a good clean base for the new paint work and unwanted holes were filled and sanded to ensure a smooth finish. Eggshell paint was used for the wood work with light sanding between coats and chalk paint was used on the tiles and the cabinet. As primer isn’t needed for chalk paint, it was directly painted first with a brush and then a foam roller. To ensure a hard wearing finish two coats of chalk paint lacquer were later applied also with a foam roller.

Day two

The part where the room starts comes together; hanging the wallpaper, changing the cupboard knobs and towel hook, putting up the mirror and styling with lots of greenery for a luscious feel.

The finished look achieved within a limited time and budget is quite staggering. Ju De Paula shows that through investing in items that create visual interest, interesting details and good styling you can create a luxurious and opulent feel in even the smallest of spaces.

Get the look

  • Designers Guild wallpaper
  • Towel hook from Anthropologie
  • Plant greenhouse from Ikea
  • Door knobs from Homesense
  • Oval mirror from a charity shop
  • Chalk Paint

Materials already owned

  • Wallpaper paste
  • Eggshell paint
  • Polyfilla
  • Sanding blocks and paper
  • Chalk paint Lacquer

For more information on Ju, visit her interior design company.

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All photos courtesy of respective company.

  • Helen is a fabric designer and lives with her husband and two sons near Bath. She grew up by the sea in Cornwall and is reinventing a modern coastal look of interiors with her debut collection in a minimal graphic design inspired style. Passionate about pattern, Helen is constantly capturing images on her phone for potential design inspiration.

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