Home makeovers might sound like an expensive undertaking, but these experienced interior designers prove that doesn’t need to be the case.
Four professional teams from across the UK demonstrated how it is possible to decorate an entire room for less than £500.
To add to the challenge, the designers were only allowed to use pieces they found at their local British Heart Foundation store and had just 10 hours in the space, meaning they had to be even more creative to bring their vision to life.
Here, they share before and after photos that capture the room transformations – and offer up their top tips for you to try at home.
How they spent it: Dining table and chairs x 3 at £25 each; dining table and chairs, £50; fireplace, £69.99; gold and black globe, £45.99; rug, £24.99; electrical goods, £20, bric a brac, £140. Total cost for the room = £425.97
Designed by: Upcycler and TV presenter Max McMurdo
Total amount spent: £425.97
TV salvage expert Max McMurdo, of Bedfordshire, put his upcycling talents to good use to highlight how seemingly rundown items can be given a new lease of life.
Famous for his eclectic designs, Max’s hunter lodge themed-room made the most of dining chairs he picked up in store to create statement pieces and new furniture.
Together with assistant Phillip Ely, Max broke apart a chair to mimic an antler wall mounting, flipped two others upside down to form table legs – and used another to make a one-of-a-kind lampshade.
Before: TV salvage expert Max McMurdo, of Bedfordshire, put his upcycling talents to good use to create a hunting lodge inspired living room in this rugged, warehouse space
After: Famous for his eclectic designs, Max’s hunter lodge themed-room made the most of dining chairs he picked up in store to create statement pieces and new furniture, including new table legs, pictured foreground, and a piece of wall art emulating a stag head, as seen
Other key buys included a £69.99 fireplace, a £24.99 rug and a £45.99 globe to add to the hunting lodge feel of the space. In total, Max and Phillip came in well under budget at £425.97.
He said: ‘We’ve got a reputation for doing things in an innovative, quirky way; this started out as “hunting lodge chic” but we got carried away.’
Max also pointed out the benefits of upcycling, noting it’s a way to save items from landfill while learning new skills.
How they spent it: Dining room set, £105; sideboard, £80; lamps, £40; jug, £3; rug, £65; canvas, £40; teapot and cups, £15; books, £10; mirror, £10. Total cost of the room = £368
Designed by: Interior Style Hunter and Girl About House
Total amount spent: £368
Grant Pierrus – aka Interior Style Hunter – and interior designer Sarah Mailer, otherwise known as Girl About House wanted to create a look that was simple yet striking, rich in colour and texture.
Sarah, who runs a studio in Elstree, Hertfordshire, explained the room was built around the £80 wood sideboard. ‘As soon as we saw that, we could already visualise the room coming together,’ she explained.
Before: Grant Pierrus – aka Interior Style Hunter – and interior designer Sarah Mailer, otherwise known as Girl About House wanted to create a look that was simple yet striking in the space
After: Sarah, who runs a studio in Elstree, Hertfordshire, explained the room was built around the £80 wood sideboard, pictured between Sarah and Grant in the transformed dining room
The designers picked up a £105 dining room set and accessorised with a pair of £40 green lamps and a £65 rug. They finished the look with little knick knacks like a £3 jug and £15 teacup and cups .
To round off the room, Sarah bought a £40 canvas and painted her own abstract piece drawing in the colours of the room.
She added: ‘We wanted to make something that still looked really high end, despite being on a budget.’
The room was also the cheapest, with just £328 spent overall.
How they spent it: Chest, £40; bed, £100; mirror, £10; records 4 x £2.50; chest, £60; cushion, £9.99; chair, £20; throw, £9.99; bedside table, £55; stool, £59; artwork, £14; rug, £85; jug, £3; ornaments, £15. Total cost of the room = £490.98
Designed by: Forward Features
Total amount spent: £490.98
Between the bedframe, mattress and linen, the cost of decorating a bedroom can quickly spiral.
But David and Mark, of award winning London-based design blog Forward Features, managed to create this boho space for just £446.
They approached the task with a retro 70s theme in mind and were delighted to find key standout pieces like the £20 rattan chair and £59 fluffy stool.
The bed itself came in at £100 and they picked up two chests for a total of £100.
Before: David and Mark, of award winning London-based design blog Forward Features, approached the task – and this neutral space – with a retro 70s theme in mind
Eclectic: The creative pair brought life to the room with a clash of different textures
Designed by: Sharp & Simpson
Total amount spent: £446.98
Using a pastel colour scheme, Micaela and Beth of London-based design firm Sharp & Simpson went for a fun, gender-neutral theme for their children’s bedroom space, creating a look which could span across a variety of age groups.
How they spent it: Bed, £65; mattress, £35; mirror, £45; wardrobe, £15; sideboard, £15; pillow, £2; throw, £9.99; toy box, £10; light, £150; giraffe print, £69.99; rug, £30. Total cost = £446.98
One of their key ideas was to refresh an old toy box by covering it with padding and patterned fabric.
The centrepiece of the room was the £65 bed and £35. The most expensive item was a £150 standing lamp that added a high-end feel to the space.
Micaela added: ‘The Makeover Challenge really shines a light on what you can do with pre-loved furniture. It’s a great opportunity to be creative and make a one of a kind, unique piece.’
Before: Using a pastel colour scheme, Micaela and Beth of London-based design firm Sharp & Simpson went for a fun, gender-neutral theme for their children’s bedroom space, pictured