DIY-wiz transforms outdated living room into a stylish space for £3k

DIY-wiz transforms ’embarrassing’ outdated living room into a stylish space for £3,000 thanks to upcycling and budget buys from eBay and B&Q

  • Shanika Ormsby, 25, from Birmingham, completed a living room makeover 
  • The student and mother-of-one used to be embarrassed about her living room
  • She spent lockdown painting, upcycling furniture and finding bargains to redo it
  • The renovation works cost her £2,000, allowing her to splurge on a £1,100 table 

A DIY-wiz has revealed how she completely transformed her dull living room to a stylish space on a budget thanks to upcycling and bargain hunting.  

Shanika Ormsby, 25, from Birmingham, used to feel ’embarrassed’ about her old living room, which was fitted with an outdated red and gold carpet when she first started renting her house five years ago. 

With the permission from her landlord, the law student and mother-of-one turned the living room into a lounge area with a dining room, using upcycled and bargain items.

Costing just over £3,000, Shanika completed much of the work herself while working from home during lockdown in order to cut back on prices – using paint from B&Q to renovate side tables and curtain rails. 

She shared impressive before and after pictures of her handy-work on the DIY on a Budget UK Facebook group, where impressed interior design enthusiasts complimented her results. 

Shanika Ormsby,a 25-year-old mother-of-one from Birmingham, revealed how she turned her ’embarrassing’ living room into a living space she could be proud (pictured: the living room before)

Shanika’s living room, pictured. She upcycled old items of furniture and searched for bargain products in order to achieve the stylish look

Speaking to FEMAIL, Shanika explained: ‘I have lived at the house now for five years but as I was in university, I couldn’t afford to make the changes I wanted.’

But after getting her first job in 2019, the mother-of-one was able to save some money and start her renovation project. 

She used a payment plan for the bigger works, which included getting rid of the carpeted floors and replacing them with sleek laminated wooden flooring. 

‘The cost for my living/dining/hallway was £1056. I paid half of it for deposit and paid £50 thereafter until it was paid off,’ she explained. 

The empty living room pictured before, covered in outdated carpeted floor in gold and red

The mother-of-one explained she used to be embarrassed about the way her living room looked before, but that she was now proud of herself for achieving the room makeover 

Contractors took care of the floor, but Shanika oversaw most of the other works in order to cut on costs, including painting her walls herself.   

‘The next thing was to paint my walls – I got three tins of 2.5L for the price of two at B&Q, paying £32.’ 

When it came to furnishing her space, savvy Shanika used a few tricks to upcycle the items she already had, as well as searching for bargains.  

‘For my sofas, as I could not afford to buy the ones I love, I opted for sofa covers off Amazon where I paid about £40 and used a sofa stapler to secure it,’ she said. 

‘The gold wall arts were made using cheap picture frames from The Range. I laid out the design then glued together and spray painted with gold metallic paint,’ she added. 


The DIY-wiz used sofa covers to update her old sofas, which she could not afford to change, left and upcycled a coffee table bought on Facebook MarketPlace

Shanika’s dining room, pictured, with a dining table she paid £1,100 after saving throughout 2020

‘My coffee table was purchased off Facebook Marketplace and I upcycled using mirror fablon together with white paint and a new set of drawer handles.’

She added she even painted old wooden curtain rails with gold metallic paint so that they would match the rest of the living room.

‘My side tables were plain grey that were purchased off Ebay and I again upcycled with gold metallic paint for the bottom and white at the top with brush strokes made using dried paint brush,’ she added.

The mother-of-one’s biggest expense was her dining-room table, which she bought for £1,100 in October after saving throughout 2020. 

People were blown away by Shanika’s efforts and told her she should be proud of herself for her ‘divine’ living room

‘The mirror in my dining room was a christmas present from my lovely mum. The clock is self adhesive from Amazon,’ she added. 

The proud mother-of-one revealed she completed the works on her own time in 2020. 

‘All of this was done whilst working from home during lockdown and caring for my little one. Mostly on weekends or after work in the evenings. This took a year to complete,’ she said. 

People were blown away by Shanika’s impressive results, with some saying her home looked ‘divine.’  

‘You are a very clever lady your home looks divine,’ one said.  ‘Absolutely gorgeous,’ one added. ‘Looks amazing! Well done you,’ another wrote. 

‘You have every reason to be proud, what a change… Good things come to those who “put the effort in” well done,’ said another. 

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