A Dining Room Makeover…for FREE!

You can now find the finished room HERE.

This should be some fun!

When my sister mentioned she’d like to makeover her little dining space, in virtually the same breath she dismissed the idea due to a lack of funds.

You see, my sister’s not really into thrifty decorating, and having a non-existent budget seemed to pose some kind of problem for her.

Though anyone who knows me will know that I relish in a frugal challenge!

Dining Room Before


Like me, my sister has a small house. The dining area being little more than a throughway between the kitchen and living room. It looks deceptively spacious in the above pics though is actually quite tight.

Currently, although there’s nothing terrible about it, there’s nothing special either. And after eight years it’s time for a change.

The dining setting has never been quite right. Dark, chunky and dominant it does few favours for the petite scale of the house. And the square table hinders flow between the living room and kitchen (it’s hard to tell in the pics though the table is pushed right back towards the rear wall to allow enough room for a walkway – of course, this results in one dining chair being smooshed against the wall). In addition, it’s seen better days with the table top and chair upholstery showing signs of wear.

Chairs and Table Before

The traditional pendant light, whilst okay in a period home, just looks dated here.

Light Before

Ordinarily, I would try and work with what we already have, though in this case it’s not really the best solution. The scale and shape of the dining setting would still be wrong, and I don’t really want to alter a perfectly fine classic pendant someone else would be happy to have as is.

So, if I’m not planning to use the pieces already in the space, how am I going to pull off a super thrifty makeover?

By selling baby!

Yep. I’m going to list the original items on Gumtree then use the money gained from their sales to wholly fund the makeover, resulting in what will essentially be a FREE room refresh!

Of course, in order to secure the best possible price for my items they need to be in good shape. The light is in perfect condition though I will spruce-up the dining setting by refinishing the table top and reupholstering the chairs.

Wish me luck…and stay tuned – especially if you’re in the market for a traditional pendant light or five piece dining setting ;)


Dining Room Before


Easy Trash to Treasure Upcycle…using spray paint!

Trash to Treasure Makeover using Spray Paint!

Every now and again I’m reminded just how amazing paint can be!

Take this ramshackle collection of discarded “goodies”…

Spray Paint Project Before

Lovely, aren’t they?

Let’s face it, ordinarily you wouldn’t look twice at any of this, right?

The round board was the original top from the stool I hacked recently (it was just sitting in the shed gathering dust) and the other pieces were all found at the op shop for a grand total of $7.

Well, an hour or so and a few coats of spray paint later and you just might look twice!

Upcycled Thrift Store Finds using Spray Paint

Not bad, eh?

Amazing Transformation of Second-Hand Decor

This is such a quick, easy and affordable project anyone can have a go at. All I did was thoroughly clean each item, place them on a protected surface, then spray away. Around three light coats per item.

It really is that simple, though here are a few extra pointers for achieving great results…


:: After cleaning using warm soapy water, wipe with isopropyl alcohol. This removes any trace of grime and creates a squeaky clean surface ready to accept the paint. I find it improves long term adhesion.

:: Place each item on a little pedestal which is narrower than the item itself (you can use anything – a scrap piece of wood, a spray can lid, a yogurt container). This makes it super easy to spray all around the piece.

:: If you can, use a rotating board (lazy susan). Again, it just makes it easier to spray the piece all over.

DIY Spray Paint Update

The board is coated in Dulux Duramax Granite Effect (in “Light”) which is basically stone-in-a-can. So cool!

The other pieces are all Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish (in “Vintage Charcoal”) with a hint of Dulux Duramax Metallic Finish (in “Rose Gold”).

No lie, I think the super matte look of the Chalky Finish makes it my most favourite spray paint ever!

Spray Paint Upcycle

I’ve painted glass and ceramic in the past and have found it holds up great. Of course, it’s not foolproof (as no paint is) and I wouldn’t suggest scrubbing it with a wire brush or anything, though treated with some care it should be totally fine. That said, if there are any mishaps touching-up the paint is a breeze!

Hope this simple upcycle helps inspire some of your own trash-to-treasure transformations!

Spray Painted Thrift Store Finds


If you’d like to save this project for later, feel free to pin the below image.

Thrift Store Spray Paint Upcycle





Gran’s House is SOLD!

If needed, catch up on things by finding my original post about the house flip HERE.

Budget Friendly DIY House Flip

Sorry, I kinda drank all the champagne already.

Seriously though, for a rural house which had proved impossible to sell prior to our flip we achieved a great result. It was certainly bubbles-worthy.

We received several offers (the first of which came on the very same day it was listed!) and, after just three weeks, we accepted one for $340,000.

Bedroom Refresh

Although it was slightly below listing price, it amply covered all our costs. My mum didn’t even attempt to negotiate!

The fact is, this flip was never about making money. We simply needed a sale! Having sat on the market for years prior with absolutely no interest, gran’s sudden move into an aged care facility gave a new sense of urgency to things. Our main objective in refreshing the property was merely to find a buyer. Any profit was always going to be little more than a lovely bonus. All we wanted was a respectable enough price to cover gran’s aged care costs along with a relatively quick sale (in order to combat the compounding interest fees associated with the nursing home).

Luckily, we got both – and more!

Bedroom Before and After

To summarise the financial side of things, we received two appraisals prior to our refresh. One was $260,000 and the other was $280,000 (conditioning we made the property more presentable). In the interest of clarity, let’s create a mean and say the property was originally valued at $270,000.

We spent a total of $20,000 on the flip – $7,000 on the interior, $13,000 on the exterior ($10,000 of which went on replacing a large unsafe deck). This $20,000 covers absolutely EVERYTHING, including all furnishings.

So, this takes the standing total to $290,000.

In all honesty, this was the kind of figure we were expecting from the new appraisal. Remember, we weren’t trying to make a profit, just incite a quick sale.

Imagine our surprise when the agent quoted $359,000! That’s an increase of $69,000!

I have little doubt that given the luxury of more time we would easily have achieved this figure. That said, having accepted $340,000 we still far exceeded our expectations with a technical profit of $50,000!

Such an amazing result for gran.

House Flip Before and After

As already mentioned, this refresh was never about revenue however it does show what is possible. And for someone who has always loved the idea of renovating for profit, it’s actually pretty exciting!

Thanks so, so much to everyone who offered their good luck and well wishes. Seems it worked!



Find my original post about the house flip HERE.



Mother’s Day Outdoor Transformation | Live Video!

This was such a fun-daunting-exciting-scary makeover for me!

If you follow me socially (on Facebook or Instagram) or are a blog subscriber, you’ve probably heard about this project – in fact, you may even have already seen it!

Last weekend I was fortunate to have the opportunity to host a live video on Facebook centering around the easy transformation of an outdoor space for Mother’s Day.

Yes people…LIVE! See where the ‘fun-daunting-scary-exciting’ bit comes in now?

For someone who’s usually behind the camera this wasn’t something I approached lightly. Now that it’s over though, I’m so, so glad I gave it a go. Even if the whole experience feels like a total blur!

I don’t want to give too much away in this post, so pop on over to my Facebook page and check out the video to see the transformation.

Facebook Live Outdoor Makeover


Whilst you’re over there, feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions. Even a simple ‘hi’ would be lovely. It’d be awesome to hear from you and I’ll be sure to respond to everyone.

And just remember, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this so please be kind (and ignore any weird awkwardness, including my daughter wearing a onesie, m’kay?).




Progress in My Little Boy’s Room | A Landscape Gallery, Bedding & More!

Now that things have finally settled down (in case you missed it I’d been helping my gran prepare her house for sale), it’s time to get back into some decorating for my own home!

Starting with my little boy’s half-finished bedroom.

If you’ve been following along with the makeover you’ll know that…

The walls got a coat of paint

Green Wall Paint - Dulux Tarmac Green

And the door got a mini makeover

Door Makeover

I made some easy repurposed book shelves

Repurposed Drawer Tidys into Wall Bookshelves

And simple landscape art

DIY Canvas Art Paintings Tutorial

And purchased a ‘new’ desk and chair

Child's Vintage Desk and Chair

Then I got stuck.

You see, from the start I had envisioned using a cool wall lamp though I just couldn’t seem to make things work.

Plug-in sconces are virtually non-existent here in Australia so I was always going to DIY something (similar to what I did in my daughter’s room). I only had three requirements – it needed to be easy, it had to have a certain look, and it absolutely, definitely, positively could not negatively impact on my non-negotiable-landscape-art-gallery!

Suffice to say, after lots of shopping around and sideways thinking – and even a few attempts! – I didn’t feel confident I could satisfy my criteria (clearly number one was already out the window!). Of course, I could have compromised, or bolstered my efforts, or dedicated more time, though things just suddenly felt all too hard. Besides, my indecision was holding up the most exciting aspect of the space…the landscape art gallery!

I decided to forgo the wall lamp all together and things suddenly progressed!

I hung the gallery…

Landscape Gallery Wall

And some vintage tennis racquets…

Vintage Tennis Racket Wall

I made the bed…

Vintage Style Boy's Room

And played around with some decor…

Vintage Boy's Room Decor

I have wanted a landscape art gallery somewhere in my home FOREVER and am so excited there’s finally one! I absolutely love it!

Most of the works are thrifted with nothing costing more than $10. The two smaller canvases are easy DIY’s which I shared here.

Landscape Gallery Wall

I didn’t do any fancy gallery wall planning prior to hanging. I simply laid them on the floor and played around until I was happy with the configuration (I like to start with the largest artworks first then build from there) then transferred them to the wall. To keep everything straight and level I secure each frame with a small dob of adhesive putty (Blu-Tack) under one corner.

Boy's Room Dresser Styling and Vignette

The old tennis racquets are also thrifted. They cost around $35 total. Riley plays tennis so they’re just perfect.

Style-wise, the bedding is a bit of a mix of contemporary and vintage, fresh and moody.

Vintage Style Boy's Room

The plaid throw is the HERMINE from IKEA. They no longer seem to carry it here in Australia. I actually bought mine from Gumtree for $35. The army blanket was a $50 eBay find.

The quilt cover was a bit of a splurge (for me!). I wanted something white to freshen everything up (and because it’s a dark room) and just fell in love with this diamond tufted one. It’s the Kokomo from Bambury and was $100 (although the bed is a single I use a double quilt – I just find that up-sizing provides better coverage). I know I could have found something similar enough for half the price though I had been looking for a while and sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet.

The mustard velvet lumbar cushion, which I kinda want to marry, is from H&M ($12). It links perfectly with all the warm woods and the autumn tones in the art.

Boy's Room Decor Detail

The two mini drawer cabinets are previous DIY projects (you can find my tutorial for the green file drawers here and the card catalogue here).

You can buy the timber hands on eBay and the brass magnifying stand is from TK Maxx.

Boy's Room Vignette

The sweet little clock, timber dish and pop gun are thrifted. The skull was found in the paddock behind our house.

I know it’s hard to gather the configuration of the room from these pics (remember, this isn’t the full reveal post!). Just to give you an idea, the chest of drawers is on the opposite wall to the bed. It’s a tiny room at around 2.7 meters/8.5 feet square.

I still need curtains, an end-of-bed toy box and, strangely enough, a lamp (he, he). Some coat hooks, a whimsical accessory or two and probably to paint the desk. I know some of you won’t like hearing that though all of the furniture is wood. Overall, things are just a tad too brown, and it’s a dark room. I’m thinking either an off-white or warm grey?

In other news, I have an exciting announcement!

This Sunday at 4PM (Australia Eastern Standard Time – please check the world clock for your local comparable time) I’ll be hosting a Facebook LIVE session centering around the easy transformation of an outdoor space!

Those of you who know me will know that I’m usually BEHIND the camera, so although this is gonna be fun it’s also kinda scary! Please mark your calendar and be sure to pop on by. I’d love to see you there and any comments or questions during the feed are super welcome. Compliments such as “gee, your hair looks nice” or “those jeans totally don’t make your butt look big” will score the most points :)

Click the image below to join my Facebook page if you’re not already a follower.

I hope you liked this little progress update.