‘we took the plunge and fit­ted a cloak­room’

Bud­get buys and a lit­tle cre­ative think­ing al­lowed El­iz­a­beth, 30, to cre­ate a wel­com­ing en­trance, com­plete with a vi­tal new loo

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De­spite a small bud­get, El­iz­a­beth O’reilly made clever use of the space in her new-look hall­way

Af­ter my part­ner, He­lio, and i bought this house in 2014, we spent a cou­ple of years up­dat­ing the rooms,’ says el­iz­a­beth. ‘we were de­lighted when all that stood be­tween us and a fin­ished home was a rather shabby hall.

How­ever, limited up­stairs space meant we had never re­solved the is­sue of how to in­clude a cloak­room – some­thing I was keen on. So, when a friend sug­gested our hall as an ideal lo­ca­tion for a com­pact sec­ond WC, we de­cided to go for it.

Mak­ing plans

The idea was to utilise the un­der-stairs area and, al­though I was scep­ti­cal at first, once the cup­board was clut­ter-free, I could see that it might just work. When I spot­ted some mod­u­lar units, it clinched the deal, as it meant the en­tire suite cost just £500! Tap­ping into the kitchen’s water sup­ply, plus the close prox­im­ity of the main ex­ter­nal soil pipe, meant no drainage or pipe works.

I went for a pale grey shade through­out, with a darker tonal stair wall to add in­ter­est. The co­or­di­nat­ing grey-washed lam­i­nate floor­ing is best for clean­ing off muddy foot­prints. He­lio laid the floor him­self, which turned out to be easy as the boards clicked to­gether. How­ever, we had the stair and land­ing car­pets pro­fes­sion­ally fit­ted.

For con­ti­nu­ity, the grey scheme was ex­tended into the cloak­room. We saved money by re­cy­cling mar­ble tiles left over from our bath­room, which added a designer look to our bud­get suite.

Get­ting or­gan­ised

With most of the work com­plete, our fo­cus turned to stor­age, but the cus­tom unit we wanted was out of our price range. Luck­ily, He­lio is a dab hand at DIY, so we came up with the idea of mak­ing our own from sal­vaged finds. I soon amassed an as­sort­ment of old draw­ers and crates. It

was then sim­ply a mat­ter of mak­ing a frame­work to fit. it took a while to come up with the right ar­range­ment, but the re­sult is fan­tas­tic – and best of all, it only cost us around £70, as we reused paint we al­ready had from pre­vi­ous projects.

Cre­ative bar­gains

i con­tin­ued the re­cy­cling theme into the cloak­room, us­ing a left­over drawer as a shelf and adding a sec­ond-hand cup­board that i cus­tomised with win­dow film. For a bit of fun, i even per­suaded He­lio to agree to a painted chalk­board cloak­room wall.

it’s these more un­usual per­sonal touches that have re­ally added char­ac­ter to the fin­ished space. But we both agree it’s the cloak­room we’re most proud of – i don’t know how we ever man­aged with­out it!’ like us on face­book.com/ styleath­omemag and see our lat­est videos, house tours and dec­o­rat­ing tips.

‘if you have limited space, use mask­ing tape to mark on the floor where fur­ni­ture or fit­tings will go, so you can vi­su­alise the lay­out’

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