There has never been enough space for my belongings in our house. Or perhaps I have too many belongings for our space. I share a wardrobe with Arlo, and there just never seems anywhere to put anything. Especially when it comes to my collection of make-up, hair and face products. When Money Supermarket challenged me to change the look or function of a space in our house for under £50, I knew I wanted to make a dressing table – a little area for myself and all my clutter.

There’s a wooden unit in our house that has had a few past lives. It was originally bought by my parents (about 30 years ago) as part of a matching set of nursery furniture. When I was pregnant with Arlo, my mum and brother gave it a new coat of paint, and it was used as a baby changing table in Arlo’s bedroom. As Arlo grew older and we graduated to changing nappies on the floor, the little wooden unit became storage for Arlo’s toys and blankets.

When our family expanded and we needed to make room for Rory’s clothes, the little wooden unit migrated to our bedroom, whereupon it had a real identity crisis and became part dressing table, part clothes storage, and part general clutter-gatherer.

Here it is a few days ago:


This is where I get ready in the mornings. This is where I take my makeup off at night (If I’ve bothered to put any on, that is). This is also where I store a few clothes and bits for Rory, in case he needs a clothes change after Arlo has gone to bed, as his main stash is in Arlo’s room. And this is also where the contents of Sam’s pockets are emptied out every night, so it’s usually littered with coins and ticket stubs.

And now it looks like this:


Rory’s clothes are now collected neatly in the basket, rather than sitting on the top of the unit. My frequently used face and hair products are in the two buckets, the little candle holder now stores cotton wool balls rather than having the massive pack out all the time, and my makeup has been organised by category (nail varnish, eye makeup, etc) in the little storage drawers.




The photo frames were a last-minute addition after receiving them as favours at a wedding we attended this weekend past. I haven’t yet had time to make prints for the frames, but the above photo gives you an idea of how it might look.



The inside of the drawers used to house all my beauty products loose in a haphazard ‘chuck everything in’ manner. So I bought these plastic baskets to help neaten things up a bit.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

Mirror – IKEA £15

Mini chest of drawers – IKEA £15

Plastic baskets –  Tesco £2.50

Glass candle holder – Tiger £1.00

Silver bucket – Tiger £2.00

White pot/vase – IKEA £3.00

Wicker basket – TK Maxx £6.00

TOTAL = £44.50

And I still have a little bit of the budget left over to print photos for the frames and perhaps a few more to surround the mirror. I think some images will help give the area a more personal feel. I’m also toying with the idea of painting the mini IKEA drawer unit, although I am quite liking the bare wood look.

There’s no doubt that this unit will still be used for several different purposes (pretty much every storage space in our house has to be multifunctional in order for it to work in our small space), but at least it’s a lot more organised and a lot more aesthetically pleasing.



Money Supermarket provided me with my £50 home improvement budget.

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