‘Absolutely love it’: DIY-savvy couple saves over £400 on transforming ‘damp’ toilet

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Michelle Collett, 45, a bathroom and kitchen designer and her partner Sean Smalley, 36, a flat roofer, were fed up with the drab look of their downstairs toilet. However, they didn’t want to be spending a fortune on the transformation. Instead, the couple decided to transform it themselves, using materials from B&Q and Facebook Marketplace, and accessories from B&M, Poundland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s. 

Michelle, who lives in Durham, told LastDeals.co.uk about her passion for interior design, especially given that she designs kitchens and bathrooms for a living.

She said: “I have a huge interest in interior design and I work for B&Q designing kitchens and bathrooms.

“I also have a part-time wedding and events decor business, so I am very creative.”

The interior enthusiast said the idea of renovating her toilet came to her as she was out shopping for wallpaper. She came across a cheap style of wallpaper that she fell in love with.

She said: “”While shopping for wallpaper last November online at I Love Wallpaper, I came across the Dalmatian print and fell in love so I bought one roll of it for £20 and knew exactly where it was going to go.

“We needed to renovate our downstairs loo.”

Michelle explained the problems she was facing with her current downstairs toilet.

She said: “The whole room was damp, mouldy and stained despite trying to clean it and it leaked brown liquid.

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“We had to keep the window open, use an air freshener and keep the door closed until we could do the work. 

“When we started to rip it out, there were huge holes in the walls, which needed to be filled quite deep.

“The bottom half of the walls were in quite a bad condition and with it being a rental, we didn’t want to spend a lot.”

After purchasing the wallpaper she shopped around for the sink, toilet and accessories.

She said: “I got the basin free off Facebook Marketplace, the tap for £15 from IKEA and the accessories for £40 from B&M, Poundland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s. 

“We used B&Q GoodHome Liberty Emulsion paint and the matching furniture paint for the wood. We spent £15 on the paint.

“The ceiling was in such a bad state that we got some PVC ceiling panelling from B&Q for £17 and used that. 

“We then went looking for lino and came across one for £40 a roll so I then decided to add gold into the theme too.

“The plumbing cost £30 and the toilet cost £45.”

To fix the huge holes in the walls her partner Sean used leftover MDF and wool they had.

She said: “We had a load of leftover wood and MDF from previous tasks and old furniture, so my boyfriend decided to use it for boxing in and covering the high holes.”

The bottom half of the walls were also in bad condition so they added black panels to the wall and painted it black, but were worried it would make the rook look small.

She said: “So we decided to fill and sand the holes and add some beading to give it a panel look and painted it black.

“We were very worried about painting it black in case it made it look too small but it has worked very well.” 

However, once they added their accessories, it had “totally transformed” the room and made it “look bigger”.

Michelle was thrilled with the trendy new look of her toilet and says it would have cost £650 just for the labour if she had got builders in to do the work. Instead, she spent just £222 including all the materials by doing it herself with her partner. 

“We are so happy with the outcome and that we did it ourselves because if we had to pay those costs, we would have had to wait until next year to do it,” she adds.  

She added: “I would urge anyone with a small space not to be scared to go with a bold colour.

“The trick is to add mirrors for extra light and good lighting. 

“I shop around for bargains and freebies all the time and collect things until I have enough to do a room up!” 

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