Before and after: this boutique-inspired dressing room cost less than £415

This makeover is money saving mastery at its best

dressing room with patterned drawers, a mirror and a gallery wall above a dressing table
(Image credit: Kim Heslip)

Having a dressing room in your home is a real treat. A whole room for storing your clothes, putting on make up and trying on your five outfits before deciding on the one. And all in a separate room from the calming sanctuary where you sleep. 

And so it's only right that your dressing room is as stylish and on-trend as the clothes that hang within. When lockdown hit, Kim Heslip took to transforming her tired dressing room into a boutique–inspired, funky space, and the result is pretty impressive. She's used plenty of money saving tips and tricks to create a high-end look for less. We've chatted to Kim to find out how she did it.  

Here, here for more dressing table ideas.

The before 

before shot of a dressing room

(Image credit: Kim Hemslip)

Kim's existing dressing room was functional, but plain. With a wooden dresser, matching mirrors and a wicker basket for storage, the overall effect - combined with faded blue walls - wasn’t inspiring her enough.

‘The dressing room already had fitted wardrobes and a dressing table which were good quality, just a little drab for my liking.  I could see the potential to give them a revamp and bring some fun and style into the room, so the design was really based around working with what we had and injecting my personality into the space,’ says Kim.

'I wanted to create a dressing room that felt like a changing room in a glamorous clothing boutique.  I wanted it to be fun and positive and put me in a good mood when I get ready in the morning or before a night out.'

The after 

dressing room with white wardrobes, a zebra print rug and a yellow grand bench

(Image credit: kim Hemslip)

And the result does exactly that! Painting the wardrobes a light pink makes the whole space seem much lighter and brighter. 'All of my paint came from my local decorating store. I got Johnstone's Matt Emulsion for the walls and Bradite One Can for the wardrobes. Both shades were colour-matched to the shade Middleton Pink by Farrow and Ball, and the total cost was £80,' says Kim.

Before, there was an awkward gap between the dressing table and the wardrobes, so Claire bought a second hand worktop for £20 from Ebay, that extended all the way across, and added in some extra storage beneath. 'I bought the marble effect worktop covering for £12 from Amazon - you simply wrap it around the worktop and it looks great!' adds Kim. 

Kim wanted somewhere for her friend's to sit while getting ready for a night out, and a friend gave her a cream bench, which she's now painted yellow. 'This was the first time I had tried painting upholstery, but with a bit of internet research, I found it was easy to do,' says Kim. 

The details 

DIY dressing table with patterned drawers, and up-cycled chair and a gallery wall

(Image credit: Kim Hemslip)

The new shelves and drawer fronts were decorated with the Trio Pink wallpaper, that was £20 in the sale from Made.com. ‘I added a bit of yellow paint to an old Ikea dining chair and recovered the seat pad with some black and white “cow print” upholstery fabric, which was left over from another project, to create the dressing table chair,' says Kim. 

dressing room with bold patterned wallpaper, a dressing table and a zebra rug

(Image credit: Kim Heslip)

The original dressing table top was removed and used to create some new shelves over the steps between the dressing table and wardrobes. ‘The wallpaper on the wall is called Bond Girls in black and white, and I got it from Wallpaper King for £45,' says Kim. 

In total, thanks to Kim's DIY skills and eye for a bargain, she managed to complete the whole room makeover for the just £414.

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

Amelia has worked on Real Homes magazine since 2016 and is now Deputy Style Editor. She takes style inspiration from her city breaks and is on a mission to be bolder with print and colour.