Frugal mum transforms bathroom with Insta-worthy jungle-themed decor for just £250

Marie Claire Dorking
·5 min read
Nat Cresswell has created an Insta-worthy bathroom on a budget. (Latestdeals.co.uk)
Nat Cresswell has created an Insta-worthy bathroom on a budget. (Latestdeals.co.uk)

A mum has transformed her cluttered bathroom to replicate a jungle-themed decor trend that’s all over Instagram, while keeping costs down by getting creative and using upcycled pieces. 

Nat Cresswell, 35, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, had been considering a bathroom makeover for a while but kept putting it off due to the amount of work involved and potential cost of the project.  

With a newborn baby who was naturally taking up a lot of her time, the support worker for United Response, just wasn't sure giving the bathroom a facelift was feasible. 

"I’d been thinking of going dark in the bathroom for a while, but I’d been putting it off as every time I looked at it I just thought 'it’s a big job'," Cresswell told Latestdeals.co.uk

"I have a newborn baby too, so whilst also being really busy caring for her (and procrastinating), it gave me more time to think about how I wanted it."

"I knew the colours and the sink idea I wanted and I looked a little on Pinterest and on the Frenchic fan forum at bathrooms, which confirmed the style choice."

Inspired by what she saw, Cresswell set about 

Read more: Money-saving gardening hacks: Woman reveals how she transformed her patio for just £38 (and it only took three hours)

The bathroom before its budget-friendly makeover. (Latestdeals.co.uk
The bathroom before its budget-friendly makeover. (Latestdeals.co.uk
The bathroom before lacked personality. (Latestdeals.co.uk)
The bathroom before lacked personality. (Latestdeals.co.uk)

Cresswell also wanted to blend her love of greenery with the bathroom upgrade. 

"I love plants and I knew I wanted some in there, so that’s why I thought of the dark green to compliment the tones and shades," she explains.  

The first step of her renovation involved taking everything out the bathroom before ripping up the old flooring and re-plastering – all of which took about a week. 

Once the plaster was dry, Cresswell painted the walls and ceiling with Frenchic wall paint in the shade Dark Forest – then did the bathroom door and bath side panels in Frenchic Blackjack.

The mum-of-one also created some under sink storage with drawers she picked up for free from Facebook Marketplace. 

"I thought I could easily sand them down, but they had white gloss underneath the yellow paint so I used some paint stripper and soaked them overnight then attempted to sand them again," she explains.  

"They took a while as I hand sanded but I got there in the end."

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The bathroom now has the 'wow factor'. (Latestdeals.co.uk
The bathroom now has the 'wow factor'. (Latestdeals.co.uk
The upcycled sink unit. (Latestdeals.co.uk
The upcycled sink unit. (Latestdeals.co.uk

To finish the look, Cresswell used Frenchic browning wax on the drawers and got some new handles from B&Q. 

To make the drawers fit under the sink the mum sought some help from her boyfriend.  

"He marked out where to cut into the unit. I only needed to cut into the top drawer too and I made that one secure and still usable by making a little box around where I had cut it," she says. 

"We took the pedestal off the sink, then put the drawers underneath and the sink on - hey presto, it worked!"

Watch: Mum surprises son with Jurassic Park bedroom makeover. 

Cresswell's partner also added a new box behind the toilet to cover the piping, with some shelves built in. For this he used plywood and old scaffold boards, which the couple already had. 

He also added a shower curtain rail made from copper pipe.

"I found the boxes I used for above the toilet area on the Facebook marketplace," Cresswell adds. "I sanded them down and used Frenchic browning wax again."

Though she would have loved to replace the tiles, Cresswell gave the current tiles a makeover with a black grouting pen bought on Amazon. 

"The tile behind the sink was given to me by my neighbour and I used a stencil I had with Blackjack paint. It's only meant to be temporary, but I kind of like it," she added. 

For the radiator Cresswell once again turned to Facebook marketplace and believes the modern upgrade makes a big difference.  

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Cresswell used items from Facebook market place and plants to reate the junble look. (Latestdeals.co.uk
Cresswell used items from Facebook Marketplace and plants to reate the junble look. (Latestdeals.co.uk)

Next to go in was the flooring that the couple found on eBay. 

"Then the plants were moved in - the big hanging one was a gift from my mum. I already had the mirror above the sink and the one above the radiator was another Facebook Marketplace find."

Overall, the project took Cresswell five days to complete once the new plaster was dry, but it wasn't all smooth sailing. 

"Having a three-month-old baby to look after meant some juggling was involved. Luckily my family were on hand to help," Cresswell explains. 

"Also, the under sink storage was a little harder than I had thought it was going to be, but I didn't mind as I got them for free." 

As she managed to upcycle existing furniture and find bargains on Facebook marketplace, the final bill wasn’t too high, with Cresswell saying the supplies cost around £250 in total. 

Cresswell chose to go dark in the bathroom. (Latestdeals.co.uk
Cresswell chose to go dark in the bathroom. (Latestdeals.co.uk

Now Cresswell can sit back, relax and enjoy her Insta-worthy new bathroom. 

"I’m so happy with the final result. When it was all done I had a nice relaxing bath with candles and a glass of wine! It was so cosy."

Commenting on the impressive makeover, Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: "Nat’s bathroom transformation is mind-blowing. All that hard work has clearly paid off, what a team effort.

"Black is a bold choice which has worked in Nat’s favour here. If you’re thinking about painting your walls a darker shade, try taking a leaf out of her book by adding furniture or accessories with lighter colours to avoid creating an oppressive feeling."

Watch: Youtuber builds DIY water feature using bottle caps.