The bathroom before and after (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
How do you solve a problem like a bad breakup?
You throw yourself in to a new project, of course. Bonus points if said project ends up saving you a lot of money.
Take note from Emma, 37, who channeled her post-breakup disappointment into scrubbing, sanding, and painting – and now has a stunning bathroom to show for her efforts.
Emma, from Gloucestershire, is a single mum to her two sons, Tyler, 15, and Spencer, 17, who has cerebral palsy and is registered blind.
The family live together along with an English bulldog named Chester and a pug-cross puppy, Seth.
After a seven-month relationship with a man she thought was ‘the one’, Emma found herself single once again.
Rather than getting down in the dumps, she decided to get busy.
Emma’s bathroom before its transformation (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
She set herself the task of redecorating the bathroom on a budget, to make it a spa-like space where she could relax after a long day of caring for Spencer, ‘which can involve a sore back and aching muscles’.
‘I wanted a bathroom that was just for me to chill in the bath with a glass of wine,’ Emma tells Metro.co.uk.
The process began with stripping the bathroom back to its bare bones, then sanding down the tiles.
The bathroom after a lick of paint, some grout pen handiwork, and new accessories (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
Next, Emma painted the walls a dark grey shade, then primed and painted the tiles with a foam roller and satin tile paint. A dark grey grout pen added a sleek finish.
Rather than shelling out for a new shower unit she couldn’t afford, Emma got crafty, taking the front off and painting it black, then buying a black shower head, hose, and riser bar. This saved her hundreds of pounds.
Emma couldn’t afford a whole new shower, so got crafty with a grout pen and a new shower head (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
Finally came the accessories, picked up from Amazon, eBay, or secondhand, to keep costs low.
‘The really fun bit was the accessorising,’ Emma said.
- Crown washable paint: £20 for 2l
- Towel shelf, an old apple crate from the local cider farm: Free
- Mirror: £19.99 from Amazon
- Body sculptures: £5 each from a flea market
- Black shower head, hose, and riser bar: £35
- Soap tray, originally a bird feeder: £16.99 from eBay
- Framed print: £12.99 from Homesense
- Get Naked bathmat: £15 from Amazon
‘The towel shelf was an old apple crate from the local cider farm, the mirror was £19.99 from Amazon, but it’s an amazing reproduction feature at a bargain price.
‘I wanted it to look like a Roman spa and not too clinical, so added features like the tiles and gold fixtures like the hand soap tray (which was originally a bird feeder).’
See that soap dish on the wall? That was originally a bird feeder (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
And those shelves were an old apple crate (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
The project took just three weeks, with Emma fitting in jobs in the evenings after caring for Spencer during the day.
The end result is glorious, but a fancy new bathroom isn’t the only reward for Emma’s hard work. All that DIY served as a great distraction from the pain of the breakup.
‘l’m not bitter,’ says the mum ‘I haven’t given up on love, it’s a fabulous thing.
‘Whatever he’s doing now I wish him nothing but good luck and happiness.
The project helped to keep mum and full-time carer Emma busy after a breakup (Picture: Emmy-jay Nottingham)
‘Decorating and design has always been my passion and, for me, it’s a form of therapy and escapism.’
Now the bathroom is complete – along with another lockdown project; turning the old shed into home bar – Emma is looking forward to welcoming friends back to the house.
Next, she hopes to decorate the hall, stairs, and landing, and will be sharing her handiwork online to get others involved in the joy of DIY.
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