By Leah Fox
A savvy stepmum has transformed a tiny closet, once used for coats and shoes, into a spacious and luxurious bedroom for her step daughter – all for less than £500.
Sophie Purvis, 31, and her partner Joshua Cooper, 27, were stuck for ideas when figuring out what to use the small storage cupboard for in their one-bedroom flat in Peterborough, Cambs.
But as Joshua’s nine-year-old daughter Isabella is usually forced to sleep on an airbed in the lounge when she comes to stay every other weekend, they decided to turn the 1m by 2.25m square space into her own girly bedroom.
With help from a carpenter to make a bunk bed frame, the closet was transformed into a comfy and space-conscious two-storey room for Isabella, complete with a girly unicorn theme on the top and a Friends theme on the bottom and costing just £488 in total.
The couple revealed the little but lovely bedroom to Isabella on her birthday, and took an adorable video of her excited reaction.
Part sales specialist Sophie said: “Isabella stays every other week at the weekends, and she slept on an airbed before.
“But we noticed that she often wanted five minutes to herself to relax on her own for a while so we thought that we needed to create a space of her own in the flat.
“We have a weird-sized cupboard near the front door of the flat which everyone says is really big, I used to have a little nail bar in there and thought it was a good space.
“It then became a dumping area for coats, shoes, presents and wrapping paper – everything we didn’t need at that moment in time went in there.
“I got some inspiration from Instagram from seeing a picture of a cabin bed with a seating area underneath, and I thought we could maximise the use of the cupboard space by creating a similar style room for Isabella.
“My partner is friends with a carpenter so we showed him the idea for the bed frame and went from there – he took about two days and the bed appeared out of nowhere!
“We stayed up long hours painting the ceiling and walls, roping some of our friends in with a paintbrush and asked Isabella what she wanted the theme to be.
“She couldn’t decide between her two favourite things – the TV programme Friends and unicorns – so we went for Friends at the bottom and unicorns on the top.
“We did a big reveal on her birthday last month and she couldn’t believe it, she kept telling us it was her dream bedroom and we were so pleased, it was more than we could ever imagine.”
Highways maintenance worker Joshua and Sophie worked in between their busy jobs to create the little room for Isabella, repainting the walls and fixing the shelves and other decorations.
They also took the door off the room and replaced it with a curtain, so that it was easy for her to get up the ladder to her bed.
Sophie managed to cop some decorative bargains, including a £2 Friends cushion from Wish, three unicorn pots from Asda at £1.75 each, spotty wall stickers from eBay at £2.99 and a £5 second-hand guitar from Facebook Marketplace, inspired by Friends character Phoebe.
Other budget friendly themed room decorations are from Primark such as the fluffy throws, pillows and bedding, which all came to £41.
For storage, Sophie bought three boxes of shelves from B&M for £7.99, a £24.99 sideboard with £7.50 storage boxes from Argos and wardrobe frames for £6.30 on eBay.
They had to spend a little more for a custom mattress, which was £120, for the custom bed, which with materials and labour coming to £250.
Overall, after starting in December, they took three months to complete the amazing transformation, and spent around £488 overall.
Sophie posted her savvy idea on Facebook, where it racked up thousands of likes, inspiring lots of people online.
She added: “The reaction on Facebook was really nice, everyone was saying how lovely it is and how well we’ve managed to utilise the space.
“There were some negative comments with people saying it gave them Harry Potter ‘cupboard under the stairs’ vibes but Isabella’s happy and that’s all that matters to us – the bed is so secure and we can even fit up there as adults.
“At first it didn’t look like we’d be able to do it but it’s such a good space and we can’t believe the outcome.
“We want to move into a house eventually and have a child ourselves so I think we will end up being a lot more creative again.”