Abi spontaneously decided to give her tired bathroom a budget transformation (Picture: Abi Hugo)

Instagram is the go-to for a drip feed of carefully curated interiors that take months to complete and are filled with statement pieces we can only dream of.

But Essex-based 32-year-old mum and social media content creator Abi Hugo likes to do things a little differently.

Abi has acquired over 116,000 followers for her upcycle tips and budget renovations on Instagram (@thewhitethistle), and, true to her ethos, she has transformed her dated bathroom into a timeless sanctuary in just 24 hours, and with a budget of just 30 quid.

The thrifty mum gives DIY tips and inspiration to her followers on Instagram (Picture: Abi Hugo)

Before: The bathroom was tired and drab (Picture: Abi Hugo)

The radiator was the first things to be painted (Picture: Abi Hugo)

Abi had already started doing up the rest of her home (Picture: Abi Hugo)

Abi’s Essex home has already been given a ‘modern chic’ makeover, with organic fibres and a love of neutrals with contrasting black accents.

Then one day she started painting the radiator of the bathroom. ‘Just to see how it goes, and then one thing led to another and I kinda didn’t go to bed till like two in the morning.’

Abi used some batons of wood from a platform bed she built in her son’s room, leftover Beige 02 from Lick paint from the lounge on the walls and some Frenchic Loof black paint from one of her upcycling projects to paint the radiator and pipework.

She then purchased two packs of stick-on Floorpops Remy floor tiles from Dunelm. These were £14 a pack and she bought two, so they cost just under £30.

Then she grabbed a stem of eucalyptus from the garden and popped it in a frame to make some cheap artwork.

Previous to this, Abi had made over her kitchen with a tin of black paint, some tile paint and new handles, all for £60.

‘I love seeing how much impact I can make in a room for as little money as possible. I’ve done these though as a stopgap as I wanted to live in a home that felt and looked like mine and in my style while we wait to save for some bigger renovation plans.’

After: The bathroom had a total transformation (Picture: Abi Hugo)

She used leftover paint to achieve a calm, neutral colour scheme (Picture: Abi Hugo)

The basket on the floor was just lying around doing nothing, so it went in, and the vase was originally green and £1 from a charity shop, now painted white.

The wood worktop isn’t actually wood, it has been painted and the effect created with a £10 grain tool that Abi already had.

This spontaneous approach to renovations is something she would recommend to others, too.

More: Interiors

‘For me, it is super-easy to visualise how aspects of a room would come together, so while I would say yes, just crack on and try things, I appreciate it might be easier for me than others as I can look at things on paper and they come to life in my head, I think being dyslexic helps with that.

‘However, I see people get stuck in a decision paralysis ordering hundreds of paint samples and fabrics and in the end I think it’s just a form of positive procrastination. They think they are moving forward but in reality nothing much is really happening.’

She decorated with a mix of DIY and upcycled charity shop finds (Picture: Abi Hugo)

She even made some homemade artwork for the wall (Picture: Abi Hugo)

Abi, who has been working with Leader Doors, says she doesn’t look to TV renovation shows for ideas, instead using the outdoors as her biggest inspiration.

‘I also love Mediterranean decor so I take inspiration from other cultures, the Greek, Italian and French style of design. I also love Elle Decoration magazine as every page is filled with incredible people’s homes. Inspiration [also] comes from the rest of my house as I wanted the same colours and themes to flow. However externally from that I am inspired by nature and the earthy tones and textures we see all around us.’

Abi also advises using Pinterest for a mood board if in doubt to help solidify the look you are going for. ‘It will help you plan before you dive in.

Also, I would say research is key, look into your interior style, and if you come across a product you love, like a lamp or something, one of my top tips is to use Google Reverse Image Search, where Google will reveal all the places the product is found, and you might be able to find the product cheaper somewhere else.’

And if you thought that Abi’s one-day transformations are surprising, spare a thought for the other inhabitants of her home.

‘My husband didn’t know I was doing it. He hardly ever does as he is often at work when inspiration strikes so he often comes home to a completely new room in the house. He has now come to notice if I go quiet on him, something is about to get decorated.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].


MORE : Thrifty mum creates stylish DIY wall panelling in kid’s room for just £50


MORE : Thrifty mum gives bathroom DIY makeover for just £79


MORE : Woman transforms living room with stunning DIY gallery wall for just £70