DIY Tips: A knowledgeable woman recycles her entire living room on a tight budget

Would you give it a try with any of these projects? (Photo: Aman Garcha / Styling Spaces)

Do you want to freshen up your home without spending a fortune?

Well, instead of hiring expensive contractors and designers, why not brush up on your DIY skills and try recycling the things you already have?

This is exactly what Aman Garcha did. The 38-year-old mom of two rolled up her sleeves and transformed every element of her living room, from the furniture, to the walls, to the works of art.

Aman is a virtual interior designer based in the West Midlands, so she has the expertise to know exactly where to start with DIY transformations. Why not check out some of her crafty designs of hers to give you some inspiration.

“My two boys – a two year old and a six year old – keep me on tiptoe and we have just completed a lot of work on our home,” Aman tells

“Last January, we had a huge leak from the main bathroom that flooded the entire ground floor, so we had to gut and redo everything. We moved in with our family for eight months.

“The kitchen, the floor, the baseboards and the carpet were all ripped as the space dried. We also expanded our living room while we were off the property. ‘

Aman says there have been many delays with rebuilding due to Covid and blockades. But they finally returned in August, without a kitchen.

“We finally have a new kitchen (the insurance company couldn’t match the old one) in October,” he says.

“We were lucky enough to be able to redesign the kitchen to make it a more usable and social space that we use as a family. It now includes a kitchen / breakfast bar island (previously a peninsula) and the DIY bench we made. ‘

Recycled coffee table

coffee table

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

coffee table

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

coffee table

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

coffee table

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

1. I bought a large cable reel from Facebook Marketplace: £ 3.

2. Purchased 14mm diameter x 90mm dowels that I had to cut to create the grooved base. The dowels cost around £ 45.

3. I measured the gap between the bottom of the cable reel and the top and cut the plugs to this size. I got 3 small tiles out of 1 large (with some clippings left).

4. I then used “Stick Like Shit” glue (about £ 7) to attach the plugs to the cable reel.

5. I then bought a used table from Facebook Marketplace for £ 10, where I peeled off the tabletop, sanded it and painted it with this furniture paint.

6. I then painted the base with the same paint.

7. I finished applying finishing wax (£ 14) over the entire table to seal the paint before attaching the tabletop to the base using glue.

Approximate total: £ 79

Recycled bench


(Photo: Aman Garcha)


(Photo: Aman Garcha)


(Photo: Aman Garcha)


(Photo: Aman Garcha)

“As our kitchen was demolished, we decided to redesign the layout to make it a more convivial space,” says Aman. “Our new design included some benches that we thought we’d try to create ourselves.”

1. We plotted the measurements of the corner bench based on the space we had for it. This included elevations.

2. We recycled 2 × 4 lumber that we had leftover from a previous DIY project to create the frame for the bench.

3. Since we lived with my husband’s parents, we found many pieces of scrap plywood that we were able to use to cover the frame.

4. We purchased some high density upholstery foam from Amazon for around £ 40 which we sprayed onto the top panel (£ 4.50) to create cushioned seating.

5. I got enough vinyl upholstery from a fabric shop in Birmingham for around £ 35 and lined the foam seat cushions by stretching them over the base and securing them firmly.

6. We decided to upholster the bench to give it some character and hide some slight imperfections. We bought some moldings from Homebase for around £ 40 and cut them to the height of the bench. We then calculated how many panels we wanted and marked the measurements on the plywood before nailing them.

7. We primed the bench with a primer for £ 9 and then painted the bench using the leftover furniture paint for the coffee table project.

8. We then placed the padded seats on top.

Approximate total: £ 128.50

Recycled rocking chair

rocking chair

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

rocking chair

(Photo: Aman Garcha)

“I completed this project when my son was 2 months old and was able to do it during his naps,” says Aman.

1. The rocking chair has been in our family for 21 years. It was bought by my parents for my sister-in-law when she had my nephew.

2. I’ve kept it in my garage for years, so I decided to recycle it because I’ve never been a fan of mahogany.

3. I bought a Black & Decker electric mouse sander for £ 20 and I already had sandpaper for the pieces the mouse couldn’t reach.

4. I sanded the entire chair and painted it with my favorite £ 105 furniture paint. I did three coats to make sure everything was covered.

5. I finished applying the finishing wax I already had.

Approximate total: £ 30

do-it-yourself artwork


(Photo: Aman Garcha)


(Photo: Aman Garcha)

1. I had a 80cm x 80cm canvas that has been in the garage for years, so I decided to create my Polyfilla art with some advanced polyfilla. It was all about slapping it and creating a texture using the spatulas I bought from Amazon for £ 4.

2. I then created a frame using moldings (£ 20) which I painted with advanced black paint. I nailed it to the canvas because the gue didn’t stick.

3. I’m undecided whether to leave it blank or add some color to this piece.

Total: £ 24

DIY wall paneling


(Photo: Aman Garcha)

Aman says, “We decided to add some contemporary panels to our newly expanded living room to avoid it looking like a new build box.”

1. First, we measured the height and width of the wall and then decided how close we wanted the panels to be, which led to deciding how many panels we needed and their width.

2. I’ve created an elevation of our idea in Sketchup so you can see what it would look like.

3. We then purchased 2 large MDF boards and cut them into boards using a free cutting service. The first 15 cuts are free but they didn’t charge us the few extras we had (£ 28 for MDF board x2).

4. We then marked where each of the panels would go and then applied some sticks like shit glue to the panels before sticking them to the walls. We kept them there for a while to make sure they were safe. We did this with every panel.

5. Once dry, we applied putty to all edges around the panels to achieve a neat finish.

6. Finally, we painted the entire room with Farrow & Ball’s matching Wevet color from Leyland Trade via Decorating Center Online (£ 45)

Approximate total: £ 101

Aman’s best DIY tip

A super important tip for anyone planning DIY / upcycle projects: plan, plan, plan.

Measure everything, then measure it again to make sure you have all the correct information.

We made mistakes that are easy to correct, but if you measure and plan ahead, and design what you want to create and how you want it to look, it will save you time and money.

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