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With the weather hotting up, we’re all spending more time outside.

But one mum wanted to make the space she had a little more appealing.

Karen McCarthy, 48, had some space outside her kitchen but it looked a little tired and dull.

With a limited budget, she had to be inventive but using some paint and creativity, she managed to create a Mediterranean-style oasis for just £60.

The mum-of-two from Caerphilly, South Wales, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I wanted to spruce up the area outside my kitchen and decided to use some light grey masonry paint to cover the tired old slabs.

‘Having seen outdoor rugs online I came up with the idea of using paint to create a ‘faux rug’ effect for underneath my bistro set.

‘I used dark grey and white Frenchic al fresco paint along with a stencil to create the design.

‘It took around two days to complete and the materials available online cost around £60.

‘I spent £27 on Sandtex paint, £18 for the Frenchic paint and cut the stencil out of mylar plastic.

‘I bought several sheets for £7 but you can buy ready-made stencils online.

‘I also bought LED solar lights for the ivy on the wall for £5, and the mirror cost £6.99, both from Home Bargains.

‘It’s a simple but effective lockdown painting project.

‘I have added small white LED solar lights to the foliage on the wall making it cosy at night.’

Karen loves the new look and she has some tips for those want to give it a go.

She said: ‘My advice would be to make sure the area is cleaned beforehand. I had it jet-washed a couple of weeks beforehand.

‘When painting in an area that you need access to, paint every other slab so you can still walk on it whilst the painted area is drying.

‘Check the weather forecast to make sure it is dry for the next 24 to 48 hours too!

‘My main challenges were the weather – it was hot so working in the heat was hard – and trying to keep my mini dachshund off it whilst it was drying!’

She also found that the project had benefits for her mental health during the stress of the lockdown.

‘It’s lightened up the whole area and not being able to go on holiday because of the current situation, I’ve brought a touch of the Mediterranean to my home instead,’ she added.

‘Painting has been therapeutic for my wellbeing, and rather than climbing the steps up to my garden, I have the perfect little spot for a morning cuppa or a glass of something in the evening!’