Grand Designs IRL

I’ve just moved house and I can hardly bear living with a light fitting I didn’t choose. The thought of completely gutting a place before making it habitable again makes my head hurt. These local ladies have taken on projects that would make Kevin McCloud wince — and they've come out the other side. If you're crazy enough to want to follow in their tracks, we've picked their brains for valuable how-tos and the mistakes to avoid.

Restoration Kween


Who? Lucy is behind the reno master @Victoria_Road_Restoration
Where? Lovely Harborne
What? Lucy, partner Dan and French Bulldog Pascal are upgrading their Harborne pad from tired 60s to modern industrial chic. In true Grand Designs style, they're expecting their first baby.

Lucy and Dan’s first home was across the road from the Victorian townhouse they now live in. They always joked they’d put an offer in if it came up for sale, and after a looong process they finally got the keys in 2017. They could see the potential in the house; high ceilings, plenty of original features but enough space to add their own personality. They ended up having to replace pretty much everything, new roof, floor joists, heating, plumbing, wiring, windows, you name it it’s been replaced. But boy has it been worth it. Their mid-century taste and the Victorian features of the house have combined to make a grandiose take on industrial style. Our personal faves are the crittall windows and that entrance hall.

Lucy says "Renovations are stressful and there will be days when you feel like jacking it all in and moving into a shiny new build. Try to enjoy the process"

DIY Doer Upper


Who? Chelsea is the DIY brains behind @thehousethatblackbuilt
Where? Just outside Shrewsbury, Shropshire
What? Chelsea and her hub "Mr S" are renovating their Victorian villa with a monochrome palette

When buying the house in Sept 2014, Chelsea and Mr S hadn’t intended to undertake a renovation project. After viewing more than 40 properties over a year, they instantly fell in love with this house  It was everything they were looking for; full of original Victorian features like the bay window, high ceilings, original fireplaces and stained glass. They expected to just add a lick of paint and be done in six months. Four years later and they’re currently working on the kitchen. They couldn't afford to do the bigger projects when they first moved in. Now they are doing them, Chelsea says it feels backwards to be ruining things they’ve already spent time and money on, but the results are incredible. Head to Chelsea’s Instagram Stories to see her amaze DIY skills, like the tiled kitchen floor of dreams. Next on the list is the master bedroom, dressing room and garden.

Chelsea says "Planning is key. If we had our time again we’d make sure to do things in a more sensible order"

Mid-century Moseley


Who? Asha is the interiors addict behind @asha.ayres
Where? Moseley
What? Asha, husband David and daughter Livia recently relocated from London and we've got serious house envy

Asha moved with her young family from South London to Moseley just days before Christmas 2017. They joke that they bought the house for the hallway - Asha can recall walking in and being amazed by the Minton tiles. They didn’t view any other houses and made an offer within the hour. Asha’s style mixes old with new, as well as Scandinavian touches and vintage finds. They plan to completely remodel the kitchen and bathroom, and restore the original floorboards. Asha'a account is lovely interiors inspo for mixing the old with the new, as well as being an amazing ambassador for the colour pink. 

Asha says "When decorating a new home, go with what you love, and make the house yours"