I first met Sian Astley, aka @makeitmoregeous, many years ago at a networking event for professional ladies in Manchester, and I’ve basically stalked her ever since…
Lady builder, property developer, landlord, TV presenter and interior designer amongst a host of other things, I’m a big fan of Sian’s style and inspiring can-do attitude. My OH jokes that she’s my hero… but secretly I think she is 🙂
Sian’s Insta grid is always full of colourful inspirational interior shots, and a smattering of tasty treats too (source: @makeitmoregeous)
I was fortunate enough to connect with Sian earlier this year, and after having a good nosey at her house (affectionately known as Moregeous Mansions) on Instagram, I got the chance this weekend to finally see it in the flesh!
The Moregeous Mansion gardens (source: @makeitmoregeous)
A newly appointed ambassador for Airbnb Experiences, Sian decided to fling her doors open and invite people to come check out the major makeover that is her Edwardian semi in South Manchester, and ask any questions they had about their own projects be they self-builds, property developments or just mini makeovers.
Having a nosey with note pads and camera phones at the ready
During an incredibly hot Saturday afternoon, myself and 9 other interior design enthusiasts had a tour around Moregeous Mansions, with Sian and her partner in crime Martin talking us through their property development journey and the work they have had done to the house, including ripping out ceilings, fitting underfloor heating, stripping walls down to bare brick, and even hand cutting and mounting the slates on their extension roof themselves… with no scaffolding! Most astonishingly of all, they are mostly self-taught and learnt through watching videos on YouTube… proving that there is hope for all us amature DIYers!
Sian walked us around, talking us through her building experiences & answering any property development questions the group had
About a third of the house is still a building site but the rooms that have been completed are stunning, with loads of quirky interior design ideas and money-saving tips to be gleamed by all – several people brought along sizeable note pads and were frantically scribbling & taking snap shots as we wandered through each room.
Some were also property developers themselves, and relished the opportunity to grill Sian and Martin on building materials, techniques and building regs.
clockwise from left: Pavilion bedroom / Master bedroom (photobombed by Builder Cat) / Dining room
House tour over, we all meandered out into the garden to enjoy the sunshine (yes, even rainy Manchester has had a killer summer this year!) and mingle whilst our hosts laid on a fantastic spread for lunch – all home-made and beautifully presented, and included Sian’s cherry tomato tart (Instafans will be familiar with this signature dish 🙂 ).
We whittled away the rest of the afternoon chilling in the sun, chatting about our backgrounds, current projects, and what we were taking home from the days activities. For me it was tremendous fun seeing the project in person, rather than just on Instagram grids and stories, and having the opportunity to meet fellow interior addicts.
Chatting & exchanging interior stories after lunch (source: @makeitmoregeous)
If you’re in the Manchester area anytime soon and you’re a property developer, budding interior designer, or just want some tips on how to refresh your home, I can strongly recommend booking yourself a spot on the Moregeous Mansions Airbnb Experience! For the amount of expert advise you can get, the ticket price is very reasonable (considering how much you might pay a consultant builder or architect) and Sian encourages guests to bring along any plans/drawing they have for their own projects if they have any specific questions.
I found the day to be a great chance to meet like-minded people and make some good contacts, plus who doesn’t like having a sneaky peak in other peoples homes #guiltyascharged 🙂
Sian & me