THE BLOG

Five Easy Steps to Turn a Dull Urban Yard into a Colourful Party Space

14/04/2014 11:28 BST | Updated 11/06/2014 10:59 BST

My name is Sian Astley and I'm known as a no nonsense, straight talking property expert with a passion for great design, innovative British products and getting mucky on building sites. My interiors experience goes way back to 1996 and buying my first property for £1, setting about personalising it with reclaimed pitch pine and a bath painted in nickel paint. This unconventional approach and self-taught building, DIY and design skills have been honed over 100 refurbishments for myself and clients, running a specialist building company and interior design practice, plus self-managing a hard fought for rental portfolio means I live and breathe property pretty much 24 / 7 / 365. Tiring, but massively rewarding and great fun, with no two days ever the same.

love chic living

My passion for design takes me to design shows in the UK and abroad each year, searching out new trends and products which I blog about, alongside the more lady-builder posts. I love high end design but more often than not budgets will only allow a splash of luxury, so that's where the high street comes in.

To kick start my new campaign with HomeSense and Huffington Post, I was challenged to create a fantastic small garden entertaining space out of a dark & dingy urban yard. I often use my local store for fabulous dressing items to finish rooms, only last week picking up some amazing grey flowered & hot pink towels, crystal bathroom pieces and honey scented candles for a hotel room overhaul. I want to introduce colour and fun to brighten up a bit of a dull space and am very much looking forward to surprising the couple who live there with some unexpected items and do it all on an affordable & realistic budget. It's going to be done in five easy steps so watch this space!

For clients, I'll transform buildings, often from a back to brick state into a walk in and sit down finish. From a falling down Grade II listed cottage transformed into a vintage chic palace which won an ITV interiors show, to an über contemporary industrial look for a city centre apartment in a converted ammunitions factory, Team Moregeous make more than gorgeous homes for people who love their properties. Unlike many London based interior designers who have budgets I would DIE for, our work is for ordinary people with ordinary budgets but extraordinary dreams, dreams which we make come true. The same goes for my rentals, into which I pour hours of interior planning to ensure they're as perfect as can be. These are often small spaces, one bed flats or studios which are short on space but I'm determined don't have to be short on style. At the moment I'm working on Project Splendid, a fab transformation of a city centre restaurant on a realistic budget, trying to combine a cutting edge design look with elements of fun, glamour and quirkiness - all to be finished in a week! Another current project is the potential restoration and transformation of my local threatened swimming baths - now that's a challenge!

Follow my journey here on Huffington Post where we look at how HomeSense really can make a difference to your home!