After four years of living in a small one bed flat, Shreenal Ghelani and her husband Tom decided to take the plunge and move into a bigger home.

They fell in love with the area of Plumstead and found their dream house. The only problem? It needed renovating from top-to-bottom.

Now Shreenal and Tom have converted this run-down house — which was an ex-rental property — into the modern, colourful home you can see today.

“The house was in need of a complete renovation,” Shreenal says. “And the layout of the rooms was crazy.”


Shreenal and Tom swapped the living space of their Victorian home with their kitchen to make better use of the space

“You had to walk into the garden to access the kitchen, and the main bathroom was off a bedroom. We kept the original footprint of the house but dramatically changed the layout.”

In May 2018, their team of builders stripped the entire house back to bare brick. The kitchen was ripped out and walls were put in upstairs, to divide up two bedrooms and make way for two new bathrooms.

They also swapped the living room and kitchen to make better use of the space.

Together, they’ve created a colourful home jam-packed with clever storage ideas, a new layout that makes better use of the space, and a décor scheme that reflects their passion for bold shades.

Watch our video to see how Shreenal and Tom made the most of their space.

Secret Styling Club’s top tips

How to stick to your build budget…

When taking on a huge renovation project here’s how to make sure you don’t over spend.

1. Keep on top of the cost

Get a price for every element of the room and write it up in a spreadsheet.

When you spend money on your home, break it down room by room. This will help you keep on top of costs.

2. Even out your budget

If you fall in love with an item that wasn’t in your original costings, take money away from another part of your budget (rather than adding it onto your overall costs).

3. Save up

Don’t go shopping when you have run out of money. Save up for things first or find interest free finance options.

4. Shop around


Pick up home accessories from Gumtree, eBay and flea markets, say Maxine and Laurie

Don’t just look at high street stores. Look out for things that people are throwing away. Gumtree has a whole freebie section.

Or try eBay and flea markets and only splash the cash on bargains.

5. Spend on things that will last

It’s worth spending money on things you will have for a long time like radiators and carpets. But spend less money on accessories.

6. Do it yourself

Do things yourself as much as you can – don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty. There are lots of lessons on YouTube and Instagram.

The Plum and Crumble house: how to get the look

Find Laurie and Maxine online at or on Instagram @secretstylingclub

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