Mum’s incredible makeover of a 7-bed house spending less than a TENTH of the price of the house

Accountant Sameera Stern-Gillet set out to transform the Victorian semi-detached house she bought in 2019 when she had never picked up a drill before

Sameera knew that with no interior or DIY experience under her belt, it would be a challenge to work on it.

A mum has unveiled an incredible transformation of her seven-bedroom home – spending less than a TENTH of the price of the house.

Accountant Sameera Stern-Gillet, 41, from Manchester, did much of the work herself despite never picking up a drill.

She bought her family’s dream Victorian semi-detached house in 2019 for £876,000 and immediately set about transforming the house.

The 41-year-old lives with her husband Bertrand in the seven-bedroom house with their children Zayn, 11, and Rafi, 9, and their dog Piper.

The house, which was built in 1877, needed some love and Sameera knew that with no interior or DIY experience under her belt, it would be a challenge to work on.







The mother revitalized her seven-bedroom Victorian home by doing much of the work herself
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Sameera had never picked up a drill before she started working on her house
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The family employed builders, electricians and plumbers for parts of the house to ensure the renovation was done safely.

Sameera said: “I learned how to use a drill.

“I’ve learned that it’s actually quite easy to be sustainable if you want to, because we’ve repurposed old furniture for some of our projects.

“For example, I bought an old Ercol unit from eBay for £100 and this was used in our bathroom and converted into a unit which houses the twin basins and storage.

“Similar new ones would have cost over £1000.”

Over the past three years she has spent £70,000 trying to upgrade the house, less than a tenth of the £876,000 she bought it for.

The accountant always knew it would be a difficult project because the house needed updating.

Sameera said: “When we bought the house we knew it would be a project as the previous owners had lived here for 50 years and probably not much had been done in the last 20 years.







The room before renovation
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The master bedroom renovated after the works
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“So I guess when we bought it, we knew we were going on a transformational journey.

“I have always loved interiors and although I had no experience other than leafing through magazines, I wanted to put my own stamp on our new home.

“I was inspired by looking at other home accounts on Instagram and it helped me understand what I liked and what I wanted to recreate.

“I’ve always loved color but never had too much of it in my house, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and was happy to experiment.”

With such a large project, she had to plan out which pieces she could do herself, such as decorating the rooms, creating a table in her son’s room, and some woodwork in the bedroom.







The bathroom adjoining the master bedroom.
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The completely renovated bathroom
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She said: “We have renovated the house in phases. It is spread over three floors, four if you count the cellars.

“We agreed that starting from the top was the best approach, so floors two and one are complete.

“This included renovating four bedrooms and three bathrooms, repurposing one bedroom to create a bathroom and dressing room.

“Conversion of one of the bedrooms on the top floor into a laundry room to house the washer/dryer and creation of a children’s playroom on the top floor as well.

“The next phase is to start the renovation/extension of the kitchen downstairs.”

Around £5,000 has been spent on each bedroom, Sameera estimates, and she is proud to create a bathroom and dressing room.







The locker room has been revamped
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“Probably the biggest transformation so far has been the repurposing of the adjoining bedroom to the master bedroom,” she said.

“We knocked but added pocket doors and the second bedroom was split into a walk-in closet and a bathroom.

“We probably spent between £2,000 and £5,000 on each piece depending on what needed to be done.

“Some were simpler than others, while others required re-plastering, re-wiring, new radiators, etc. Obviously the bedroom/dressing room conversion was more expensive.

“Another favorite of mine was in one of my son’s bedrooms, we created an office area where the fireplace was and I was really happy with how it came together.”

The home transformation began during the Covid lockdowns and she documented her journey online – and built over 12,000 followers.







She undertook to transform the house in stages
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The new transformed office
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She said: “I started sharing our renovation journey online as we were in the thick of it during Covid and because of it.

“None of our friends could see how we were doing.

“So I created my Instagram account, @21_holmfield, to document our trip and also to let our family and friends see how we were doing.

“To be honest, people generally like my posts, which is probably why my Instagram account has grown so quickly.

“I know my style isn’t to everyone’s taste but I think there’s room for everyone to co-exist in peace.

“Also, I guess most people follow me because they love my style and the way we’ve transformed rooms in the house.”







The fireplace needed some love
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Sameera has a lot more to share with her followers as she plans the next stage of her makeover.

“The next big project is the ground floor and I’m really excited about it,” she said.

“It is intact and we are just waiting for the building permit to enlarge the kitchen and redevelop the rooms.

“We have beautiful fireplaces and high ceilings with intricate cornices and I’m really looking forward to transforming these rooms while trying to bring out the beautiful original features.”

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