Couple transform dated Victorian house into chic home for £9,000

Couple transform dated Victorian terrace house into chic Scandinavian-style home for £9,000 using DIY hacks – including using boiled eggs to age brass taps

  • Hannah Heemsbergen and Oliver Marshal purchased first home for £235,000
  • Salisbury-based couple, both 28, spent three years transforming the property 
  • Thrifty pair purchased furniture from Facebook Marketplace and charity shops
  • The couple used dupes and DIY hacks to decorate their second hand furniture  

A couple have shared the incredible renovation they completed on their Victorian Terrace house, transforming the dated property into a chic Scandinavian-style home. 

Hannah Heemsbergen and Oliver Marshal, both 28, purchased their first home in Salisbury, Wiltshire in 2018 and spent just £9,000 renovating the property over three years.  

Graphic designer Hannah and her partner, an engineer, couldn’t afford to buy a new home and so decided spend £235,000 on a run-down three-bedroom Victorian home built in 1880 with plans to make it over. 

Using second hand bargains and DIY hacks, including ageing a new brass tap by causing a chemical reaction using the sulphur emitted from hard boiled eggs, the thrifty pair were able to convert the run-down house into a bright and modern new home. 


A couple have shared the incredible renovation they completed on their Victorian Terrace house, transforming the dated property into a chic Scandinavian-style home, including transforming their dated and dreary kitchen into a stylish, bright and modern room. Pictured, the home’s kitchen before (left) and after renovations (right)


The pair purchased their first home (pictured left before the transformation, and right, after) in Salisbury, Wiltshire in 2018 and spent just £9,000 renovating the property over three years. The make-over saw the couple’s living room transform from an empty and run-down room into a spacious and clean living area decorated with nordic design 


The couple decided spend £235,000 on a run-down three-bedroom Victorian home  (left, before renovation) built in 1880 with plans to make it over (right, after renovation). Their transformation saw the dingy master bedroom swapped for a contemporary and stylish bedroom, decorated with beige hues, whites and greys in a chic Scandinavian style 

Hannah Heemsbergen and Oliver Marshal, both 28, work as a graphic designer and engineer and live in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and decided to transform their run-down property into their dream home after purchasing it three years ago

‘We couldn’t afford to buy a completed house in Salisbury and wanted a doer-upper so we could put our own stamp on it,’ Hannah said. 

‘Me and my partner have done all the work ourselves, the only help we’ve had was a builder fit a steel beam in our kitchen for a bigger window and a plasterer.

‘We have tried doing a lot of things ourselves down to cost of labour and because we enjoy doing new projects.’

The pair began with the bedrooms, with Hannah and Ollie painting the walls and sanding the floors to add a new finishing, costing them around £300.


The pair began with the bedrooms, with Hannah and Ollie painting the walls and sanding the floors to add a new finishing. Pictured, the second bedroom before (left) renovation looking dirty and run-down and after (right) with newly sanded floors and a stunning dark blue statement wall


The couple spent in total just £200 on their outdoor space, replacing the flooring and painting the wall and door. Hannah and Ollie decorated the space with fairy lights, carpets and wooden chairs – all purchased on Facebook Marketplace or from charity shops  

The floor in the living room was completely rotten, so the couple were forced it off entirely and replace it with flooring they purchased online. Pictured, the living room during renovation, after removing the floor


Overall renovating bedrooms in the house cost the couple around £300. The smallest bedroom in the home is pictured before renovation (left) looking dull and empty and after (right) looking chic with nordic design including trendy decorative all coverings and scatter cushions 

The pair fitted the living room with fashionable reclaimed solid wood parquet flooring (pictured before being installed into the living room) purchased from eBay for £1,500 when they discovered all the flooring would have to be ripped out


For the kitchen (pictured before and after renovation) the couple purchased a brand-new kitchen unit from DIY Kitchens and also installed a new window to allow more light into the area. They also retiled the walls and the floor, adding new shelves and decorative pieces to the space, such as copper and gold accents and flowers in neutral earthenware

To stay on budget, the couple purchased furniture from Facebook Marketplace and charity shops to decorate the space with beige hues, whites and greys in a chic Scandinavian style.

The floor in the living room was completely rotten, so they had to strip it off and fitted reclaimed solid wood parquet flooring, purchased from eBay for £1,500.

For the kitchen, the couple purchased a brand-new kitchen unit from DIY Kitchens and also installed a new window to allow more light into the area.

They also retiled the walls and the floor, adding new shelves and decorative pieces to the space – costing them around £7,000.

For the backyard, the couple simply added a new lick of paint to the old brick walls and a new wooden door.


The couple were keen to undergo most of the project themselves to stay on budget, and so the only help they received was from a builder who fit a steel beam in the kitchen (pictured during renovation) for a bigger window. They also retiled the walls and the floor 

Using second hand bargains and DIY hacks, ageing a second-hand brass tap by causing a chemical reaction using the sulphur emitted from hard boiled eggs,  the thrifty pair were able to convert the run-down house into a bright and modern new home. The tap is pictured in the renovated kitchen after the couple left it in a bag with hard boiled eggs for four-six hours 


The couple created their own version of a £500 aged brass tap by purchasing a second hand tap and leaving the metal with the eggs for four to six hours, causing the colour to change. This occurs because the sulphur in the eggs causes the metal to oxidize and change it’s colour. The tap is pictured before (left) and after (right)  the DIY hack

Hannah and Ollie decorated the space with fairy lights, carpets and wooden chairs – all purchased on Facebook Marketplace or from charity shops – costing them just £200.

The couple are still in the process of finishing the bathroom and attic, and plan to stay within a £5,000 budget.

The entire home renovation so far has taken them around three years to complete at £9,000 – and the couple couldn’t be happier with the results.

Hannah said: ‘It’s so nice to sit in a house that you put your blood sweat and tears into and of course it’s exactly to our taste!

The couple were keen to introduce a Scandinavian style, characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality, into their home. Keeping to their theme, the couple kept their creme bookcase simple with a few light decorations including a lamp and small white plant 


To stay on budget, the couple purchased furniture from Facebook Marketplace and charity shops to decorate the space with beige hues, whites and greys in a chic Scandinavian style. The majority of the couple’s budget was spent on the kitchen, with the pair spending £7,000 to make it appear bright and airy following the transformation

After renovations the Scandinavian style kitchen featured a rustic wooden table and chairs decorated with a simple grey runner and various plants, paired with wicker decor and a wood burning fireplace 

Overall, the couple spent £1,500 on their living room, which is pictured looking chic and modern after the renovation. It features stylish contemporary furniture including a pastel coloured floral-themed sofa  

‘One thing I would change would be living in a renovation in winter with a hole in your house due to work being done.

‘I would recommend living out of the renovation if you have family nearby, as it can be very stressful to keep tidy, or try and do one room at a time.’

In a few words of advice to others who wish to renovate their home, Hannah added: ‘What you save in money you lose in time, sometimes.

Hannah and Oliver’s budget breakdown: How much did the couple spent per room? 

Bedrooms: £300

Living room: £1,500

Kitchen: £7,000

Outside space: £200 

TOTAL: £9,000 

‘We found this with our parquet flooring we ended up spending huge amounts of our time to restore it and it made the house an absolute mess for months and years.

‘However, it does make the house and it is the talking point when people come over.

‘Use Facebook Marketplace and charity shops to furnish your home as you will get some great unique furnishings on there.’ 

The couple also created their own dupe products by using DIY hacks, including forming a brown patina on their second hand brass tap. 

The eco-friendly method involves taking two or three eggs which have been boiled for at least five minutes, chopping them up and placing them on a dish nearby the material you wish to transform. 

Then the plate and eggs must be confined in a plastic bag or plastic container without the metal touching the egg. 

Once you’ve left the metal with the eggs for four to six hours, the colour should have changed. This occurs because the sulphur in the eggs causes the metal to oxidize and change it’s colour. 

‘Also, look at how to dupe products. We looked at a Perrin and Rowe aged brass tap for £500. 

‘We decided to buy a second-hand brass tap and aged it ourselves with hard boil eggs. The gas from the eggs attacks the brass.’  

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