Houzz Tour: A Period Home is Thoughtfully Updated for Family Life
The bones of this lovely Victorian home informed its new, classic design after a kitchen extension
“They were about to have an extension built and the internal layout wasn’t getting the best out of the space for them,” Lucy says. “They wanted to make the most of it, especially on the ground floor, get in plenty of storage and introduce as much natural light as possible.” They were also unsure about what do with the middle room, so that it didn’t just become a walk-through space.
Lucy also retained or restored many of the period features in the house and worked wonders on the owners’ bedroom and the home’s two bathrooms – and turned their downstairs loo into what’s now known as “the jungle room"…
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Who lives here? A couple with a young daughter
Location South-east London
Property A Victorian terrace
Size Five bedrooms and two bathrooms
Designer Lucy Henderson of My Bespoke Room
Year of project 2021
Photos by My Bespoke Room
The house has two living rooms and the owners wanted to make this one, at the front of the house, light, bright and airy, with just flashes of colour.
The two armchairs, rather than a second sofa, help to keep the bay window space open. Lucy commissioned joinery to provide storage and room for the TV in the alcoves.
The owners weren’t sure when these unusual arched doors (seen here before the middle room had been painted) had been added, but knew they probably weren’t original. They discussed with Lucy whether or not to keep this feature at all. “In the end, we decided to refurbish and repaint them. It’s a nice arch,” she says.
A dramatic pendant highlights the high ceiling.
She embraced the darkness of the middle room, on the left, and encouraged the clients to go for bold, dark green walls.
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Lucy helped them to create the best internal layout for the space. “They wanted an open-plan kitchen-diner and family space with plenty of storage and natural light, as well as room to entertain,” she explains.
Style-wise, the brief was “a Shaker-style kitchen with some modern twists”.
“We convinced them to go blue on the island rather than grey,” Lucy says. “The brass fittings tie everything together, including the feature pendant light.
“[The herringbone tile splashback] adds interest and texture without going too crazy,” she adds.
A new roof window over the old side return area floods the space with light.
“Moving the dining table means you still have a clear walkway out to the garden,” she says. “And we were able to tuck a two-seater sofa in this corner with a little coffee table and circular rug to zone the area. It was a bonus that we were able to fit it in.”
The low table includes two cubes that can be pulled out for extra seating.
Lucy also suggested keeping this part of the wall natural brick to further define and warm up the area.
She chose this pair of prints for them and added a tall plant to add texture, further colour and interest.
Wall lights provide soft illumination for dining. “And, by not putting a fixed pendant over the table, it allows for a level of flexibility,” Lucy says.
In time, the plan is to add bench seating and bespoke storage right along this side wall (see the floor plan, below).
“We went with blues, greens and a bit of blush, which are the colours we used throughout,” she adds.
The colours also tie in with the original stained-glass window. This now looks into the back of the kitchen space, but used to open onto the side return, hence the reduced light.
“We added some simple painted panel moulds and marbled splashback tiles,” Lucy says. The tiles link nicely to the kitchen worktops, while the blue links to the kitchen island and living room chairs.
The owners already had this console unit and Lucy added the mirror. “It’s lovely and large and has really brightened up the space,” she says. “The glass lantern and wall lamps let out lots of light, too. The lights also had a bit of a heritage look to them and tie into the pendant above the kitchen island.”
“It’s added real depth to the space,” she says. “It’s a large room, so it can take that kind of colour. We kept the fireplace pale to make it stand out.”
Brass detailing and the mix of soft textures, including a velvet ottoman and cushions, add a touch of luxury. “They really wanted that boutique hotel feel to their bedroom,” Lucy says. “We added wall lights for low-level ambient lighting and to keep the bedside tables clear.”
“We had the luxury of space to play with, but it was a little awkward, as the position of the door meant you originally couldn’t run wardrobes right up to the wall,” Lucy explains. “So we very slightly moved the door along the wall. It’s made a huge difference.”
“We added brass lights and details in here, along with the marble-effect herringbone tiles,” Lucy says. “They wanted fairly timeless spaces, so it’s quite a classic design, but these details add interest and makes sure it doesn’t look clinical.”
It’s mainly used by the owners’ young daughter, but doubles as a guest bathroom.
“The lovely patterned flooring is classic, but with a modern twist,” Lucy says.
And how did the owners feel about their reimagined home? Their review on Houzz says it all. “We love the result [and] Lucy was great to work with. She listened carefully and managed to translate our various (not always very straightforward) ideas into a cohesive and elegant design with a twist across the whole house.”
What’s your favourite part of this elegant family home? Let us know in the Comments.