I long for a period home. I was brought up in a Victorian house and this has influenced my love of Victorian architecture and period features: fireplaces, cornicing, ceiling roses, original floorboards, sash windows, tiled hallway, brass door knobs, free-standing bath, the list goes on. In my childhood home there was even an original spiral staircase that led from the first floor down to the garden – absolutely beautiful. In fact, it got to the point where my university friends secretly nick-named me Victorian Katy. Seriously.
If you are lucky enough to live in a home with original period features, for some it can be difficult to resist the urge to renovate to try to make everything look and feel ‘new’ again. However, this can remove a lot of the character of a house. I would like to show you a very sympathetic and careful renovation of a London Victorian house that has been brought back to life in such a way that none of the character has been lost, yet it has gained clean, simple lines and a fresh feel…
Typically, Victorian houses have narrow, awkward hallways. By painting everything white and removing carpet from the stairs, the owners have made this hallway feel as spacious as possible.
They have retained the original built-in dresser, which usually gets ripped out in favour of a fitted kitchen. However, it adds such character and is the perfect place to show off vintage kitchen finds.
In the kitchen the floorboards have been painted white, which always gives a feeling of light and space. They have lost none of the charm of a typical free-standing kitchen by using fabric instead of cupboard doors. This makes you think it is not a fitted kitchen, when actually it is. The addition of the vintage trolley and weighing scales adds character.
The addition of a conservatory gives much needed space but they have retained the original garden doors and used wood cladding on the on the wall to add character.
Painted floorboards and white walls run throughout the house, which gives it a more modern feel.
In the bedroom all of the character is maintained but it has none of the dark, heavy colours associated with Victoriana. Removing heavy curtains from the windows adds to the fresh, clean lines.
I love this pretty bathroom. It is completely practical, clean and simple, yet clever touches add a vintage feel: the mirrors, lace panel, light shade and the wood cladding bath panel. The sink is also a clever addition; a modern sink has been installed on a vintage table with a fabric curtain. This adds style, yet remains practical.
More painted floorboards, no heavy curtains and another clever sink unit make this a Victorian room with all the practicalities a child needs.
All this home needs is a cosy sitting room. I love it: modern, clutter-free and all the clean lines you could want, combined with orignal period features and a load of Victorian charm. What’s your favourite architectural style? x