a grown up living room - victorian house

Victorian House
Phase 3: the living room  

features: cast concrete fire surround with wood detailing, stained piranha pine box shelving, dark stained flooring, double sliding curtain rail, danish rosewood sideboard, architectural light shade, handmade radiator covers.

We chose to use an organic and muted colour range complimented by the use of dark stained material (including the floor), textures and subtle tonal changes to create an intimate room with a quiet aspect. 

Elevating a Victorian living room can be a difficult proposition as they generally come wrapped with period features which are often wonderful, but sometimes dominate too much to allow scope for change. (plus the Victorians didn't always get it right design-wise, when you consider that many houses were assembled from stock catalogues). The main feature in the room at the time was a vast Carrera marble fireplace. It was very large and ill proportioned for the room, dominating and making the room feel cold. We didn't wish to strip the 'old' from the room, however the owner had wanted to be able to stamp their authority on the place as this was going to be the family home for a good while. It was decided that the fireplace should be dismantled and sold on, after all, houses are for living in! It was finally taken to Faringdon were it was sold to an architectural antiques company (which paradoxically we often use to find period pieces). We promptly got to work on a fireplace design, and hand cast a simple white polished concrete piece with stained wood mantle. From this we built the room and as a consequence, the study room which adjoined the lounge. A large L shaped grey corner sofa provides flexible seating. The vintage Danish rosewood sideboard from our lovely friends at The Modern Warehouse sits on the back wall against striking wallpaper.


Opposite, on either side of the chimney breast, there is a configuration of dark stained display boxes of differing sizes. They are like a sliding rule - each pair amounts to the same space, separated by the chimney breast. We used the wallpaper at the backs to

basement living - victorian house

project: living area, kitchen, extension

features: reclaimed antique parquet muhuhu flooring, Silestone worktop, induction hob, wine storage

the kitchen with view to dining room extension (phase 6)

This basement conversion and extension was a huge project, and a fantastic space. A lot of work was carried out to turn what was a dark, and slightly dank basement area into a family space that is extremely habitable and stylish, and given its situation, filled with light. We tackled the project in stages, firstly creating a cosy living and play area in the bay window space at the front along with a central kitchen, and then a pause before the major building project of a light and airy new extension as a dining area, which leads out onto a same level outdoor living space. 

Canal side house wetroom

Canal side house
1st floor bathroom: wetroom.

The design and fit of a bathroom that is one of the main features of Victorian houses. Despite the size of the house, the bathrooms generally all occupy very small spaces; this particular one is housed where an old servants staircase used to make its way up the house. Therefore the space we worked with was: 3.5metres long by 95cm wide and 3m high. Also a feature of victorian houses; the tall ceilings! We devised the design for three bathrooms; the cloakroom beneath, this wetroom, and a slightly wider main bathroom which will fit a bath. The cloakroom and main bathroom are yet to be built, but all will share the principles of sleek italian design.


In the end the space was expertly crafted and every white good was nested in place. From lowering the ceilings to cutting down vanity units, every aspect of the fit out was carefully assessed and planned out to make sure that no space was lost and that the experience was as generous as it could be, given the dimensional restrictions. 

Atmosphere and pleasure was integral to the experience we wanted to eschew and the owner had requested a look that was both Italian and bold and would reflect elements of their life in Florence. The design was one that we are very fond of. It had a very clear

victorian house: bathroom 2

1st floor bathroom > shower room, ground floor cloakroom/boiler room.

The second of the bathrooms co-incided with the formation and refurbishment of the boiler room, which was also turned into a ground floor toilet with airing cupboards. The second of the main bathrooms is a shower room that presented its own problems.  Far from being spacious, this room crams a lot of 'look' for such a small space. 2m sq approx. 

Its position on the 1st floor was directly over the boiler room and therefore made a great deal of sense to convert both rooms at the same time. 

All the walls were stripped back to brick. This was not a job for dust-haters. As the house had 140 years on it, the walls were of tired plaster that had blown in places and the ceilings were lath and plaster. This gave us a complete blank canvas for the creation of the space. Floors were adjusted in the shower room to accomodate the wetroom floor. Part of the ceiling was restored with plasterboard and the other part, left open. The roof trusses were exposed and sanded. The space had become subtley more architectural with this hidden roof space. It did mean we could hide the extractor in this space were it would be less conspicuous.

As mentioned, this was a wetroom and as such had to be prepared thoroughly and very well too prevent any future leakage. This was our first wetroom and as such, we took all the necessary precautions when installing the product. We settled on a base from 'on the level' who specialise in wetroom products along side their acrylic wall solution. Care was taken to make sure all the gaskets, around the products on the wall and in the floor, were perfectly sealed and tight.

Grandpont house> bedroom and on-suite

Grandpont house: loft conversion.

It is a loft space (bedroom) with an on-suite bathroom with a footprint of 30sqm approximately, incl the bathroom.  There was a very considered and limited palette in this scheme. The muted earth tones were all cleverly balanced. Loft rooms can be difficult in their character; we wanted this one to feel warm and grown-up, a sanctuary.

It's an elegant room, very clean and sharp with a very clear direction.

Two walls were papered, one on the wall as you approach the top of the staircase and the one behind the bed. Both walls run in different directions to each other and so acted particularly well to ease you into the room without being too full on.

The pattern that you see on the walls is by Neisha Crosland and it gives the room a loose light feel whilst playing with all the tones employed elsewhere in the room. An oak framed alcove in the wall above the bed provides extra storage, and a neat interest.

The radiators are by bisque. Its a low level, traditional style with ribbed chambers, in anthracite. These are high performing radiators and very useful at warming a room quickly and holding the temperature. The colour of the radiator can be changed in order to further enhance and stay within the designers range of tone and hue. 

We designed and had made, a very simple, elegant and one-off, oak and glass rail to the top of the staircase.  An oak  frame surrounds 10mm toughened glass. The storage units that are pictured, fitted in the eaves and flanked the escape velux.  

The conversion of a loft space is often at odds with storage needs and this generally tends to be forgotten in the process of creating a useable space. In a lot of our designs there is a real emphasis on clever storage where ever possible. 

Off the bedroom is the on-suite which is a pleasure. Glass tiles wrap around all 4 walls and encase the bathroom in reflected light.