Living Room
Living Room
kitchen before
kitchen before
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Charlene’s Tooting Home Tour | Downstairs

Author: Lauren Coleman

We know you love a home tour and this will one will not disappoint. In fact I’ve already told Charlene her kitchen is likely to break Pinterest.
A stunning blend of Victorian features, mid-century furniture and modern accessories, Charlene and her husband have created a show stopper of a home. We’ll also be sharing the upstairs soon but for the moment I’ll hand you over to the lady of the house to tell you more about the downstairs.

The house was previously owned by a lady in her eighties and she had lived there her whole life and was downsizing. The house was in serious need of modernisation. It seemed dark and small with thick red carpet, walls covered in wood chip and vinyl wallpaper. The bathroom was tiny with a sloping ceiling that made only half the room usable. The kitchen was a narrow galley opening onto a side return. The garden had been concreted over and looked very sad. Needless to say, my husband needed convincing! But I saw the potential and knew it could be transformed. We moved into the house in February 2015 and after taking it back to a bare shell we waited for planning permission with work finally beginning in October. The refurbishment took nine months in total.


We opened up the partition wall between the two downstairs rooms, added in double doors to allow access blocking up the original side entrance and installed an original Victorian fireplace sourced from The Old Bath House Salvage and Reclamation Yard in Sydenham. The tiles for the fireplace were bought on eBay.
We removed the chimney breast in what was the old dining room in order to give some extra width and installed a storage unit which we found in a second hand shop in Hastings Old Town for a bargain £80.


A side return extension was completed still leaving enough space for a decent size garden.
Deciding on the kitchen layout was difficult. At only four metres wide we were keen to avoid the space feeling like a tunnel and create a light sociable space that would be the hub of the home. We decided to install an island in the centre of the room pushing this back to make room for a downstairs WC. We had a very limited budget for the whole project so exploring options for work surfaces was essential. We went for Minerva Carrara white from Essex Worktops, we are thrilled with it, giving the look of marble but much more affordable!
The hanging pendant lights which I had always admired were purchased from Heals. The exposed shelves were from an online store called Nest. The rug was bought while on holiday in Turkey. The dining table has been in the family since the 70s it has been passed around for years and we have luckily ended up with it.
Finally, the artwork in the kitchen is by the artist, Dave White, it was a present from my husband at Christmas. I first saw it at Nelly Duff Art Gallery on Columbia Road in London and instantly fell in love with it.

Downstairs Bathroom

After making room for the downstairs bathroom we decorated it with House of Hackney wallpaper.

When completing the renovation we stuck to a simple principle of five main materials throughout the whole house. We used marble, copper, grey, wood and white as the base colours and texture for the whole of the house and then added accent accessories to give personality, character and colour.

  • NOTHS Best Of Tooting
  • West Elm Cheers
  • Oliver Bonas Pineapple
  • Holly's House Copenhagen Rug
  • Joy Zebra Vase
  • Trouva Palm Cushion
  • Heals Bristol Pendant
  • The Dybdahl Palm Print
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @fairlylight

43 thoughts on “Charlene’s Tooting Home Tour | Downstairs

  1. This is awesome, I would have enjoyed some before shots though! And floor plans would help understand the changes to the space. What is it with that red carpet? Do you think it’s elderly Hollywood interior styling gone wrong? 😂 I don’t envy you removing the wood chip…

    That white patio flowing out from the kitchen though! It’s beautiful x

  2. Oh wow, it’s gorgeous! Charlene, I’m trying to convince my husband to buy a very similar style house….Do you have any before shots you would be able to share? x

    1. Hi Sian

      Thank you for your lovedly comments. Lauren has added the before shot of the kitchen. I have some others if you’d like to see.

      I say do it, it was so much fun.


  3. Ooh is Charlene is on Instagram…her house is just beautiful! I would love to know where the butterfly print is in the living room!? Looking forward to part 2! xx

  4. Wow, this is beautiful. I love all of it but the colour of the kitchen cupboards and the wallpaper in the downstairs loo are my favourites. Where does the kitchen come from? And what flooring do you have in the living room? Could I also ask the dimensions of your downstairs loo? I am trying to create one in a very tight space and this looks great. Did you get a special small space toilet? What are the dimensions of the sink? Is the cut out in the corner just to contain pipes? Sorry for all of the questions but I am very inspired by your home!

    1. I don’t know if this helps but I live in a very similar house, and we recently put a downstairs loo in as part of the kitchen extension. From memory it is about 90cm wide, any smaller and it feels really pinched (I think 80cm is the absolute smallest). In order to create space we used a smaller toilet than normal (that is smaller from front to back, not side to side!!), there are several options out there but you really need to go to a shop to see them. Some of them felt like sitting on a toddler’s loo!! And for the sink we used possibly exactly the same one as Charlene. To help create space we dug out the wall a little so that it is inset by about an inch. Doesn’t sound like much but it has made the world of difference. Good luck!!!

  5. That pineapple lamp! I need to know where it is from 🙂 love it! What a beautiful house Charlene.

  6. Hi Charlene, fellow SW Londoner here!! Love the renovations 🙂 We have done very similar work to a similarly run-down terraced house, got to love the gems you uncover. Looking forward to part 2. x

  7. Such a beautiful makeover! We’re thinking of embarking on a very similar project next year. A couple of questions – where are the kitchen cupboards from? How much roughly does it cost to take the chimney out? And (as a fellow south Londoner) which builders did you use and would you recommend them? Thanks Alice

    1. Hi Alice

      Thank you so much .

      Unfortuantly i wouldnt recomend our builder he ended up walking from the job , nightmare.

      Kitchen cupbaords are from Wren Kitchens.

      Our chimeny breast removal was included in the price of the build so unfortuantly i dont have the exact price.

      Good luck if you decide to do it. You wont regret it : )

  8. Love this! Looks very similar to my new kitchen 🙂 Hope mine looks half as good as this when fully finished. Love the flamingo print too!

  9. Beautiful home, I feel we have very similar tastes as my living room space is pretty similar and is that Laura Jordan print? If so, I have one too of Manchester, love her work! I just wish my kitchen was a similar size so I could recreate a similar space.
    Can’t wait to see what you’ve done on the first floor 🙂

  10. Hi Charlene

    What a beautiful space! Love it! We are thinking of doing a side return extension in our semi Victorian also, with a width similar to yours. I was wondering how deep is the kitchen in total? And also, love the floor tiles! What are they and where are they from? Thank you!


  11. This is absolutely stunning! Please would you be able to tell me where the kitchen floor tiles are from (and their name if possible)? Many thanks, Zoe

  12. The most wonderful kitchen I have ever seen! Can I ask where your marble jars and wire chairs are from please?

    1. Hi Charlie

      Thank you so much. The marble jars were a bargin from Dunelm and the wire stools from Rockett St George.

  13. Wow! Love the space!

    I would love to know how long (deep) is the kitchen? Also, love the floor tiles. What are they and where are they from? Many thanks!


  14. Hi Charlene

    Lovely house! Do you mind if I ask where you got your kitchen floor tiles from? I’m also SW London and would love some similar.


  15. Wow what a transformation, you must be so pleased with the end result. I would also like to know where you got the kitchen floor tiles from and their name. I really like them. Congrats on a beautiful renovation x

    1. Hi Laura

      Thank you so much

      The wooden floor Haro Strip oak Tobacco grey – code 530795
      The exposed bricks are real. They reclaimed


  16. Gorgeous Charlene! Love all the clean lines. Do you mind if I ask where you got your wicker chair in the lounge? It’s a perfect size.

  17. Love this Charlene! We are also renovating following a loft and kitchen extension in SW17, Tooting!

    Can you let me know where you got the fireplace surround / cast iron fireplace from? We have an original in place but without surround so I’m considering taking out the existing and replacing with a much prettier one!
    Best wishes, Lou.

  18. You have created a beautiful space – trust me, I have looked at hundreds of side return extensions trying to decide whether to go ahead or not as I have a tiny garden (probably a litter deeper than your terrace). You have managed to fit so much into a small space. Very clever

  19. Beautiful kitchen! Could I ask where the floor tiles are from and are they the same inside and out? We are looking for something similar. Thanks

  20. Beautiful! Charlene, are your kitchen doors sliding or bifold? They have a lovely slim profile, just wondering which company you got them from? Many thanks.

  21. Absolutely love this! My other half and I are currently searching for a house in Tooting, we love the area and the houses are gorgeous. We can only afford a doer upper and this has given me so much hope that we can create our dream home! Thanks for sharing.

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