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 meters 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 center 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.

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