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Real home: a contemporary-yet-cosy kitchen transformation

Head this way to see how this period kitchen was given a thoroughly modern makeover...
   Katie Byrne  |  written on: 08-08-2018 11:30am

This beautiful Victorian-built property is a complete surprise: the red-brick exterior gives no clue to the light, bright interior that lies within.

Browse 1,000s of inspiring ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom redesign

The couple who dwell within the airy walls of this spacious flat moved in around 18 months ago, knowing from the off that a complete overhaul was going to be necessary in order to create the space they truly wanted.

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


Having not been modernised since the 1950s, the home was in desperate need of some TLC - and a clever re-imagining, too. Also important was the 'vibe' created, with the couple keen to create a space that looked contemporary but still felt cosy and warm, too.

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


The project in a nutshell

The property: A 19th-century built duplex apartment, nestled within a five-storey terraced house

Designer: Michael Schienke, director at VORBILD Architecture

The style: A modern makeover for a period space

Budget: £150,000 - £200,000

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


"The main aim was to open up the kitchen," explains Michael Schienke, who was brought on-board to breathe new life into the property. "The couple also wanted to improve the master bedroom, as well as adding an ensuite; there was also a desire to create a large patio space, too."

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


The cook-zone is incredibly important to the occupants, who tell us: "We wanted an open-plan kitchen and living space. Sleeping time aside, you normally spend about 80% of your time at home in these areas, so they have to be perfect".

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


A warm timber floor, white Shaker-style cabinetry and a beige-toned worktop were chosen to breathe fresh life into the kitchen, with the new layout flooding the space with glorious natural light.

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


Original features - such as stained glass windows and a fireplace - were kept in the living space, adding an extra dose of period charm to the room. An auction-sourced 1970s-era chandelier brings a shimmer of retro charm to the space. 

open-plan kitchen,kitchen,open plan,fireplace,wood
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


The kitchen wasn't the sole focus: also made-over was the master bedroom, which had an ensuite added. The guest bathroom had a sprinkle of magic scattered over it, too, with the stand-out detail arguably that gold tap - a hand-me-down from the owner's mother.

ensuite bathroom,bathroom,gold taps
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


The architecture of the bedrooms were taken into consideration when redesigning, with Michael emphasising the importance of natural light. "We actually needed to remove a dividing wall straight to the rear bay window," he explains. "This allows more light to stream into the bedroom."

bedroom,dressing table,wood,white,headboard
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


On the subject of monetary matters, the couple admit they expected to be over-budget by the end of the project: "mistakes were made by ordering the wrong item or ordering too many materials," they say.

bedroom,dressing table,wood,white,headboard
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture


Their advice for making sure you stick on-target with your spend? "Have a fixed budget for each room," they reveal. "Stick to that figure and prioritise what's important. Think twice if you need a £700 tap! Make sure you measure everything correctly, so you don't over-order materials."

See more of this home redesign project here.

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Katie Byrne


Katie Byrne is a writer, editor and filter fan (coffee, not Instagram), and lives in a Georgian-built flat that features various statement cobwebs.

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