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Profile: A Dark Victorian Terraced House Becomes a Scandi-Style Haven

Formerly a dismal and dark ‘dungeon’ this kitchen is now an ergonomic dream
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 01-09-2021 13:00pm

Max and Tamsin Rogers’ Victorian four-bedroom terraced house in Brixton was a "fixer upper". So, they rented a flat for three months while their new home was refurbished. “We replastered every wall, refitted two bathrooms, renovated the kitchen, laid new flooring and replaced all the windows with timber double-glazed units,” says Max. “We also put in a new boiler, a wood-burning stove and bespoke storage before redecorating throughout.” Out of all these, the biggest single project was the kitchen, as it presented a very dispiriting picture, described by Max as “a dark, cold and damp dungeon”.

The wooden floor provides warmth – both in terms of how it feels underfoot and for its visual contrast with the units

Quick View

- Owners/residents: Max and Tamsin Rogers and their children; Lena and Elliott

- Designer: Andrea Meyer, designer at Bulthaup Kitchen Furniture Store

- Style: Scandinavian, contemporary

- Kitchen feature: The bulthaup b1 range was chosen for its clean design, high quality of materials and its overall functionality

Victorian, revamp, family, kitchen, white, scandi, pendant lights, russell hobbs, john lewis, habitat, ikea, bora, vitra eames, light, wooden floor, open storage

To incorporate the island into the relatively narrow space, sliding doors replaced the old brickwork and were inserted along the side wall

“It had wonky walls and lots of pine,” he continues. “There was a ramshackle back door leading to the garden and outside lavatory, plus two differently sized windows on the side wall. The floor was of dreary beige and tiles a depressing green; in fact, the only feature was an original Victorian stove but it didn’t stay as we couldn’t integrate it.”

As Max is from Hannover, they already knew they wanted a German bulthaup kitchen imported directly as, says Max, it offered the better deal. They were very keen to have an island as they wanted Lena and any future offspring to join in with the cooking. However, the space seemed too narrow and their bulthaup designer Andrea Meyer was skeptical. Architect Elke Dittrich from DHV Architects suggested maximising the space by removing much of the side wall and installing a pair of sliding glass doors. Elke also had them remove most of the end wall too and put in another pair of sliding glass doors plus an extra panel of full height glass on the adjoining wall where one of the old windows had been.

The big white Kartell Fly pendant makes a real statement above the dining table and matches the white Vitra Eames chairs

“We knew the kitchen was to be one of our main living spaces, hence the big windows and light colours,” says Tamsin. “Overall we wanted a minimal and neutral effect.” The remaining walls were insulated and the floor then had to be dug up, completely refilled and insulated before being laid with engineered boards of white larch. “As for the units, we chose the bulthaup b1 range because we like the clean design, high quality of materials and the overall functionality,” explains Max.

Q & A – Andrea Meyer, designer at Bulthaup Kitchen Furniture Store

- What was your brief?
The clients had two main requirements, an island and a dining area, so we had to decide how to fit these into the rather limited space. The architect’s idea about replacing a solid wall with Velfac sliding doors was the brilliant solution and the one we went for.

- Who chose the units and shades?
The Rogers chose the bulthaup b1 design having seen it in our showroom in Hannover. They particularly wanted white so I came up with the Compaq quartz worktop in a white that toned with the look.

The two sets of sliding glass doors allow the owners to hold summer parties with more than enough space

- Did you come over to London?
There was no need as I had the plan with full measurements and photographs to work from which was all supplied by architect Elke Dittrich of DHV Architects. We did a rough design of the kitchen and the details were then discussed and agreed via phone and email. Certain details were finalised on site. The appliances were chosen by the couple in our Hannover shop where we have a few different options on display.

- Was there any problem creating a contemporary kitchen in a Victorian structure?
One of the advantages of the bulthaup brand is that it suits almost all environments with its simple and unobtrusive design. We have fitted our kitchens in new builds, historical buildings, industrial spaces and farmhouses.

Take a tour of the whole space

Credit: Darren Chung (Images), Victoria Jenkins (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 240, April 2016

Also read:
Profile: A Dream Contemporary Home in The Middle of The Woods
Profile: Cheerful Colours Stand Out Just Enough in This Townhouse Kitchen

What do you like most about this kitchen? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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