Estelle explained, “The house had barely been touched in over 50 years, but I loved the fact it was a project as I have always had a keen eye for interior design. At the heart of my design palette was to create a modern home that maintained its Victorian influences. My vision was to seamlessly blend old with new to deliver a unique and personal look which took into account the property’s architectural qualities sympathetically.”
The builders were on site within a month and the couple lived in three rooms, moving around as the builders finished each floor. “We decided to get everything done apart from the kitchen and make that phase two of the project. It was 18 months later that we made a start on it.
“Being in a conservation area, we had to go through three planning applications before getting permission to build the extension. The plan was to replace a higgledy-piggledy lean-to comprising of a tiny kitchen, small dining room and a Victorian loo at the back of the house and create a large open-plan kitchen with double aspect bi-folds opening out to the garden.
“We wanted the space to be something that looked vintage, full of texture and character. I’d already spotted kitchen units we loved in an interior magazine, and with those ordered we could start building up design ideas that would work with them. I started to source items to create a physical mood board made up of vintage tins and Madeleine trays found on eBay to play with materials and textures.
“The original plans relied on bi-fold doors to bring light into the space, but we quickly realised that it might still be too dark. We changed the plans and added the biggest Velux windows our budget could stretch to, which meant another tweak to the kitchen layout to reposition the cooker, which we had bought before we even had planning permission.”
When it came to flooring choice Estelle liked the idea of concrete floors to add an urban but natural texture to the palette, however having heard some terrible stories of poured concrete going wrong she felt reluctant to go that route.
“We visited a local flooring shop in Surbiton for ideas. That’s where we spotted the Concreate floor panels and immediately knew we had found the perfect solution.
“We loved the fact that each plank wasn’t uniform in finish, and whilst it’s a very modern material, this gave the concrete floors an almost rustic look which was perfect for the vintage feel we wanted to create.
“They also offered a host of practical benefits, being so quick and easy to install with the tongue and groove profile – and essential to us – they worked with underfloor heating, which was a prerequisite for the extension as the room design did not allow for radiators without impacting the layout of the space.”
The finished open plan kitchen and living area is a wonderful mix of modern and rustic, featuring a palette of textures created with the units, reclaimed shelving, a beautiful zinc topped table and the concrete floors.
The kitchen also features a honed carrara marble top which was a big investment, but Estelle cleverly saved money in other area buying integrated appliances second grade. “They were brand new appliances, just with small dents or scratches, and as they were going behind cupboard doors that didn’t matter.”
Lovely vintage lighting from skinflint adds a reclaimed industrial feel, blending with the bi-fold door frame and adding extra impact in the extensions 4m high apex ceiling.
Estelle’s home is no stranger to the public eye having featured on the front cover of Real Homes and At Home by Sarah Beeny magazines since it was completed.
“I guess in essence what was key to the kitchen design was that we first chose the cabinets and worked from there to find all of the other surface finishes and elements to create a coherent modern meets vintage design. We absolutely love the Concreate floors, they are lovely to live with and really help connect the indoors and outdoors seamlessly being such a natural material. They are also proving extremely durable and super easy to clean.
“Sunny days are an absolute pleasure with the bi-fold doors open and sun streaming into our beautiful family space. It was hard work, but now the home is complete we couldn’t be more pleased with it.”
Estelle is a keen interior blogger and shares more insights into her home and style at her blog savageinteriors.com
Photography by Bruce Hemming