‘LLI Design Studio‘ have recently completed a total refurbishment of a three-story Victorian townhouse. The house sits on a leafy residential road in Highgate, a desirable residential area of North London.
The client wanted to create a warm, comfortable home with modern touches. Although the house was in reasonable condition, the joinery and fittings throughout the house were dated and looked tired. Many of the period features had been stripped out, and those that remained had not been maximized. The house lacked character and personality. However, it benefited from ‘good bones,’ nicely proportioned rooms, a delightful garden, and a handsome exterior.
LLI Design felt that they could make more of the period features. They wanted to enhance some and reinstate other features to bring out more of the Victorian feel of the property. The concept was to create a warm, comfortable and welcoming home referencing and emphasizing the house’s Victorian past. Also, to add more contemporary elements to the scheme.
Victorian townhouse refurbishment: Ground Floor – Entrance Hallway
Although the size of the entrance hallway was alright, it lacked character. LLI reinstated the stained glass in the fanlight window above the front door and side window. Thus, bringing light, color and texture into the hallway.
There was no original tiled floor left. So, the team re-tiled the whole of the entrance hall in black and white tiles with a border pattern. It immediately visually increased the size and lightness of the hall area.
Considering the overall size of the house, there were almost none space for coats storage. The architects didn’t want to compromise the size of the hall they nibbled a small amount out of the generous dining room adjacent to the hall to create a generous cloaks cupboard. This produced a small return in the dining room; so that this wasn’t visually intrusive in the dining room the team ensured that the coving, skirting and dado detail wrapped seamlessly around the new return. This new return had the added advantage of creating an alcove for a sideboard, thus making the whole alteration seem natural.
LLI commissioned Nigel Tyas to produce a dramatic copper and glass pendant light in the stairwell. Now, it hangs from the top floor ceiling down to the ground floor, giving a visual connection and creating a wow factor.
Ground Floor: Living & Dining Room
In the living and dining rooms, LLI specified new light greyed oak parquet floors and traditional white marble fireplaces. In one of the fireplaces, they installed a wood burning stove.
They also designed bespoke pale grey lacquer joinery, and installed either side of the fireplaces in both rooms, incorporating plenty of storage, with asymmetrical shelving which they lit with the distinctive accent in joinery spotlights. Also, at the side of one of the fireplaces, LLI incorporated a black steel log store.
Both the dining and living rooms had the original ornate plaster ceilings. However, some time ago someone painted them white throughout and it was visually lost. The designers brought this feature out by painting the plaster relief in close, but contrasting, tones of grey to emphasise the detail.
The kitchen extension, although a good size, was rather dark. There was a wall of folding sliding doors on one side at the back overlooking the garden. The architectural style was traditional and in keeping with the architecture of the house.
LLI enhanced the rear extension by adopting a contemporary aesthetic. They installed folding sliding doors in dark grey aluminum on two sides, which allowed in huge amounts of light and gave a real sense of connection with the garden.
The designers also redesigned the existing kitchen to suit the family. They achieved this by creating a bespoke joinery kitchen in lacquer with walnut drawers and interiors. The styling is a contemporary classic in soft colors with plenty of storage. That includes a generous room and breakfast cupboard to house a kettle and toaster as well as a small wine fridge Therefore, the designers eliminated all clutter by adding everything behind the doors.
Moreover, they specified a Boston sink along with a composite worktop and added colour with ceramic deep blue tiles as a backsplash.
Finally, LLI designed and fabricated bespoke metal brackets from which to suspend 3 glass pendant lights which hover over the island below the glass skylight.
First Floor: master suite, dressing room, master bedroom
The designers have also re-designed the dressing room with bespoke oak full height units to make the most of the space.
LLI stripped back and reinstated deep alcoves either side of the bed, giving them lacquer interiors and a shadow gap around. Delicate downlights in the shelves add interest to the room. Also, they added an accent ceiling light for dramatic effect.
The designers have also re-designed the master ensuite, which overlooked the garden, and fitted with a large double wall hung vanity unit, with elegant composite basins on a thick natural stone shelf with a lacquer vanity unit underneath, wall mounted taps and double mirrors above. A sculptural composite free standing bath sits near the window. The team specified a large matt tile for the floor, steps, and walls, with a contrast ceramic polished narrow rectangular tile for the shower enclosure. Dramatic lighting under the vanity unit and in the shower cubicle add to the sense of well being.
Nursery Suite (Bedroom 2)
LLI have also re-designed the Nursery suite, with playfully illustrated cloud roman blinds and a watercolor dot wallpaper. The team also re-designed the ensuite bathroom. They added a wall hung unit with deck mounted basin and a bath with a shower over.