Installation Type: Residential
Product(s) Used: CF108/ Metal Grey
This wonderful kitchen and living space is part of a Victorian terraced house situated in South West London, home to Caroline Syms, her husband and two young twins.
The couple had been looking for a project property to turn into a family home before having children, with Caroline even completing a short interior design course to inspire her creativity. The couple made several offers on properties in need of renovation but unfortunately the sales kept falling through, so when this Victorian home came on the market, while it was not the project house they had been looking for, it offered the space and location they wanted so they decided to go for it anyway.
Caroline explains, “It was a traditional Victorian terrace house in a great location in South West London, but a developer had got to it first and renovated it into a more modern home and added a rear kitchen extension. We were disappointment not to secure our project home, but having already wasted a lot of time on offers that had fallen through we decided it was an ideal house and location so we should make an offer on it.”
It was on closer inspection that the couple noticed that there was some poor quality workmanship to the developers build and finishes and were able to negotiate a discount which they could then put towards fixing. This was five years ago, and falling pregnant with twins not long after moving in those renovation plans were put on hold.
“It probably wasn’t a bad thing – it gave us time to live in the home and decide what we wanted to do based on how we used the space as a family, plus notice any other defects so we could address all of the issues at the same time. Key to our round of renovation when we did finally make a start was fixing the extension roof which suffered from leaks, ripping out the poor quality kitchen which also lacked storage and levelling off the garden to create a more useable and enjoyable family space outside.”
With the roof replacement complete Caroline found a bespoke kitchen company to discuss kitchen plans with. “The kitchen that had been put in by the developer was actually very similar in style, with white gloss units, but it was bad quality and was poorly planned offering very little storage.
“The replacement design has been carefully planned for how we live in the space. It offers a sleek contemporary look which we love, plus plenty of storage, and we designed the dining table to extend directly from the island. The house benefits from a lovely sunny southern aspect, however where the dining table was previously close to the patio doors it would often be too sunny to sit there – especially for the little ones.”
Reconfiguring the island to run into the dining area means the room now benefits from more space where it leads out to the garden which is a useful play area for the twins while the couple are busy in the kitchen. And two accent chairs are the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sun. “I bought the chairs from sofa.com before we moved here. We had them upholstered in Thornback and Peel Rabbit and Cabbage fabric which is really playful and I love how the colours blend with both the inside and out in their perfect spot by the bi-fold doors.”
When it came to flooring choice Caroline was keen to replace the original ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen. “They were very light in colour and showed up every spec of dirt. They were also incredibly hard to the touch which I didn’t like for the children, plus if anything dropped on them they were prone to cracking. I was keen for a poured polished concrete floor but was also aware that if that got damaged it would be hard to fix without re-doing the entire floor. So I started my search for concrete alternatives.
“Concreate kept popping up on various websites and on pinterest so I visited their website and really liked the look of them. I located my nearest retailer, The Wooden Floor Specialist in Balham, and went along to see larger samples. Having discussed all the benefits of choosing the Concreate panels over poured concrete we knew they would be ideal. When I looked on the website I thought I would choose the lighter Natural Grey colour, but seeing them close up in the shop I absolutely loved the darker finish to the Metal Grey panels. It was just the tone I had in mind and I knew it would contrast beautifully with the white kitchen. The panels have a genuine polished concrete look, but with lovely individual surface textures to each plank giving them a more unique and interesting finish.”
Caroline’s builders installed the floors. “They hadn’t worked with a tongue and groove style concrete floor before but commented on how easy they were to install, and how much they loved the finished effect.”
Statement art pieces finish off the space. Caroline and her husband have a passion for art having both studied history of art and had accumulated some charming pieces they wanted to include in the finished room to add additional character.
“We are delighted with the room now it’s all done. It’s modern and bright, exactly what we wanted, and the room extends naturally into the garden to feel like one unified space.
“I’m so happy with our choice of Concreate floors. The contrast is perfect with the white kitchen, plus the textured darker concrete tones are extremely forgiving, but they are super easy to keep clean anyway. For the kids’ they are great too, the surface isn’t slippy and it also has a naturally soft and warm feel, much better than the hard tiles that were here before. We love using the space as a family now that it’s all completed.”