Despite the run-down nature of the collection of offices located in a Grade II listed Victorian terrace, Mike and Rebecca Fairhurst could see the building’s potential for the family home they had been searching for.

Renovated Victorian house

The original timber windows are still in place — the building is listed

“It had been used as offices for the past 52 years,” says Mike. “There were literally just offices on all three floors. There was a tiny office kitchen on the first floor and ladies and gents looks on the ground floor — along with a huge old photocopier and green nylon carpet everywhere.”

Informal living area with sash window

The former scullery is now a light, relaxed living space

Having purchased the property and applied for a change of use early on in the process, Mike and Rebecca decided to live in the property whilst work took place. Although Mike admits that “it was a bit too much really, with three children,” the decision meant they could understand how the building needed to work.

Remodelling the Space

Contemporary kitchen with island and central fireplace

The old scullery and office kitchen have been knocked through to provide a family kitchen diner — the side return extension added another five feet to the space

Carrying out work on a room-by-room basis (and prioritising the family bathroom), a complete rewire was one of the first projects undertaken — “all the wiring was lead,” explains Mike.

The ground floor originally consisted of four rooms and suffered from a lack of natural light. “We had to find a way to open up the ground floor to generate a modern way of life,” explains Mike.

By removing the wall between the old scullery and office kitchenette, light can now flow through the space.

Grand entrance hall with high ceilings

The original mouldings have been painted to highlight them

Victorian entrance hall with staircase

New oak engineered floors sit well alongside the original features

Side-Return Extension

Contemporary kitchen in renovation with rooflight

The main purpose of the new kitchen was to bring in extra light. A such, a narrow glazed pane sits at the junction between the old and new sections of the house, whilst a large rooflight, internal window (below) and bi-fold doors bring in further natural light

Original internal sash window

In addition to removing walls, a side-return extension has also been created.

The extension fills in the space between the neighbouring property and the Fairhurst’s and creates an open kitchen diner and new informal living space.

“It is a relatively tiny extension at just five feet wide, but it makes all the difference,” says Mike.

A glazed ‘slot’ runs through the extension, providing a margin between the old and new sections of the house as well as bringing in extra natural light.

Contemporary kitchen in renovation with island with seating

Only the chimney breast remains from the old wall separating the kitchenette and scullery — it now forms a room divide

Other methods to bring in more light include the roof light, large pane of fixed glazing, sash window and patio doors.

Restoring Original Features

Living room in Victorian terraced house, with high ceilings and sliding doors

A set of original mahogany folding double doors (found lying on the floor) forms a flexible divide between the two reception rooms

The Fairhursts were careful to restore and reinstate the period features that remained in the house, including a wealth of elaborate original mouldings, fireplaces and floorboards.

Luxury bathroom in Victorian house with original fireplace

The bathroom benefits from original floorboards and a period fireplace

“The original floorboards have been cleaned and sanded on the upper storeys,” says Mike, “and the original fireplaces and mouldings have also been restored.”

The result is a home that combines contemporary and period design perfectly, with no jarring between the two.

Master bedroom in Victorian house with original fireplace

On the first floor are two bedrooms and a family bathroom, whilst the second floor features a further two bedrooms and a bathroom

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