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Kitchen Tour: A Victorian Semi With a Kitchen Full of Character

A family renovate their period home and create a cookspace that mixes old and new perfectly

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More

When the owners of this Victorian semi bought it, the house was, in fact, two separate flats. The plan was to turn the property back into a single family home that was sympathetic to its heritage. The owners have done just that and their kitchen, which combines modern functionality with vintage character, is a testament to their success.

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Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here A professional couple and their two young children
Location Nether Edge, Sheffield
Property A Victorian semi
Size 5/6 bedrooms
Kitchen dimensions 5m x 6m with a 2m-long offshoot at the rear
Designer Zoe Hepworth of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens

Photos by Dug Wilders

As the house was divided into two separate flats when the owners bought it, this kitchen was originally a bedroom in the ground-floor flat. Zoe Hepworth of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens, who was brought in to do the kitchen, recounts, “When the owners originally approached us to design a kitchen for them, we drew plans up for this ‘bedroom’ space, but after further thought they decided to extend the property and asked us to redesign a kitchen to fit a new extended ground floor.”

Solid oak flooring with bespoke ebony mix stain, Shipton’s Real Oak Floors.

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Here, you can see where the owners have extended, but they were adamant to keep as many original features as possible. The pine doors and the cupboards over them are originals, and they all influenced the style of the new kitchen.

“The owners also discovered a brick archway in the chimney breast, which they decided to open up and make space to accommodate a large range-style oven,” says Hepworth.

Belfast sink, Villeroy & Boch.

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Another decision to help the new kitchen honour the house’s Victorian heritage was to go for a freestanding look. Hepworth included lots of unfitted pieces to achieve this and adds, “The clients also wanted to use lots of wood, with touches of industrial style on the lighting, taps and open shelving.”

The area at the back of the kitchen used to be a shower room. The space was opened up and now has a cloakroom and broom cupboard on the left and a door on the right leading out to the garden. The floor-to-ceiling window floods the entire kitchen with light.

Discover the advantages of going for freestanding in the kitchen

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Plenty of work surfaces was another requirement, so including an island was key. The worktop on the island not only looks beautiful, but is also made from 65% FSC-certified recycled paper and 35% resin. “It’s an unusual material with an interesting feel to it,” says Hepworth. “As it ages, it develops a nice patina as well. We get it from our suppliers and cut it to fit – it can be worked with like wood.”

Country Brick wall tiles in Parchment, Tile Dealer.

Follow a fascinating real-time diary of a couple renovating their Victorian semi

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Hepworth used the recycled paper worktop material on the surfaces of this unit at the side of the island, too.

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To contribute to the eclectic feel of the kitchen, the units were painted in different but complementary tones. A few were left unpainted, too.

Cabinets painted in Pigeon and Shaded White, both Farrow & Ball.

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Either side of the range cooker are two freestanding painted wooden units with the recycled paper worktop on the shelves. These can be used for storing oils and cooking ingredients, and because they don’t have doors everything is easily accessed when cooking. The worktop in this part of the kitchen is oak.

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A double ceramic Belfast sink is centred on the island and is another nod to the history of the house. To the left of the sink is an integrated dishwasher, while the rest of the cupboards are for storage.

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This dresser may have a period feel, but it also has integrated under-cabinet lighting for a modern touch. The worktop is made of iroko wood and was reclaimed from a school laboratory. “We had to sand all the graffiti off it, but it came up beautifully,” says Hepworth. It’s yet another example of the sustainable nature of this kitchen and adds to the character of the space.

What do you like about this personality-filled kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
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