Real home: a rustic contemporary extension to a Victorian cottage

Louise Jones extended her Victorian west London cottage, almost doubling its size

dining table in a kitchen diner
(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel)

This pretty Victorian two-up two-down cottage was full of polystyrene ceiling tiles and grim 1970s colours when Louise Jones first saw it. However, she was won over by its location and walled garden, and could see it had plenty of potential.

Find our what she did next, then browse through more real home transformations and extensions

Project notes

Owner: Louise Jones, who runs her own interior design business, lives here with three lurchers; Joey, Rosie and Pie

Property: A three-bedroom Victorian end of terrace built around 1900, near Richmond, west London

Essential repairs: The property had not been renovated for around 60 years, so the original two-up, two-down was stripped and completely modernised. All the windows, apart from one, were replaced

Layout: The ground floor was extended at the side and back to create a large living room, cloakroom, open-plan kitchen-diner and a further sitting area with two sets of doors leading to the garden. A new staircase was built with a bath and shower room on the floor above

Louise started by painting all the walls white and laying new carpet and lived in the house for a year before going ahead with her plans to extend it.

A three-storey side extension, single-storey garden room, and knocking through the old Victorian parlour and kitchen increased the downstairs space, creating a double living room and larger kitchen. Upstairs in the side extension, she created a new bathroom, an ensuite, and a small bedroom in the loft.

Louise wanted to keep the cosy cottage feel, so used the original Victorian pine floorboards and fireplaces, replacing the flues and surrounds, and reupholstering classic sofas and chairs. She was conscious not to match anything too carefully to achieve a relaxed, time-worn look with the interiors.

path winding through the front garden of a victorian home to the door

A painted picket fence and climbing plants create a welcoming scene. For a similar front door colour, try Park Bench Green from Sandtex
(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel)

living room in victorian home

(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel)

dining table in a kitchen diner

With a door to the front living room and into the hallway, the kitchen really is at the heart of the home. The dining table and chairs were antique shop finds, the floorboards are reclaimed timber and the pendant lights are from Hector Finch
(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel)

Patio and garden room in an extended Victorian cottage

Used as a garden room, the timber-clad extension, built by Jordan Lumsden, connects to a sheltered outdoor seating area

alfresco dining in victorian garden

(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel)

garden gate in an extended Victorian cottage with roses

sofa and checked chair in garden room

The garden room connects to a dining terrace and the garden. A pretty Indian print was used for the curtains while the Lawson Wood sofa is covered in tobacco coloured linen from Rogers & Goffigon. The wing back chair is upholstered in Eaton Check from Colefax and Fowler and the mirror was bought at nearby Petersham Nurseries and the patterned rug at Christie’s Auction house

living room with checked curtains

The living room, which was the original parlour, has a traditional English look with an exotic twist, with its classic sofa and Howard-style chair from Kingcome, lacquer chest from Colefax & Fowler and antique chandelier. For a similar curtain fabric, try Ian Mankin and for a similar barrel seat, try Oka. The painting above the fireplace is by muralist Ken White. The carved wooden centre stool used as a coffee table was bought at auction

hallway with decorative radiator cover in an extended Victorian cottage

Reclaimed stone flags, an antique chest of drawers, floral blind fabric from Jean Monro, and a salvaged radiator screen add a country feel to the hallway 

master bedroom with striped wallpaper in an extended Victorian cottage

In the master bedroom, a striped fabric by Nicole Fabre lines the walls, complementing a Claremont Serge antique linen headboard and cut-velvet cushion. An antique burr walnut table makes an attractive console, topped with a lamp from Valerie Wade. The pendant is from Lorfords Antiques

Pink bathroom fittings in an extended Victorian cottage

Louise found the pink enamelled cast-iron bath and basin on SalvoWeb and paired them with contrasting blue and white tiles from Fired Earth, plus an ornate gilt mirror. The glass pendant light came from India

More real home transformations:

Karen Darlow
After a brief foray into music journalism, fashion and beauty, Karen found herself right at home working on interior magazines with her role on Ideal Home magazine. She is now Homes Editor on Period Living magazine and loves the opportunity the job gives her to see how others mix vintage style and modern furnishings in their beautiful properties.