Caroline and John started searching for a new home in the Angel neighborhood of London three years ago. They lived in a flat in Angel at the time, and because of the easy access to London’s Financial District where Caroline and John both work, they wanted to find a house in the same neighborhood. But the search was much more exhausting than they expected. “I had pretty much put a bid in (above asking price) on every home in the area and still managed to lose out. The market was going crazy,” Caroline remembers. By expanding their search radius by 500 meters (or about 1/3 mile), more options appeared. From the doorstep of a house they were touring in the Newington Green neighborhood, the couple saw a Victorian terraced house with a “for sale” sign out front. They were instantly drawn to the house and knew it was finally the one they could call home with their children, Jack and Annabelle.
It wasn’t a move-in ready home (there was carpet in the bathrooms!), but that was okay with Caroline and John. “It had previously been used as a house share and it has definitely been transformed. We fell in love with it even though it needed a lot of work,” Caroline shares. “No matter what property you buy you are always going to change something about it, so having to do a lot of work didn’t faze us too much.”
The biggest project of all was tearing out the existing kitchen and expanding the space. “The kitchen was the worst part of the house… The kitchen extension was always going to be a project,” Caroline says. To help the couple create the kitchen of their dreams, they hired interior designer Kia Stanford of Kia Designs. The expansion happened in the middle of winter, exposing the home to the elements and leaving the family without the use of a functional kitchen, but Caroline says it was “so worth it.”
The kitchen has since been completely transformed. A mix of colors, materials and styles works perfectly to make a space that is unique to Caroline and John. Their goal when they started this project was to create a place where friends and family could gather, and they’ve certainly achieved that. “We can hardly pull guests away from the dining table; people literally don’t move from the dining area!” Caroline says. “We are so thankful for our designer to have created an area that we never want to leave, we live in this area now.” —Lauren
Image above: The kitchen’s layout was created from scratch. Interior designer Kia Stanford used the extra square footage gained by the extension to add an island and a dining area to the room without losing functional prep space.