Real Rooms: A modern Edwardian kitchen

This morning, I hope you are all feeling suitably excited as I have got a real corker of a Real Room to share with you all. Anna sent in her beautiful Kitchen renovation to me before Christmas and I saved it up to inspire you all in January – I’m considering a kitchen re-do myself and Anna’s period meets modern style really works for me. I hope it inspires you all too and thank you Anna!

In a fit of desperation that we would indeed find the House of Our Dreams before Christmas 2010, I instructed Mr. R to make an offer on ‘the one with the sunken bath’.
It ticked all the boxes (mostly). Perfect location twixt high street (jammed full of kitsch boutiques, organic fooderies and gastropubs) and the park; west-facing (stamp-sized) garden; right price (give or take); nice front door (very important).
It needed a little work. But we were more than happy to take this on, quite excited in fact at a) having a project and b) getting to chose exactly what we wanted in the new kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms etc.

So, from February to July we planned, sketched, looked at magazines, measured, and argued about discussed how our house was going to look. With electric and damp issues to resolve and new floors throughout, no room was to be spared. Without a doubt, however, the biggest changes were going to be going on in the kitchen.

Previously this was a pokey little number that could only be accessed through a pretty pointless long corridor from the front door and equally useless dining area. We knew from the start that we wanted to knock through to make one great big kitchen/diner.

The false ceiling (which housed the bottom of the sunken bath) was the first casualty. Just removing this and restoring the ceiling to its original height instantly made the room feel much bigger. After hastily arranging a party wall agreement with our neighbours (by phone from Boston – note, don’t leave admin until the very last minute, it’s not ideal to be doing it on holiday) the builders knocked down the original archway and doorway et voilà, goodbye small Edwardian rooms, hello brand spanking new kitchen/diner.

White gloss units and black granite worktops give the room a contemporary feel alongside the period features. We developed a hankering for classic wood furniture in our previous house which we would have to make fit (in both literal and decorative senses). Installing a solid oak floor not only added a touch of timeless elegance but also pulled together the sleek modern kitchen area with the wooden dining furniture.

Then we added lights, and lots of them.

Of course, we put a great deal of thought into our juxtaposition of contemporary and classic furniture. But most of our decisions we based on choosing things we liked and putting them together, hoping they’d work. We think they do.

Please do drop a comment in the box below if you are planning a kitchen make-over or just love this one… 🙂


PS If you’d like to see more real rooms on Florence Finds, then please send yours in – you can find out more information on the Submissions page.

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20 thoughts on “Real Rooms: A modern Edwardian kitchen

  1. Wow, Anna, this is just gorgeous. Love that you did some pretty major changes and yet it still feels incredibly in-keeping with and sympathetic to the age and style of the property.
    Serious house envy here – especially as we’re currently struggling with the rentals market as we try and find somewhere new to live, and if I have to look at one more horrible kitchen I will probably cry. I love having a kitchen as a focal point for socialising, but so often it seems that they just seem to be tacked on as an after thought. Seeing as we’re a long way off ever being able to buy a house (that’s the downside of both working in the creative industries), I shall have to live vicariously through posts like this!
    Thanks for sharing, Anna!

    • Emma, we’re in the same position 🙁 it’s so difficult in London – and I get serious house envy of gorgeous kitchens like this too xx

  2. I LOVE this!!! Both the actual kitchen and the story. Nice nice nice!

    We’re house hunting at the moment and looking to upsize our party flat for a family home (scary times). I want a “project”, hubby wants something “ready to move into”. So far we’ve only had one row (resolved with a Black Forest hot chocolate from Costa) which, seven viewings in, and having to keep ours show-home-spotless (not easy!) for our own viewings, I think is good going!

    I’d love to see more home decor/renovation stories!

  3. Wow. This is just gorgeous – Anna, you have done such an amazing job!! I love it.

    We’re also currently house-hunting and as a lover of all things interior (and being generally quite nosy 😉 ) , I would love to see more things like this!!


  4. Such a great use of the space and an inspiration to those of us with a little less imagination! I struggle to imagine how an existing space can be altered without a visual prompt – seeing the before and afters is brilliant!

    More interiors posts would be brill, I love a good snoop around other peoples homes – anyone else wish they’d bring back “Through the Keyhole!”


  5. I’m with Katie – love nosing at other people’s houses and rennovations. This is a gorgeous kitchen space – love the lights. As someone who struggles with any kind of DIY know-how, I’d love to hear more about how people know where to start though – and crucially, what sort of cost!! (told you I was nosy) Does everyone get the builders in, or do some DIY it?? I have friends who blithley say ‘Oh we’re just going to knock through that room and put in a new floor – easy’.
    What, yourselves? With a sledgehammer? How do you know what you’re doing?! x

    • We did all the work on ours by ourselves – a lot of which we’d never taken on before (ripping down a false ceiling, installing lighting, tiling, plastering, underfloor heating, slate flooring!) but we did A LOT of research, a bit of trial & error and always followed the manufacturer’s instructions 😉 That’s not to say we made no mistakes or that we’d not do something differently next time but so far so good (touch wood).

      You’d be surprised what you can accomplish even on a very very limited budget 😉 xxx

  6. Thanks for the comments guys. It’s always very nerveracking to showcase your house!

    Emma – I totally know what you mean about socialising in the kitchen, this was one of our main reasons for making ours into one big room.
    Victoria – can you compromise and faind a halfway solution? We had builders move in for two months and as much as we love the finished product, it is sooo stressful having a whole house to plan, design and pretty much rebuild. We had more than a few rows which took more than hot choc to resolve! If your hub’s not 100% sure he wants a project, he might really hate having to go through it all.
    Anna – I have very little imagination – we threw together what we liked and it seemed to work

  7. This kitchen is FIT. It’s a fit kitchen. IT’S A FITCHEN.

    I have serious kitchen/diner envy- I had planned to convert my dining room into one and use the old pokey kitchen as a utility room, but financial circumstances intervened and its not something I think we can afford to do now. I love how you’ve opened the space up and used light cleverly (I’m a light fetishist-it can really change the feel of a room). Excellent work Anna!


  8. Wow, LOVE your kitchen, its gorgeous! You’ve got the old/new combination just right! I’m doing up a similar old house – look forward to sharing the pics when I make some progress!!

    Sorry if it seems too nosey, but like Sarah, I’d be intrigued to know what sort of budget you had for this, especially with the big stuff like the builders. We get such wildy varying quotes for jobs sometimes its really hard to know what is right!

  9. Wow, huge response. *beaming with pride*. I would most certainly love to answer any specific queries you have.

    We did our whole house over the summer (the before pictures of the kitchen echoed the ‘before’ in every room). I’ve really loved the transformation and am enjoying finding more stuff to do (current project is to restore my tired stained-glass panelled front door to its former Edwardian glory).

    I’m a bit dubious about putting me email address on here but happy for you to find me on twitter (@annarippe) and send me a direct message unless you know a better way of getting in touch (Rebecca??)


  10. Looks fantastic and ohhhh is that all original cornicing? I’m having serious room lust here!

    We’ve got an Edwardian that we’ve been working on little by little as well (all DIY mind you) – saved loads of money doing it ourselves but progress is sooooo slooooowwwww…… I love the fact you opened it all up – so lovely!

    Thank you for sharing, it looks simply wonderful!


  11. Redilocks – the dining end has original coving – we managed not to destroy any of it in the refurb. The kitchen part’s unfortunately is new as the original had already been removed.

    • Oh wow, you would never know it wasn’t original! You did a fabulous job in restoring it’s beauty. Don’t you hate when previous owners have ripped all the gorgeous stuff out? Makes me sad! All our fireplaces are gone in our place but the cost of replacing them would be a bit steep! Sob! xxx

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