Choosing paint colours for your home is such an individual thing and what one person likes may be the exact opposite of another. This can make settling on a kitchen colour scheme tough, especially when you're trying to keep the colour sympathetic to the house period.
However, a quick way out of this can be a personalised colour consultation – which is exactly what these homeowners did when renovating their Victorian home in South London.
Victorian kitchen makeover
Interior and lifestyle influencers Nick and Ant, who you can find on Instagram, took on a long-term project to update their old Victorian home. Deciding they needed some help when it came to finding the right colours, they called on Tash Bradley, director of Interior Design and Colour Psychologist at Lick for help.
'Our home was completely derelict when we bought it, but it was the mouldings as you walked in and the high ceilings that got us instantly,' says Nick. 'We could envision the centuries of families living here and their daily routines – we knew we needed to bring it back to life for a new family – our family.
'We wanted to stick to the period of the home and select colours that could have been used in the Victorian era, but with a twist of today’s aesthetic.'
Before the traditional terraced Victorian kitchen had a dated look, with dark wood cabinets and walls and flooring that definitely needed updating. 'It was tiny, retrospective to the rest of the rooms (including the ceiling height),' says Nick. 'The space was split into a utility room, toilet, pantry and kitchen, by a dividing wall that blocked all the light.'
It wasn't only the dated look of the kitchen that the pair wanted to change. 'The ceiling was coming down, and the floors were rotten through with immense water damage,' says Nick. 'We had to find a place for everything, including all of the appliances that the previous owner randomly shoved into one corner.'
The kitchen was part of a large renovation and Nick and Ant lived in the house while the work was being carried out. 'Living amongst the mess was horrible,' they recall. 'The project was delayed, and we had nowhere else to go at the time.
'We used to wash our hands with a water pipe coming out of the soil, in what was to be the kitchen floor. We walked 1.5 hours to shower at our friend’s home, once or twice a week. We lived off fast food with no kitchen to cook in. We had no hot water, heating or toilets functioning on the first three nights, and had to manually flush the toilet by filling up buckets of water!'
Luckily, they managed to stick it out and the results were more than worth it.
The new kitchen is a masterpiece in airy Scandinavian design, with light wood cabinetry, marble worktops and a large island unit complete with breakfast bar.
'We saw our kitchen as an art piece and wanted the features like oak cabinets and Italian marble to stand out,' says Nick, 'so we chose Lick’s White 07 paint for the walls and it's the perfect contrast. It’s a classic, bright white paint that feels cool with nothing but white in its undertones and it’s designed to make the rest of the space feel restful and clean, meaning that we can focus on our busy marble countertops as the focal point.'
Taking on some of the kitchen DIY themselves, such as the window architraves and flooring, Nick and Ant were determined to get a high-quality finish and so entrusted the majority of the work to skilled professionals. 'At the very beginning of our project, we rolled up our sleeves and took on the demolition work ourselve,' Ant recalls.
'This included stripping wallpaper, removing the existing kitchen and dealing with the rotten flooring. We even knocked down a few walls – all under the watchful eye of our contractors, of course!'
'Anna from High End Kitchen manufactured our kitchen and brought the dream to life,' Ant continues. 'It's a bespoke, German-made design with light oak cabinets. We wanted to mix the minimal, airy design of Scandinavian and the traditional Victorian era together to create our dream kitchen.'
So, is there anything the pair are particularly fond of with the new design? 'It’s so hard to choose – we love everything, from our switches (from Buster & Punch) to the Italian marble that complements the brass due to its natural golden elements,' says Nick. 'We're so proud that our exact vision came to life. It doesn’t happen often… that you dream of creating a space and it turns out exactly how you want it to.'
The new kitchen looks incredibly different and the results are a credit to the pair, who have given the room a brand new look and bought the house back to life along the way.
'There’s not much experience that can prepare you for renovating a property where the walls are falling down and everything has mould and water damage,' says Ant. 'You need to learn as you go. I wish we would’ve known what we were getting ourselves into, but if we did, we may not have taken on such a derelict home – so it’s a good thing we were naive at the time!'
'After all the hard work, we now have a space where everyone gathers at dinner parties, with many of them saying “Wow!” as they walk in,' he continues. 'For us, it's a dream come true.'
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Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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