Victorian terrace with clever extensions and space-saving ideas

Owners Sophie Griffiths, an architect, and Sarah Howell, a civil engineer, bought a Victorian terrace in Reigate in 2018 with plans to transform it into a family home.

“When we first moved into the house, the rooms were dark and cramped,” says Sophie. “The dining room was a walkthrough space to reach a narrow galley kitchen and the family bathroom was at the back of the house on the ground floor. The best view of the south-facing garden was from the loo – something needed to change!”

Victorian terrace extension
This Victorian terrace house was extended over a period of five years, and has made the most of every inch of space. Photography: Ralph James & Will Scott, Still Moving London.

The loft conversion

The renovation project started with a dormer loft conversion to create a master bedroom with an ensuite.

Dormer loft conversion
The loft bedroom offers a glorious view through the large picture window.
light and neutral bedroom
The bedroom feels light and open thanks to the neutral colour palette and natural wood furniture.

The loft ensuite now fits perfectly into the slope of the roof with a bespoke shower door.

ensuite with roof lights
The loft ensuite features roof lights above the basin, toilet and shower.

The main extension

Next, the couple wanted to replace the previous 1980s extension at the back of this Victorian terrace.

Scandi kitchen design
The large roof light over the kitchen brings in plenty of natural light into the darkest corner of the room.
Downstairs loo
Sophie and Sarah made the most of a compact nook by creating a fun downstairs loo.

“We spent about three years planning the main extension project to make sure we found the right balance between cost and additional space,” explains Sophie. “We wanted to create a kitchen and dining space that felt different to the rest of the house, a room with a feeling of spaciousness for family gatherings in contrast to the cosy, smaller rooms of the original cottage.”

The kitchen and dining room now sit in an open-plan, bright space with a full-height framed view of the garden.

Bright kitchen design with neutral cabinetry and arch nook
The arched opening, previously a doorway into the kitchen, brings natural light from the roof light into the study behind.

The large sliding doors help connect the kitchen and dining area to the garden, creating a strong indoor-outdoor link. “The connection to the garden was also really important as we’d lived without it for so long – we couldn’t wait to have breakfast with a view of the garden,” says Sophie.

To maximise storage, they went for built-in joinery. Light and neutral paint colours, along with natural wood finishes, bring a sense of Scandinavian calm into the kitchen.

Open-plan kitchen design
The exposed roof joists subtly zone the dining space.
Mediterranean patio
The light-coloured porcelain tiles, terracotta pots and acacia wood furniture teleport you to the tranquil Mediterranean.

Sophie and Sarah also wanted to relocate the family bathroom into a narrow two-storey side extension. Situated on the first floor, it is just big enough to squeeze in a freestanding bath, with a warm oak vanity and fluted tiles.

narrow bathroom with freestanding bath
The vaulted ceiling increases the feeling of space in this long, narrow room.

The roof of the extension was cleverly designed with sedum planting, which looks like a garden from the upstairs windows – the perfect finishing touch.

Sedum planting on roof
The sedum planting benefits insects, birds and bees, and keeps the room below cool in the summer and warm in the winter – now that’s what we call a total bonus.

Photography: Ralph James & Will Scott, Still Moving London.

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