The Rignells’ ground-floor apartment is in a converted Victorian house, near to Hove’s beach. ‘We could see it had potential, but the configuration didn’t suit us,’ Julie explains. ‘The kitchen was in the back extension and the third bedroom only had a rooflight.’ After consulting a surveyor about the changes they hoped to make, they put in an offer and had it accepted, so in May 2013, they moved in and began to plan.

The couple sought out a designer with expertise in energy efficiency, who suggested replacing both flat roofs with a warm roof construction, remodelling the rear extension with internal and external wall insulation, putting in new windows, and insulating under the floors.

Project notes

The owners: Julie and John Rignell, both retired psychotherapists,
live here
The property: A three-bedroom apartment in a converted Victorian terraced house in Hove, East Sussex

Total project cost: £176,500

a victorian apartment before a renovation

The flat already had a side extension, added in 1898, and a more recent rear extension that housed the old kitchen, but the Rignells wanted to relocate the kitchen and make it bigger

carpenter made kitchen in a victorian flat renovation

Carpenter Robert Hill created a bespoke birch ply kitchen, with Resilica custom-made worktops. Blacksmith Tom Fell made the iron door handles. Oven and induction hob, John Lewis. Valencia Duck Egg Retro wall tiles, Tons of Tiles. Three Bay pendants, Grace & Glory. Original BTC Cobb ceiling light, John Lewis

Dining room in a Victorian flat renovation

The couple invested in Nätura 20mm oak ironbark raw engineered wood, from Flooring Supplies, which flows into the living room

coastal style living room in a Victorian flat renovation

Inspired by its coastal setting, the main living area is decorated in shades of sea green and grey. The Sash Window Man restored the original windows.

coastal style living room in a Victorian flat renovation

To John’s delight, a pull-down cinema screen has been factored into the restyled living room. A Pevex woodburner, from Fire Stores, has been fitted in the original fireplace. Privacy screen, designed and made by carpenter Robert Hill. Cocktail cabinet from the 1930s, Jeroen Markies. Mistral sofa, Heal’s

master bedroom in a Victorian flat renovation

There’s a calm, restful scheme in Julie and John’s room, with a bed and bedside drawers from Warren Evans, and wall lamps from John Lewis. Cast-iron Knightsbridge radiator, Trade Radiators. Aspen Fennell curtain fabric, John Lewis

en suite bathroom with a sliding wall in a renovated Victorian house


A sliding wall, papered in Sanderson’s Sweet Bay wallpaper, separates the en suite and dressing room, where the high ceilings allow for a mezzanine sleeping platform for guests to use. Rooflights, Glazing Vision. Carrara honed marble floor, Mandarin Stone

en-suite bathroom with honed marble sinks in a Victorian home

The Calacatta honed marble vanity unit was custom made, with Saturn basins and Crackle Glaze Menta Gloss tiles, all Mandarin Stone. Belgravia lever wall mixer taps, Tap Store. Topaz wall lights, Broughtons. Art Deco wall lights, Harbour Antiques. For a similar 1920s mirror, try Loop the Loop

green tiled Victorian bathroom in a victorian renovated flat

The wet room features a traditional twin exposed thermostatic shower valve, rigid riser kit and shower head, all Victorian Plumbing. The wall and floor tiles continue from the en suite, but with a back wall of Calacatta honed basket weave mosaic tiles, Mandarin Stone

rear extension to a ground floor Victorian flat

The extension at the rear is now warm and bright, with insulation by NBT Pavadry and Insa-Rend. French doors, Minton Young Timber-frame windows, Hollingbury Joinery.Marmoleum Striato Colour Stream vinyl floor, Buxtons Flooring

office craft studio in a Victorian flat

The perfect place for crafting, with shelves and desk designed by Minton Young and made by Robert Hill

Cost breakdown

Building work (including new doors and windows): £135,000
Kitchen (including appliances): £15,000
Designer fees: £10,000
Bathrooms (including tiles): £6,000
Wood flooring: £6,000
Home entertainment system: £4,500

Total: £176,500

Purchase cost in 2013: £610,000

Estimated value: £720,000

Styling – Sally Maton

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