London is home to some truly spectacular Victorian townhouses, but plenty of them have been neglected or poorly treated over the years. For one family, the original 19th century details of a townhouse in Stoke Newington in North London were too dark and unwelcoming. They called on AOC Architecture to transform their home into a bright, contemporary space in which to raise their growing family.

The first step in overhauling the four-story home was to remove the floor between the basement and ground level. This created a double-height gallery space that made room for the family’s impressive collection of vintage bicycles. The large open space also allows for a great deal of natural light to fill the home.

In the basement level, a concrete sofa in the living room connects to the concrete counter in the kitchen. A brass-railed staircase leads up from the basement to the rest of the home.

Throughout the home, unique molding hearkens back to the townhome’s Victorian roots. But upon closer inspection, a fascinating detail is revealed: five separate molding patterns have been used. The profile of each family member’s face was used to make their own personalized molding, and a combination of all four was used to make a rich timber lining for the home’s lower levels.

Internal windows, reflective surfaces, hidden storage, and fun patterns all helped to enliven this outdated interior and make it feel more befitting of a young, sophisticated family.