Classic Victorian terraced houses are beloved for their beautiful architecture and ornate detailing, but often aren't optimally designed for modern living — making them ripe for renovation.

These London-based renovation projects aimed to restore the former glory of Victorian terraced houses whilst bringing them into 21st century, by integrating contemporary characteristics like open plan living spaces, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Signal House

Fraher and Findlay took on the task of modernising a Victorian property in Kings Cross in order to optimise space and enhance flow and connectivity. The studio relocated the stair core and cleverly transformed it into a feature piece of furniture that runs through the centre of the building, creating a strong sense of cohesion. The result is The Signal House — a spacious, light-filled home that feels fresh and contemporary but also pays homage to the building's industrial location and rich heritage.

Lauriston Road

Architects Gundry + Ducker transformed a dark and cramped Hackney Victorian terraced house into an impressive warehouse-style home with an airy two-storey extension that contains a main living area and studio. The extension makes the most of industrial materials like concrete, brick, wood, brass and plaster, giving the lower flat its own unique identity as a separate building sitting in front of the original.

Step House

Bureau de Change's Step House in north London "celebrates and elevates the humble brick" by playfully reimagining it with a sculptural quality. The architects used bricks reclaimed from the fabric of the main house to create an extension that seems to be melting away from the existing structure, resulting in a striking stepping effect that creates a unique silhouette. The effect is echoed inside in the home’s layout. Rooms are distinguished through a sequencing of spaces that transforms the ground floor into a carefully designed journey through various ambiences.

Highbury House

Architects for London were presented with the challenge of bringing new life to a small, dimly lit Victorian terrace in London's Highbury. They generated a sense of flow through the house by creating breezy open plan spaces with an improved relationship to the upgraded garden, and a bright expansive kitchen that doubles as a space for socialising. With enhanced natural light and more innovative circulation routes, the finished project facilitates easy contemporary living while still maintaining the charm of traditional Victorian terraced houses.

Need more terrace renovation inspiration? This dramatic extension project in Melbourne, Australia will do the job.

For more contemporary architecture, check out these innovative prefab homes.