The only way is out..
If you’re hankering after a larger kitchen and more living space, rather than incur expensive moving costs and huge stamp duty fees, the popular solution is to use the cash to max-out the space your home already has.
Those with a side return – generally the norm in Victorian and other period properties – can make use of this slim and often barely used alley to double the size of a small kitchen and incorporate a sociable dining area. Even extending just a metre into your garden can bring huge returns in terms of interior spatial advantages and a free-flowing layout.
The addition of floor-to-ceiling glazing and sliding glass doors will instantly connect your home and garden, allowing you to enjoy the outside all year round, even if it’s from the comfort of a warm kitchen diner inside. Roof lights will flood previously dark rooms with natural light, providing a sudden gravitational pull to once dingy spaces.
But what to go for? Before appointing an architect and racking up fees, it’s worth having some ideas about what you do and don’t like. They will have ideas of their own and may steer you in another direction but it’s worth honing in on your preferences first. Once you sit down with them, you can discuss the options and they will be able to advise what’s feasible, the costs involved and deal with any planning and party wall applications.
So first decide what you’re drawn to. Do you like the look of crittal-style windows, bifold or sliding doors? Island facing out to the garden or to the side? If you’re using an interior designer or a high-end kitchen company, it’s worth bringing them in at the early stages too, as they can work with your architect with regard to where to place roof lights and other practicalities.
We’ve selected some of the best kitchen extensions we’ve seen to give you some food for thought.
Find ideas for timber kitchens.
Find ides for grey kitchens.
Handleless cupboards and a discreet extractor hidden within the island enhance its clean look. Its mirrored skirting creates the impression of floating units and along with the oversized floor tiles, increases the feeling of space.
Get the look The kitchen units are from the Handleless range from Online Kitchen Store. The worktop is Corian. These are Hardcore tiles by Bedrock Tiles.
Robert Dye Architects created this double-height extension at the back, which added a study to the higher level and a large kitchen-diner at garden level. A set of roof lights and subtle vertical openings between levels allow a free flow of light, so the two floors feel connected.
Get the look The kitchen is by Dan Clark Furniture. This is a Mercury range cooker. The architecture is by Robert Dye Architects.
This kitchen wasn’t always so light-filled – originally, there was just a tiny door and two small windows overlooking another wall, which blocked any view of the outside. Knocking the wall down and replacing it with floor-to-ceiling Crittall windows opening on to a newly landscaped garden literally doubled the sense of space. The interior was designed by Peter Mikic.
Get the look The kitchen surfaces are in Arabescato Paonazzo marble. The Seventies bar stools are by American designer Warren Bacon. This is the Cross Cable customised ceiling light by David Weeks Studio.
Suspended glass-sided staircase are ideal for adding a modern twist to period properties. Here, the slender gaps in the wood risers let slivers of sunlight shine through, creating a feeling of lightness and space.
Get the look The kitchen is by Smallbone and is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue estate eggshell. These are Tom Dixon’s Beat pendants. The floor tiles are from European Heritage.
The interiors are by Alex and Mathew Orme at Space+Matter, who took care of everything from the planning and building to the sourcing. Mathew oversaw structural issues, while Alex took charge of decoration.
Alex’s brief was to steer clear of anything fusty and to inject more life and daring into the house. The kitchen provides everything a family could want in one space – an eating, relaxing and socialising zone that leads through to the garden beyond.
Get the look The cabinetry and worktops are from Roundhouse. These are Midas bar stools from Rockett St George. The Amp pendants by Simon Legald for Normann Copenhagen are from nest.co.uk. The oak herringbone flooring is from Siberian Floors. This is the Psychedelic Cactus coat stand by Paul Smith for Gufram.
The owners created a great feeling of space by knocking through partition walls and a side return to make a series of open living areas connected via discreet glass panels and parquet floors that flow effortlessly together. These then allow the eye to travel uninterrupted from the front of the house to the back and out into the garden.
Get the Look The kitchen to the left is Bulthaup cabinetry. The herringbone flooring is from Cheville Parquet.
The kitchen at the back of this house enjoyed less than impressive views outside. Working with Daniel Adeshile at Ade Architecture, the owners extended the space and raised its floor level, so that it now flows onto a terraced seating area. A study on the floor above was sacrificed to create the soaring ceiling height. The result is a dramatic room which feels part-New York loft, thanks to exposed brickwork and steel windows, and part-English stately home kitchen.
Get the look The marble for the worktops came from Marble City. The moulded plywood chairs are by Eames for Herman Miller, bought in the US. The island is painted in Off-Black eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The Heidi stools are by Sebastian Wrong for Established & Sons.
The creative vision behind this marriage of English formality and Stateside cool was architect Andy Martin. The owners of this London home wanted a Malibu beach house vibe. Andy’s solution was to extend out while also digging down into what had been ‘a dingy cellar, with barely enough space to stand up in’ to create a generous space fit for family life.
Get the look The kitchen is bespoke through Andy Martin with a worktop by Diespeker & Co. The pendant light is also by Andy Martin. The Déjà-vu stools are by Naoto Fukasawa for Magis at Viaduct.
The kitchen was given its own transformation with an extension into the side return and pitched-roof add-on at the rear bringing both height and light. Working with Smallbone’s planners, the owners created a design that’s deceptive in its simplicity; every decision the result of careful thought, from the position of the extractor fan to the look of the island unit.
Get the look This is an original Hand Painted kitchen by Smallbone. The island is painted in Slate IV architects eggshell; and the cabinets in BTWN Dog & Wolf architects eggshell, both by Paint & Paper Library. The work surface is Misty Carrera Caesarstone. These are Pam bar stools by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pucci for Ligne Roset. These are Tom Dixon’s Melt pendants. The sofa is by Designers Guild.
The owners embarked on a large-scale refresh, which included knocking through two internal walls and extending to create a big kitchen-diner, which flows around the corner into a family room. The kitchen cabinetry, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe and gleaming with marble and mirror, was a key piece. Rather than heading to the usual suspects, the designer went to a small local company, as the craftsmanship and the price were way better.
An oversized skylight over the island lets in maximum light.
Get the look This is a Woodwork Kitchens of Southborough kitchen, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe. Find the Optic Flora pendants at Rothschild & Bickers. The flooring is from Timbered. The faux-flowers and vase are by Abigail Ahern.
Extra supports had to go in so that the kitchen roof could be opened up and toppling walls strengthened. This drove up the build spend but the owners knew it was worth it. They chose the blackest floor they could find, rejecting most of the builder’s samples for being too brown and ‘suburban’. The simple kitchen from a no-frills supplier is ‘luxed up’ with marble worktops. There are no wall-mounted units as the owner wanted the kitchen to feel like a lovely room you would want to spend time in.
Get the look The cabinetry is by Howdens. The metro tiles are by Walls and Floors.
Glazing above and around the kitchen extension makes the most of available light, with the open feel enhanced by clever structural techniques that remove the need for supporting pillars.
The kitchen cabinetry is ice-white and simple, with all the textural impact emanating from a splash back of rich copper and the glass pendant.
Get the look The kitchen is by Goldman & Rankin. Metal Sheets can supply a burnished-copper splashback. The mixer tap is by Vigo. This is the Diner 125 pendant by Davey Lighting at Original BTC. The Industrial leather bar stools are from Rockett St George. This is the Dot vase by House Doctor at Lef Living.