How to curate the kitchen extension of your dreams

30 January 2023

The kitchen has significantly evolved over time and is now considered to be the most important space within a home. It is not just a functional area for food storage, preparation and cooking, but also a place where family and friends dine, unwind and entertain. So, it's no surprise that many homeowners undertake kitchen extension projects to improve the layout and functionality of the living space.

Designing the right kitchen extension to suit both the style of the property and the occupants' lifestyle is a key design consideration that should be addressed at the start of the design phase. Once the interior architect understands how the space is planned to be used, they can draw on their expertise and curate design elements such as family seating areas or an office that offer a flexible space blending seamlessly with the home's existing layout. Functionality, infrastructure and aesthetics will also need to be considered in the early phase of design.

Kitchen extensions offer many possibilities for flexible open plan spaces that form the ultimate hub of the home. Clever use of focal points within the design, such as views to the outside, a dedicated statement island, dining furniture, or an informal snug space for relaxation can be transformative. Also, increasing natural light through glazed doors and rooflights, and fully automated lighting and blind control enhance the smart home lifestyle, providing both economical and ecological benefits.

Side return kitchen extensions

Side Return or side infill extensions are generally used on older Victorian/Georgian style homes where extra spaces were added to the rear of the properties as housing demands increased. The left over passage to the garden area is often an underutilised and narrow space used as storage. 

Rear kitchen extensions

Rear extensions offer a great solution to bringing the outdoors in and, if a rear garden is the only possibility being in a terraced house, this is a great way to improve the flow of the extended kitchen space while increasing the value of the property. Rear kitchen extensions also offer the possibility of al fresco dining.

Double-height kitchen extensions

Double-height kitchen extensions not only improve the lighting inside, but also create an inviting grand space that makes a bold statement, with all the benefits of improved ventilation and vertical storage.

Wrap-around extension

Wrap-around extensions is a hybrid of side and rear extensions often designed in homes situated on corner plots (or triangular plots) where one end of the property sits closer to the garden boundary and the opposite side of the property faces the deepest part of the plot. This type of kitchen extension is a great way to create open plan living, but commands a different approach to design so that it doesn't encroach on the smallest area of garden, and is well positioned to draw in natural light if the property is not south-facing. Equally, L shaped wrap-around extensions replacing a garage, for example, and extending to the rear can achieve maximum living space without compromising the entire outdoor garden. Period properties commonly allow for this type of extension whereby dead space is extended on and totally reconfigured for modern-day living without losing too much garden space.

Orangery style kitchen extension

Orangery kitchen extensions are glazed structural extensions that serve as lanterns where natural light cascades through the structure. Unlike conservatories, kitchen orangery extensions form an integral part of the overall space as opposed to a separate room and if designed flawlessly, can increase the value of the property as well as its footprint.

The ideal position for this type of glazed kitchen extension would predominantly be south-east or south-west facing where the perfect amount of sunlight will fill the space without the worry of overheating.

Top tips - No.1 Let there be light

Loss of light through extending at the side means that the use of glass is an important consideration in designing a comfortable kitchen extension space. Opening rooflights are a great way of maximising natural light through a dark corner space or opening up a side return or rear extension to allow natural light and ventilation to pour through. Large glazed elevations of bifolding or sliding doors can provide seamless access to the garden, which more than doubles the living space without doubling the overall costs.

2. Keep it cool with curtains and blinds

Today's minimalistic style with ultra-thin framed sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling glazing often calls for the need of hidden blinds to appear when in direct sunlight or when comfort or privacy is required. Kitchens are notorious for being hotspots for attracting grease and odours. Consider automated curtains and blinds that can be controlled electronically to roll up into a recessed box for a discreet and hygienic finish.

3. Smarten up your new kitchen extension with home automation

If your kitchen extension design has any wiring infrastructure, there's a cable you won't want to forget to install, and that's a CAT6 data cable. CAT6 is the standard data cable that enables all data to run at high speed, and high quality without disruption. The advantage of installing CAT6 as part of your new build kitchen, especially if it may include a new office space, is that one can maintain high speeds while supporting multiple devices and zones, such as integrated audio and TV's.

It is not readily achievable to install CAT6 retrospectively, so even if there is no current budget for the latest in audio-visual systems, it is wise to future-proof the space.

4. Extend your flooring from indoors to outdoors

A new kitchen extension increases the living space all year round, but why limit that space during warm seasons? Sourcing suitable materials for high-quality flooring that endures harsh environments offer the instant wow factor. Materials such as stone, ceramic, and wood can be used to blur the lines between the outside and the inside, enhancing that connection to nature.

5. Luxurious furniture that works inside and outside

Extending the concept of blending the new extended space to the outside can be achieved with fine quality furniture that offers comfort, style and longevity with durability and comfort combined. It's not difficult to visualise the breathtaking vista of an open plan kitchen extension linking to the garden seamlessly with repeated colours and styles of furniture. If the kitchen extension is large enough to accommodate outdoor furniture during the cold months, then bringing it indoors can help to create a cosy environment and offer more versatility in how the space is used.

Meet the brands under one roof at Sky House Design Centre! At Sky House Design Centre we have a plethora of highly reputed brands serving high-end residential design and development all under one roof.

Bespoke kitchens, beautiful flooring, tactile luxurious furnishings & finishings, glazing, lighting, home cinema, luxurious residential lifts and much more!

If you're planning a kitchen extension or home renovation, call us today! 01494 722 880

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