With the high cost of moving, many of us are looking to make more of our own property – two in five Brits (39%) plan to get more home improvement work done in 2023. One of the most popular ways is to create a larger kitchen extension and living space that doubles up as an entertaining area, by extending your property.
But how do you create a space that is warm, characterful and functional, as opposed to a cold box at the back of the house?
With searches for “small kitchen extension ideas” skyrocketing by 150% (in the past 90 days, according to Google Trends on 24/05/2023) over the past three months, James Bernard, Director of Plus Rooms, a design and build company that has completed over 1,400 kitchen extension projects, offered his top tips on how to create a kitchen and entertaining space that will be the show-stopping favourite room in your home.
6 Expert Tips on Designing A Show-Stopping Kitchen Extension
- You cannot design your kitchen in isolation. Think about your garden or outdoor space and how you want your kitchen to showcase the view. This is fundamental as it affects your decision on the layout, position of windows, the type of doors and the location of furniture – all should be aligned to maximise the view of the garden.
Consider raising the garden patio and using the same tiles inside the kitchen and outside to create a flush fluid look with the garden. This integrates the two spaces and creates a greater sense of space indoors as your eye is drawn across the whole area.
In this example, the garden was raised to create a flush patio allowing this wonderful kitchen, living and dining space to be enjoyed fluently with the garden.
- Bring the nature indoors – ‘Forestcore’ is among the trendiest nature-inspired decór on TikTok amassing over 160 million views. 2023 is all about bringing the great outdoors in, with nature and natural elements taking the centre stage in our homes. Biophilic design is the way to go this year if you want a kitchen space that’s not only visually pleasing, but also good for your wellbeing.
In this example, the eye-catching emerald green cabinetry easily leaves a strong first impression, bringing a sense of sophistication and luxury to the room. Pair it with soft tones of clay white or chalky grey and add a variety of plants and greenery to naturally create a biophilic feel in your kitchen.
- Consider the aspect of the sun – Decide wisely on how much light you want in your kitchen. Modern glazing techniques can now help keep rooms warm in winter and cool in summer and some are even self-cleaning. So if you would like to maximise the light, think of the angles and where glazing is best placed.
In this project, the glass roof was supported by unusual glass ‘fins’. Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass was chosen, with a coating that uses UV rays from the sun to break down dirt.
- Incorporate new trends – Sleek, minimalist and neutral-coloured kitchens are still popular, but growing in popularity is a more industrial and rustic design. Copper fixtures and fittings, large sinks, bare light bulbs, shabby chic wooden dining tables and contrasting painted cabinets give a very distinctive and characterful look.
Rather than going for bifold doors, consider using Crittall affect aluminium doors; they look great with this design as the bar details within the glazing creates a very alternative effect.
- Combine your textures to add depth and interest to the room – An exposed brick wall offers a clever contrast and breaks up a smooth perfect finishing with the rough texturing. Surfaces need to be functional and non-staining, but mixing in some other materials can soften the overall look and also help zone the room between relaxation and cooking areas.
To personalise and add character to the space make sure you plan some open shelving or wall niches to display ornaments, plants, and photos.
In this kitchen extension, rough and clean textures are softened with warm wood which achieves the right balance, creating a wonderful atmosphere and entertaining space.
- Alternate the Ceiling Heights – To avoid an extension appearing like a rectangular box on the end of your home, think of using a variety of ceiling heights to create atmosphere within the space.
In this example, ambient light from the cabinets and other levels breaks up the continuous space.
Let us know what you think about how to create a kitchen that will be the show-stopping favourite room in your home in the comment section below….