How to make your kitchen bigger
The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but what do you do when things get a bit too cramped for comfort? While there are many ways that you can maximise the space in your existing kitchen, there may come a time when extra space may be required.
Opening up the area will give you more room to manoeuvre, more cooking space and storage for kitchen staples and utensils. While improving the overall flow of the space, you could also create and area for dining and socialising, for relaxing or for working. Connect the new space directly to the garden and you can bring the outside in. There are countless options of what you could do with extra space in and around your kitchen area.
So, where do you start?
Knocking through to another room
Before you start commissioning an architect to design a full kitchen extension for you, why not explore first if it is possible to reconfigure the existing space in your house? For example, if you have a separate kitchen and adjacent dining room, investigate if the wall can be knocked down to combine the two rooms into one generous open-plan kitchen diner. Formal dining rooms tend to be reserved for feast days and royal visits, so to speak, and you may get more and better use out of the space if you create one fluid, informal space that everyone can share.
Knocking through is likely to be a lot cheaper and more straightforward than building an extension. However, it’s important to check with a structural engineer to see if the wall in question is load bearing – if it is, you will need to have an RSJ steel put in to support the structure of the house.
Building an extension
If knocking through is not an option or doesn’t provide the extra space that you require, a home extension is the way to go.
Filling in the side return to a traditional Victorian terrace can be an easy way to extend your kitchen space with the minimum of fuss, by way of a side extension. Add glazing or roof lights to maximise daylight and try to create a seating area with garden views for extra interest.
Assuming there is enough space around your home to take a full house extension, and you have the necessary funds available to finance the build, an extension is the best way to create the kitchen space to suit your family’s needs. It’s a blank canvas that you can use to design your perfect kitchen from scratch – from LED downlighters to underfloor heating and everything in between.
Think carefully about the design you would like. Are you keen to stay in keeping with the architecture of the house or prefer to create a dramatic contrast, perhaps using modern glass and steel? Whichever is your style preference, it is advisable to book a consultation with a reputable kitchen designer. They will be familiar with the latest products and technologies available as well as suitable layouts to achieve your aims. They will also have a good knowledge of all the tricks of the trade! Consultations are usually free.
If you are extending into the garden, pay particular attention to windows and doors to connect the inside with the outside. Bi-fold doors and generous decking or patios may be perfect for al fresco dining with friends or family.
If there’s enough space inside, why not consider a kitchen island? These are multifunctional units that can incorporate a hob or oven, or a sink with dishwasher of fridge below, or serve as a casual dining area.
Whether you simply knock down a wall or build a full extension, it is important to check with your local planning officer to see whether you need permission. Planning regulations vary considerably between districts, so it’s best to check before building works begin rather than to simply assume it will be OK. Special regulations apply to listed buildings and conservation areas; so do make sure you obtain appropriate guidance.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Halcyon Interiors – a London based interior design specialist providing luxury, bespoke designs for over 30 years.