Kitchen extension guide: how to achieve your dream space and add value to your home

Size matters, and extending your kitchen can allow you to achieve your dream space whilst adding that all-important value. Here’s how to make sure it all goes to plan...

A kitchen extension is a blank canvas. You’ve got the brush and the colours, but where do you begin?

Kitchen extension
LIGHT AND SHADE The combination of the light through the angled skylight, the pale walls and the dark, clean-lined cabinetry in this scheme by Roundhouse Design is both striking and perfectly balanced. Bespoke kitchen prices are from £35,000

The first thing is to consider exactly what you want to achieve, explains Jason Eccles, founding director at Artform Architects. ‘Is it for more family space? A better layout for socialising? Or an improved connection to the rest of the house or garden? Once you know what’s most important to you, the finer details can be explored.’

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Kitchen extension
MODERN COUNTRY This scheme by Kestrel Kitchens features Shaker-style cabinetry, flagstones and an Aga to inject a traditional feel into a modern space. Prices are from £40,000

Keeping what you want to achieve at the front of your mind throughout the process is key, says Jamie Blake, creative director at Blakes London. ‘So often we see ‘project creep’, as clients attempt to incorporate more and more into what can be a limited space, budget or timeframe. Compromise is inevitable, so it’s important to have a clear goal in mind.’

Kitchen extension
GLASS ACT Walls of glass bring the outside into this extension by Eggersmann, added to the exterior of the property. The scheme features cabinetry and surfaces in 5mm Silvertouch hot-rolled steel. Prices are from £40,000

An architect should be your first port of call. They will draw up some designs and suggest the right builders for the job. They will also guide you through the planning process. Once plans are confirmed, they should be submitted to the local authority for planning permission.

Kitchen extension
OPEN SECRET An extension is a great opportunity to make the most of garden views and to connect your inside and outside space. This serene scheme features McCarron & Co’s hand-painted Brompton kitchen with oak-detailed breakfast bar. Bespoke kitchens start from £35,000

Chris Scott, director of Mascot Bespoke Homes, suggests that, before applying for planning permission, your architect should consider what can be achieved using permitted development laws, as these might be adequate for your needs, negating the need for planning permission.

Kitchen extension
TIMELESS ELEGANCE The owners of this Georgian farmhouse wanted a modern kitchen that worked harmoniously with the period property, so Martin Moore created a clean, classic-meets-contemporary scheme using its Architectural range. Prices start from £35,000

You should also embark on a little local diplomacy. ‘It’s always worth consulting with your neighbours at the earliest stage to keep them as on-side as possible,’ he advises. What type of extension you choose will depend on your circumstances, as well as your wish list.

Kitchen extension
DARK DRAMA The large island with a distinctive worktop by Neolith and raised breakfast bar by Spekva add a distinctive edge to this bold design by Vogue Kitchens, which uses dark, handleless cabinetry from Leicht. Prices start from £20,000

‘The most common extensions we see are side-return extensions on Victorian terraces, or single-storey rear extensions on Edwardian properties,’ says Jamie. ‘Wraparound extensions often offer the largest increase in space but, for urban properties, this is rarely an option and can cause more issues with council planning departments.’

Kitchen extension
HIGH LINE The lofty ceilings of this extension by Play Associates meant that it wasn’t necessary to install extraction. Sculptural Flos pendants are suspended over the island, which serves as a second dining table, bar, workstation and social hub. Priced around £25,000

When it comes to design, Jason emphasises that ensuring connectivity between zones will guarantee overall success. An open-plan layout with a kitchen island is popular as it creates a focal point and ensures the space is both functional and sociable.

Kitchen extension
PALE AND INTERESTING The Pale Grey finish of this traditional Shaker Gainsborough cabinetry from Mereway’s Town & Country collection helps distribute light throughout this kitchen extension, and enhance the sense of openness. Kitchen prices start from £14,000
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‘One of the most common pitfalls is to think that bigger is better – this can result in a space that’s too large to fill or plan efficiently. And considering how an extension connects to other rooms in the house is very important. It shouldn’t be designed in isolation.’


Case study

Kitchen extension
TICKLED PINK Pale Shaker-style cabinetry and quartz worktops are given a cool twist by Kenelm in the form of colour-popping pink bar stools
Kitchen extension
INSIDE OUT Kenelm’s multifunctional scheme – which features a Smeg 90cm Opera dual-fuel range cooker and Caple undercounter dual-zone wine cabinet – overlooks the garden and is designed to flow into the outside space

Kenelm Cornwall-Legh, Co-founder at Run Projects

What was the brief for this kitchen extension? Our client wanted a more ‘liveable’ space that was better for entertaining family and friends. By extending two metres to the rear, remodelling the side return and adding frameless skylights, the space was completely opened up, giving a much greater sense of light and flow. The large island is the focal point and provides a fantastic social hub. There is a formal dining space, but for day-to-day living and having a couple of friends round for a relaxed drink, the island offers the perfect set-up.

What makes this project a success? The garden was completely overhauled, creating a much more attractive and calming outlook from the kitchen, and giving a real sense of inside/outside living.The modern skylights give a great look while allowing in much more light. The white ceiling and the contrast between the two paint colours adds a real element of interest to the room too.

Kitchen extension