Many potential buyers and especially those with young families, consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home and for this reason, kitchens really do sell houses so focussing your efforts on this is a great option if you’re considering moving in the future.
Here we have a few ideas which will inspire you and help you transform a small, cramped kitchen into a larger enticing space for cooking, dining, entertaining and living.
What you want to achieve will be dependent on your budget to a degree so it’s advisable to have a clear idea of what type of extension you plan to carry out.
Whether you’re combining two rooms into one by removing a wall or adding on a separate space, think about other factors such as lighting, heating, electric or gas supply etc. Will these services be allowed for already with the new room plan and if not, how much will it cost to factor these into the project? Very often a project of this nature can act as blank canvas, it’s your opportunity to put your own stamp on it so it’s a perfect time to figure out what you currently don’t like about your existing space so you can try and address this going forward.
Before you begin your project, ensure you appoint a professional and experienced expert. Recommendations are by far the best way to find a tradesperson in your area as few people will recommend details of someone who has done an inferior job.
In addition to this, most industries will have a professional body that lists its approved members along with contact details such as the Federation of Master Builders and this information should be easily accessible online.
You could also ask your kitchen designer. With the increasing rise of renovations and extensions, your designer should be well placed to recommend a reputable builder or architect, someone who they may even have already established a relationship with from previous projects.
However large or small scale your kitchen extension project is, it’s strongly advisable to run what you plan to do past your local planning permission authority. So much red tape exists with planning and building regulations in the current day and even if there are no visible changes to the external appearance of the building, it’s still best to be safe and seek proper advice before any work on site begins. Regulations vary from all regions and areas too so you shouldn’t assume that one rule fits all.
Before you start the planning stage, you need to consider what type of extension you’re after. Do you want separate dining and utility rooms to zone areas off or do you have a desire to create something more open plan and contemporary?
There are lots of options which can provide more space for cooking and bigger areas for dining, entertaining and even relaxing. From combining adjoining rooms or adding a sun room or even a completely new room from scratch, bear in mind how you want to utilise the new space before going any further. Knocking through walls is one of the most popular and probably the most cost effective option if you
wish to create a larger space by merging a kitchen and dining room into one for example but you may need to seek structural advice to ensure that by removing a dividing wall, won’t have an impact on the overall structure of the area. If you have extra outside space to add on to your existing kitchen and the budget too off course, this will give you even more flexibility when deciding on design and layout. This will allow you to start from scratch too in terms of lighting and heating for example. Floor to ceiling glass windows and bi-fold doors have become increasingly popular in recent times as people wish to increase the amount of natural light which flows into their homes and this look can also make the space appear even bigger as it draws the eye to the outdoors.
If your kitchen extension allows for extra space, now would be a good time to consider factoring a kitchen island into the new design. Islands can form the centrepiece of the kitchen and serve many functions such as extra cupboard storage, an area for prepping food or cooking if an oven is integrated or even an area for washing up if a sink is featured. By having an overhanging worktop, an island can cleverly allow for extra seating too with the use of some bar stools.
Lighting is crucial for creating an atmosphere and nowhere more so than in the kitchen. While you want to ensure you have enough practical lighting for the main work areas in the kitchen, you’ll want to use lighting as a means to show off key features in the kitchen and its surrounding areas. Lighting needs to be considered at the early stages of the project to allow for electrics to be planned and incorporated where necessary. If you’re thinking of opting for a contemporary style renovation with floor to ceiling windows for example, you’ll need to balance natural light with artificial light also.
Undertaking a kitchen extension project can appear daunting at first but if you get help from the right people and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it can be enjoyable and a lot of fun! This is your chance to create something unique to you and your lifestyle in your own home so get involved and make sure it’s as future proof as possible as the chances are, you may only do this once!
For ultimate home inspiration and a free copy of our comprehensive Kitchen Planning Wishlist