Kitchens are the heart of our homes, so it’s no surprise that kitchen extensions are among the most popular ways to improve our living spaces. But whether you’re building out into your garden space or the side, or going for a full wraparound, extending your kitchen is a huge commitment in terms of cost, time and effort. Therefore it’s important to make all your design decisions before taking a hammer to any walls! Here are our expert tips on designing your kitchen extension.
It’s easy to get carried away by stunning spaces on Instagram, but you do need to start by thinking about the practicalities. This includes how much space you could potentially create, any planning permission or building regulation requirements. But principally you need to plan how the new space will work with the rest of your home, what expert help you’ll need, what your budget is, and what structural elements you need to bear in mind, as well as the nitty gritty details such as utilities and electrics.
Think about how the new area will be used. If cooking is your passion, create an area that meets the requirements of your culinary adventures. If you entertain regularly, design a comfortable space where you can socialise with your guests. If you work from your kitchen, incorporate a desk area that won’t get in the way outside working hours. Also think ahead – how might your needs evolve in the future, and will they be met by what you’re doing now?
While thinking about the practicalities and your lifestyle, also decide what your priorities are in terms of style, colour schemes, technology, appliances, etc. Start creating a wish list and prioritise that list according to what is most important. Do you want a sleek, minimalist kitchen with all the latest gadgets? Or would you like a traditional country-style kitchen that exudes warmth and comfort? Making these choices now will ensure you end up with a practical, stunning space that works for everyone.
If your kitchen layout is no longer working, an extension is a chance to rethink it. L-shaped schemes give you more surfaces for food prep, while a U-shape maximises corners for storage. If your kitchen connects areas of your home, a galley setup will allow flow between them, while bigger spaces lend themselves to open-plan designs that fulfil multiple functions. Ensure that your favourite gadgets are readily accessible, that there’s enough storage, and that everyone can move around the space easily and safely.
Shop around, speak to different builders/designers/architects, get recommendations from friends, read reviews, create online mood boards, book kitchen showroom tours – there’s no such thing as too much information when you’re making these major decisions.
We understand everyone has a budget, but kitchens are high-use areas that need to stand the test of time. Therefore it’s necessary to keep durability and quality in mind throughout the process. Once everything’s in, it may be difficult to swap out anything that doesn’t come up to standard – so always go for the highest quality you can afford.
You’ll want to love your kitchen for years to come, so try not to be too led by trends that could date quickly. However, do consider any innovations such as materials, gadgets or storage solutions that might work for you in the long term. Speaking to a kitchen designer will reap rewards here – all good designers will be up to speed with the latest innovations.
So many elements of your kitchen can now be controlled by smart technology and designing a kitchen extension is the perfect opportunity to incorporate this. It’s also the time to think about creating a more sustainable home. Up your eco-friendly credentials by buying A-rated appliances, using sustainable materials and working with companies that prioritise sustainability.
Lighting can transform a kitchen extension. Statement lights above an island will give the wow factor, and skylights will flood the area with natural light. Bi-fold doors will create a spacious, light-filled indoor/outdoor space – think about taking the same flooring and colour scheme from the inside to the outside to make the space feel even bigger.
A kitchen extension is a big project, so it’s essential to get expert help. Decide whether you’d like to engage an architect and find a builder via verified trade bodies or recommendations. Speaking to a kitchen designer from the outset will ensure you have all the specialist kitchen insight you need – at KDCUK, our experts will talk through your requirements, before using our state-of-the-art CAD software to create a stunning design.
We help homeowners throughout Hertfordshire and North London bring their kitchen extension dreams to life with our luxury German kitchen ranges, so book a tour of our showroom today and we’ll be happy to talk through all aspects of your project.