Looking for pictures of beautiful kitchen extensions? Our showcase of light and bright kitchen ideas will inspire and help you create your perfect scheme, transforming a cramped layout into an inviting modern space for living, dining and entertaining.
A must-have in new properties and one of the top remodelling projects in period homes, the generous open-plan kitchen is now the epicentre for modern living. There are several ways to scale-up space, from combining adjoining rooms or adding a conservatory to building a completely new room or digging out the basement. Be under no illusions, all options require time and money but, once the dust has settled, it’s a decision few regret.
Planning and designing an extension
Recommendations are by far the best way to find a tradesperson in your area. Ask friends and members of the family whose projects you’ve admired. Few people will pass on the contacts of someone who has done a shoddy job.
Check out the boards and signage that building firms and architects put up outside their projects, if you’ve been impressed by the build. It’s also worth approaching the owner to see if they are happy with the work.
Search online – most industries have a professional body or web-based collective that lists its members along with contact details. For an architect try architecture.com, ciat.org.uk for an architectural technical designer, and find structural engineers at istructe.org. Visit mybuilder.com or ratedpeople.com to locate building-trade specialists.
Also try Trust Mark, which encompasses a wide range of trade bodies such as Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the electrical institution, NICEIC. It claims to check its member’s work, financial status and insurance, and also offers extra insurance and a complaints procedure.
Ask your kitchen designer – creating schemes for new renovations and extensions is now the norm, so they are well-placed to recommend a good builder or architect. You can also trust your designer to alert you to any bad eggs in your shortlist of contenders.
Make large, open-plan spaces work by using colour to define different functions. Try white, handleless cabinetry for a practical, easy-to-maintain cooking and food preparation area. Introduce a contrast shade on a breakfast bar island to signpost the change of function, but keep the worktop white to indicate that this is a dual-function surface. For dining, go unfinished wood – in keeping with its proximity to the patio, this table and chairs could be mistaken for garden furniture. Unify the whole with timber flooring, a wooden sideboard and a row of wooden bar stools.
Olive & The Fox
Use an extension to continue your kitchen space outside. Choose floor tiles that allow a continuous flow from kitchen to patio, giving the illusion of one large room. Use the white of your cabinets and kitchen walls on external brickwork, masonry and planters. Create an outdoor cooking area that has all the features of a kitchen rather than a barbecue, including a worktop positioned to continue the run of the kitchen version inside.
Lose a wall by installing folding/sliding doors for a space that opens up completely to the garden beyond. Pick and position wall and base units by thinking about the outside space too – here the honeyed tones of cabinetry and fencing co-ordinate, while the height of the panels echoes the run of wall cupboards. A high traffic throughway will need a hardwearing floor so choose a durable dark-wood version.
The modern extension will increase the light levels in a property, so be adventurous with colour in your new kitchen. Working against a white or neutral backdrop, make a strong statement with a black gloss central island and black modern stools that create crisp, clean-lined silhouettes. Use gunmetal-finish patio door frames to tie in with stainless-steel appliances. Complement and uplift the scheme with a bright yellow splashback and matching pendant lights that draw the eye upward to impressive roof lights.
When designing and decorating a new extension, always keep the style and period of your home in mind. Pick up on any period architectural features and incorporate design elements of any adjacent rooms into your new space. In a large, multifunctional area emphasise continuity by using freestanding cupboards or sideboards as feature cabinetry. Choose finishes that reflect the mix of old and new, such as the mahogany and Shaker-style designs used here.
If you have extended into your garden space, make the most of lovely views. Let the windows be the star of your decorating scheme and wherever possible place furniture where it can oversee your outdoor space. Keep a decorating scheme pared back, simple and unpatterned so the view is always foremost. Go for matching neutrals across the board with simple blinds, a reclaimed table and eclectic chairs. Use a pair of pendant fishing lights for added character at night time.
The Conran Shop
Plan well and a large kitchen extension has all the makings of the perfect open-plan living space. Create distinct and separate zones for cooking, dining and relaxing, but ensure continuity with a neutral shade throughout. Use a central island to divide the room and make cooking social by adding a breakfast bar. Position the dining table adjacent to patio doors to get the best view and a comfortable armchair in one corner for enjoying the new-found light.
Similar bar stools
Consider the features of a building when designing your kitchen space. Set aside the space under a glazed roof for dining – this space also has a square bay, perfect for enjoying garden views – and keep the original space for more functional tasks, such as cooking and food preparation. Choose a cream palette to link the spaces together and warm up with oak worktops and a matching butcher’s block.
Similar butcher’s blocks
Integrate your extended space by using a single decorating scheme throughout. Pick calm, soothing and co-ordinating colours that will lift and lighten the feel. For a fresh, coastal vibe, go for a powder blue backdrop. Match woodwork and cabinetry with cream Shaker-style doors for a sense of continuity – in this space, built-in cupboard doors are painted to match the units. In a similar way, use oak for worktops, tabletops and seats and blue striped fabric for seat pads and kitchen linen.
In a kitchen extension, position a dining table where the maximum light falls. In this space, which lacks conventional windows, roof lights bring drama and atmosphere to the table. An adjustable, wall-hung pivot light adds a modern touch. Look for furniture that fits the space you have as exactly as possible. This table is the width of two place settings and no more, allows room for chairs to move in and out and is the perfect length to make full use of the room’s dimensions.
Use a single material throughout an extended space to keep the feel orderly, contained and open. This extension features a country kitchen with breakfast bar, a seating area and separate dining space. Decoratively, this could be a messy arrangement, but the use of wood throughout brings its own settled order. From the fitted shelves and larder unit at the back of the room, through to the impressive breakfast bar at the centre and out to the low coffee table, farmhouse dining table and mismatched chairs, the warm wood tones unite the scheme, with pops of vibrant colour on soft furnishings and ceramics to add to the fun.
Similar wooden furniture
Enjoy the freedom to fit out a room from scratch. Plan your new extension carefully and in a perfect world you will end up with a room that balances practicality and beauty. Every appliance and every ounce of storage will occupy its ideal spot. This kitchen uses a false wall to house built-in ovens, open shelving and upright and overhead cupboards, while the hob, sink, wine cooler and supersized drawers have been incorporated into a standalone island.
Lights 4 Living
In larger extensions with high ceilings you may feel you need more than furniture to divide up an open-plan space. These full-height sliding glazed doors are a revelation, adding smart, defined verticals to the design and marking a change of function between kitchen and living areas without screening anything from view. Low-hanging pendants and fabulously tall storage emphasise the height of this space, with cornflower blue paintwork and slate wall tiles uniting the decorative elements.
The Conran Shop
Define the different functions of your extension with well placed units. If you have extended out into your garden from the back wall of your house, the line of the old wall will quite often make a natural dividing point for the new extension. Here, a rigid steel joist and window mark the spot. The worktop below houses a sink, a couple of cupboards and a mini breakfast bar and divides the working kitchen from the dining and sitting area overlooking the garden.
Plan your kitchen extension storage with care. If you have the space, it pays to keep cupboards to a specified area rather than have them dotted all around. In this impressive extension, base and wall units have been banked together on a single wall and long, full-width island. This not only keeps everything close to hand at the busy, business end of the space, but allows you to co-ordinate your colour scheme – in this case, a dark-grey matt paint finish.
Light bounces off every surface in this modern kitchen thanks to an impressive run of folding-sliding doors that open out seamlessly to the garden. White gloss units and stunning turquoise glass further emphasise this sense of light and space. A neutral palette is a great choice, allowing you to be more creative with specific colour accents that add a true pop of personality to a kitchen scheme.
The perfect kitchen extension is more than just a place to cook: the ultimate modern kitchen is a clever, multitasking space that is designed for living and entertaining. Here, an open-plan design allows you to socialise more easily with family and friends while cooking. Warm cream tones on kitchen units, walls and floor ensure this large space doesn’t feel cold.
In this extension, social interaction between the cook and the rest of the room was key, so the breakfast bar and table are aligned. Metallic Anthracite and White hi-gloss kitchen units maximise the light, while the green splashback and pendant lights echo the fresh hues of the garden.
Make the most of idyllic views with a kitchen extension and bi-fold doors that lead to a large decked terrace. Timber floorboards inside are complemented by the wooden decking outside – a perfect fit with the farmhouse table, rustic cabinetry and yellow range cooker.
Similar salvaged furniture
Who says that wood and modern design don’t mix? This spacious kitchen combines sleek modern looks, perfectly suited to this angular contemporary extension, with the tactile beauty of wood.
In this extension, creating a strong link between the family living space and the garden was important. Smart skylights allow in lots of light and are a design feature in themselves.
Pure white and pale wood combine to create a spacious kitchen that makes the most of a garden view. An L-shaped design creates the most usable wall space for storage and built-in appliances. The island is deep enough to have a room for a sink and a decent-sized prep area.
Be sympathetic to the age of your house. This barn conversion features floor-to-ceiling glass around the external walls, while new wood beams match the style of the property.
The expansive open-plan space includes a kitchen-diner and living area. An island unit is integral to the room’s function as a place for food prep and entertaining, while bi-fold doors provide a link with the garden complete with outdoor terrace.
Sliding glass doors will give rooms an alfresco feel. The sleek, unadorned style of these doors suit this modern kitchen perfectly.
This bespoke scheme flows towards a relaxed living space and onto the patio, with pretty painted cabinetry in varying shades of lilac, purple and soft green. As it’s a long room, the layout has been configured into different zones, with the dining and living area stationed at the garden end so relaxing views can be enjoyed while eating.
Installing large glass doors the length of your room means that when folded back, the outside really does become an extension of the interior. Centre your workstation to run in parellel to ensure you have the best views outdoors.
Floor-to-ceiling vaulted windows surround this kitchen, giving garden views from all angles. Pale-painted cabinetry in a soft blue keeps the design feeling bright.
Barnes of Ashburton
When considering an extension, think about featuring varying roof heights and incorporating ceiling lanterns overhead to allow your space to be flooded with light. This open-plan conservatory-style design sets the scene for striking horizontal-grain Zebrano-veener cabinetry and dark-green feature walls.
Mowlem & Co
Opt for flooring in similar shades for both inside and out to help the space to flow. Here, pale tiles have been used to link with the exterior, while roof lanterns in different sizes let light in where it’s most needed. The traditional-style doors work well against a modern kitchen scheme, and zingy orange adds a colourful touch.