Before and after: merging two rooms has created a super-sociable kitchen

Combining a tiny kitchen and an adjoining dining room, then extending out, has given the owners a huge all-in-one space that suits their sociable lifestyle

The owners moved into their four-bed semi in 2014 and, after a year of dreaming up their perfect kitchen, they hired a builder, who came highly recommended by friends, to extend 5m into the garden. ‘We hit a snag when we found out that the roots of a protected oak tree in our garden were threatening to damage the new foundations, so we had to have the extension underpinned,’ say the couple. ‘This really ate into our budget, so we had to prioritise. The granite worktops were our big splurge, but we shopped around for bargains for the rest of the room.’

The original kitchen was tiny with only enough space for one person. ‘One of us was always alone cooking dinner, while the rest of the family were in another room,’ say the owners. ‘But now the new kitchen is complete, the children love running in and out of the garden and we can have huge parties and talk to our guests while we cook.’ The other thing that is great in this sociable set-up is the wine fridge and rack – their clever placement in the island makes it easy for guests to help themselves.

After kitchen IH July 17 p114 Armon sociable kitchen

‘We wanted the kitchen to have a classic look,’ say the couple, ‘with painted units and a speckled granite worktop. We would have liked everything to be white, but that’s not realistic with a young family.’

Kitchen units IH July 17 p114 Armon sociable kitchen

In the dining area, a wallpaper mural adds atmosphere and depth to the white scheme. ‘It’s the first thing people comment on,’ say the owners. Solid-wood flooring has been used throughout the open-plan space. ‘It’s cool in summer and warm in winter, and is highly durable in a family space.’

Dining area wall mural IH July 17 p114 Armon sociable kitchen

Storage was a priority when planning the new kitchen, as the couple wanted plenty of space for storing all their ingredients and cooking essentials.

Storage baskets IH July 17 p114 Armon sociable kitchen

‘We also wanted quality,’ the pair say. ‘So even though our kitchen is off the shelf, it’s made from solid wood inside and out, and we know it will last.’

Drawers IH July 17 p114 Armon sociable kitchen

The build took just 12 weeks from start to finish and cost around £13,000. ‘Not long after it was finished, we had a big party and invited all our neighbours, who couldn’t wait to see how we’d modernised the house,’ say the owners. ‘We loved our first gathering in our new sociable kitchen.’

Get the look

Buy now: Tewskesbury Framed Stone kitchen, £498 for a 600mm base unit; and Lamona extractor, £308, all Howdens

Buy now: Crystal Grey Scheteiff Quartz worktop, £200 per m, Worktops UK

Buy now: Smeg dual-fuel range cooker, £919; and Samsung G-series American fridge-freezer, £800, both AO

Buy now: Hay About a Stool, £195, Nest

Buy now: solid oak flooring, £60 per sq m, UK Flooring Direct

Buy now: Sandberg Gryning mural, £242, Wallpaper Direct

Buy now: Eames DSW chairs by Vitra, £345 each, Heal’s

This article originally appeared in Ideal Home, July 2017.

Image credits: Oliver Gordon

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