A light-starved space has been swapped for a daring green kitchen extension that oozes sophistication

The abundant daylight flowing into this kitchen made it the perfect candidate for a daring dark green

dark green kitchen units with white island
(Image credit: Future PLC / Ryan Wicks)

This ambitious renovation project involved a kitchen refit and extension in a four-bedroom detached 1930s house in Shenfield, Essex. Before, there was a light-starved, dated kitchen, awkwardly located in the middle of the house. 

However, a kitchen refit and extension that cost the homeowners £65,000 have transformed the space into a beautifully bright kitchen.

‘I wanted a sociable kitchen that was light and airy with a good sense of flow: a space that reflected the 1930s aesthetic of the house but was not too modern or too country in style,' explains the homeowner.

Kitchen extension transformation

Before the kitchen was a light-starved space, with an awkward L-shaped layout and dated design. 'An intensive search brought John Lewis of Hungerford to my attention. Designer Rebecca Nokes thoroughly explored what I wanted and we devised a scheme located in the large, new extension,' she explains.


white kitchen island with dark stools

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)


'The kitchen now opens onto the patio, and light floods in through large aluminium-framed doors and windows as well as the new skylight, which meant that I could choose a dramatic dark green shade for the cabinetry.'

kitchen with black units and island with wooden chairs

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)

When it came to picking the kitchen colour scheme, Manissa didn't rush into any decisions, but went with what felt right to her. ‘I dithered over the colour. Lots of people tried to put me off, saying it would date, was dark, would attract dust. But it looks amazing because the room is so light.’

She also turned practical kitchen storage ideas in to part of the aesthetic. 'The bespoke dresser looks integrated, but has a slightly more freestanding style which softens the space. The glass-fronted doors allow me to display pretty things and the big drawers offer useful extra storage.’

She adds, 'a separate utility room was a must for the laundry and ironing paraphernalia. Now the kitchen provides the perfect balance of function and style, whether we’re entertaining, home-schooling or working from home.’

Dark green kitchen storage unit behind island with sink

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)

‘I chose porcelain floor tiles with tones of blue and grey that pick up the green of the units. The tiles have a light waves design that gives the space a sense.'

When it came to the patio doors, Manissa wanted them to have a minimal frame with attractive central bars. 'In the summer with the windows open, it’s wonderful to have the flow from kitchen to the outside.’

dark green kitchen units with white island

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)

Every detail was carefully considered right down to the bar stools. 'So many bar stools are badly designed and uncomfortable,' Manissa says. 'I wanted the right height with a supported back and good looks. These padded faux leather, stainresistant seats tick the boxes.’

brown stools in kitchen next to patio door

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)

Looking back on the project, Manissa is happy she didn't go for a uniform look. 'You can go too far with hiding things away, leaving a space devoid of character. It’s nice to have a few colourful books and personality on show,' she says.

Focus on: automated roof windows

These practical windows offer many benefits beyond flooding the space with light.

dark green kitchen units with skylight above

(Image credit: Ryan Wicks)
  • The electric roof window provides easy supplementary ventilation as well as light. Although manually operated roof windows are inexpensive, they are not always practical. Solarpowered and electric roof windows are ideal for out-of-reach situations, such as vaulted ceilings. 
  • These remote-controlled windows, some with integrated blinds or shutters, allow for opening and closing at the touch of a button rather than using a manual pole. They require an electrical motor and a switch, which can be hard-wired to a switch plate or wireless. At the top end of the scale they help improve the energy efficiency of a building, with triple-pane glass insulation, noiseblock technology and heat-reflective coatings. 
  • Most roof windows with automatic opening offer rain sensors. These are small metal plates that detect rainfall and automatically close the roof light when it is detected. The quality varies, so check whether the sensors will also detect other adverse weather such as snow or hail.