Bifold doors opened up new opportunities for this social kitchen space

Installing bifold doors and re-working the layout has given the homeowners a more accessible kitchen and a perfect family hub

A modern kitchen with bifold doors, navy kitchen island and statement pendant light fixtures overhead
(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

After building a home for themselves almost 30 years ago, it came as no surprise when the homeowners craved a modern revival of their kitchen. Fast-forward to the future where bifold doors and a contemporary layout have created a social scheme with scenic views.

Costing around £66,000, this renovation wasn't cheap, but the results are certainly cheerful. Full of reflective finishes and smart use of colour, this smart grey and navy self-build space still remains classic to its core and full of functionality.   


A traditional cream kitchen with built-in cabinetry and grey upholstered chair with plush toy

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

Prior to the remodel the homeowners had an outdated, cream-coloured kitchen with an awkward, unworkable layout and with no access out to the garden.


A modern kitchen with bifold doors, navy kitchen island and statement pendant light fixtures overhead

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

‘We built the house ourselves after buying a plot of land back in the Nineties,' explains the homeowner.

'While the old kitchen had served us well, it was a little dated and, although it looked out over the garden, the clunky layout with central dining table meant walking around the kitchen when preparing food and traipsing through the utility room whenever we wanted to head outside,'

'Installing bifold doors has really transformed the space. With the doors open, we have direct access out to the terrace and it brings the outdoors in. There was no other major structural work, aside from installing the new island, which involved moving plumbing and electrics,'

'We modelled the design on a Mereway kitchen we had seen on display at a local showroom Classic Kitchens, which featured a two-tone colour palette with soft-grey cabinets and an island in a darker grey,'

'Including the central island has given the kitchen a much better sense of flow. Standing at the sink, all the essentials are within reach – plus you can chat to guests at the table while enjoying views out to the garden. It’s such a sociable space,'

‘With the table next to the new doors, we can admire the garden. Before we were just looking at units. I love symmetry; it works well having units either side of the chimney and range cooker.’

Get the look: English Revival Signature kitchen by Mereway Kitchens, around £50,000

A modern kitchen with glass dining table and grey dining chair decor

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

Using a contrast colour, the homeowner was able to draw the eye to the centre of the room and make the kitchen island design a focal point. Hue aside, the owner shares how this new addition has helped add functionality to the cook space.

'The convenience and ease of having the essentials to hand while working at the kitchen island is what I enjoy most. We went for the biggest island we could fit in and opted for Amtico flooring, which won’t fade and is a more durable option than a timber floor,' says the homeowner.

‘We painted the feature walls a darker shade to tie in with the island.’

Speaking on the dining table, he adds: 'It’s a great space for entertaining. We can chat to guests at the table when we’re preparing food at the island and the bi-folds make it easy for everyone to head out to the terrace when the weather is fine.’ 

To complete the look, the couple highlighted these key areas with accent pendants which reinforce the spectacle of the seating area and freestanding work area.

A modern kitchen with mirrored splashback and range cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

The new and improved layout offers a sleek storage solution to hide away the couple's kitchenware and provides a clear route to their outdoor space. 'A pantry cupboard, with drawers for pans and cookware, sits behind the island. Cabinets either side conceal the fridge and freezer,' explains the owner.

‘Before we fitted the bifold doors, the utility room off to the side of the kitchen was our only access to the garden.’ he adds.

Get the look: Zero 150 undermount sink, £513, Caple. Bristan Artisan pullout tap, £269.99, Screwfix.

Focus on mirrored splashbacks

Swap tiled splashbacks for a luxurious mirrored design. A reflective finish is one way to make the kitchen feel bigger and airier. This easy-to-fit addition works for both traditional and modern kitchen designs – simply select a style that will suit the scheme.

  • Using mirrored surfaces as a splashback is a great way of making a small kitchen feel larger and brighter. They bounce light around and reflect the room back on itself to give the illusion of extra space.
  • A mirror’s neutral appearance will complement most styles of kitchen and colour scheme. Choose from standard silver or colour-tinted glass to crackled and antique-effect mirrors that have an aged or vintage look.
  • A mirror can be fitted as a standard splashback between the work surface and cabinets, behind a hob or a range cooker (as shown here), or as a back panel behind glass shelving. While a standard mirror is suitable for most applications, if the splashback is to be positioned within 200mm of a heat source or needs cut-outs for electrical sockets and switches, then you need a toughened heat-resistant mirror
Lisa Fazzani
Deputy Editor

Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.