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When the owners bought an unfinished chalet bungalow in Surrey, 14 years ago, they knew they would have to make some short-term compromises. ‘It was our opportunity to own a big detached property, but we had to accept that we wouldn’t be able to do what we wanted to it for a few years, as we needed to save up first.’ The couple put in an inexpensive temporary kitchen and made do until they had the funds to create their ideal space. They spent the time carefully planning out the transformation, which involved changing the back of the house to create an open-plan kitchen-diner and an orangery.
An island with a breakfast bar and sink overlooking the garden were on the wish list. They struggled when it came to choosing the units, wanting neither a traditional nor an ultramodern look. In the end, they opted for Shaker-style units with contemporary handles. The versatility of this design means it will work no matter what the size or style of your kitchen.
Yew Tree Designs
Shaker units and a tongue-and-groove island create a smart, country-inspired look. Careful planning has ensured the units beneath the hob are visually appealing. The couple opted for an all-white scheme to maximise brightness. The extractor fan mirrors the dimensions of the induction hob below it. The sink and hob area are positioned in an L-shaped bank of base units around an island.
Floor-to-ceiling units built around a tall fridge-freezer make the best use of space. The stainless-steel finishes look striking against the painted wood. Wooden floors are a great choice for kitchen-diners, provided they are treated making them resistant to spills and stains. This oak floor invites a classic aesthetic into this modern scheme.
Siemens range at Appliances Direct
A dresser has a natural place in any kitchen scheme and this traditional design has clean lines, classic looks and plenty of storage. The floral oilcloth brings vintage style to the dining area, while a chandelier is a glamorous touch that ties in with the pendants above the kitchen island.
Similar tablecloth fabric
With its classic and simple layout, this U-shaped kitchen is both practical and adaptable. The U-shape is one of the most space efficient layouts, as it uses almost the entire area around the edge of the room, ensuring easy access to the cabinetry. It also provides an abundance of worksurfaces. The island unit provides another work are and a social aspect to the scheme. When it comes to the decor, neutral colours and reflective surfaces enhance the feeling of space. Lighting, but task and mood, also helps create a sense of roominess.
Siemens range at Appliances Direct
A monobloc mixer tap and quartz worktops add sleek, contemporary style. A quartz worksurface is a great choice for a family kitchen. Hard, non-porous quartz surfaces don't need re-sealing and require minimal maintenance - usually soap and water or a mild detergent are all that it takes to keep its lustre.
Stainless steel sink
Franke range at Kitchen Sinks & Taps
Franke range at John Lewis
Redesigning the ground floor of their home enabled this family to gain a spacious kitchen-diner. 'I'm pleased we went for such a substantial project. We could have just revamped the existing kitchen, but taking the plunge and creating an open-plan space has made all the difference. We've got everything we will possibly need in the future.' Don't be scared of a huge project if it ultimately offers you everything you need. It's harder to change things later, and getting all the building trauma over in one go is a bonus.