Enjoy this grey Shaker kitchen makeover, centred around a must-have dining table

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  • This tiny kitchen was extended by 4ft to make room for a dining table for the owner's three grown-up sons

    ‘My previous home had a large kitchen-diner and I wanted to recreate that family space here,’ says the owner of her three-bedroom home in Cardiff. ‘But the existing kitchen was too small and in need of a lot of work. The Fifties units were falling apart and the polystyrene-tiled ceiling was starting to collapse.’

    Planning a makeover? See more kitchen ideas.

    So she decided to get a builder to knock down the old conservatory to make room for a modern extension. ‘Luckily, I didn’t need planning permission, because I didn’t build beyond the original footprint of the house,’ she says. ‘It 
was fairly straightforward.

    ‘Having said that, I’d always advise people to plan as much 
as you can yourself before hiring anybody else 
to start the work. Also, be prepared for everything to take longer than you think!’


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    The owner wanted to keep the space feeling open and uncluttered, so chose timeless Shaker cabinetry from Chalkhouse Interiors. ‘By demolishing the old conservatory to make room for a kitchen extension, 
I was able to fit in a large table,’ says Maria. ‘I used muted colours to give the space a clutter-free look.’

    Buy now: Similar 8′ x 3′ farmhouse table, £495, Pine Farmhouse Table


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    ‘Including an island was always top of my wish list and I love that I can look out at the garden while I’m preparing food,’ says the owner.

    Distressed timber flooring makes the new extension look like it’s always been part of the building, while beyond list an alcove larder. ‘I like the traditional pantry feel that a larder brings to the kitchen,’ says the owner.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Kensington engineered wood flooring in Natural Oak, £48.74 per sq m, Posh Flooring
    Buy now: Curtains made from Padstow Natural Sheer, £49.50 per m, Ian Mankin


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    During the renovation, the builders discovered a fireplace that the owner I whitewashed to turn it into a great feature.

    ‘Apart from the cabinets, my biggest spend was the Silestone worktops,’ says Maria. ‘But I have no regrets as they complement the simplicity of the kitchen perfectly and reflect the light.’ Draining grooves keep the island free of the clutter of a dish rack.


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    Maria avoided fitting lots of wall cabinets to keep the space feeling uncluttered, adding just this one to display all her glassware and pretty mugs.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Cabinetry painted in Farrow & Ball Cornforth White estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5ltrs, Homebase


    Image credit: David Parmiter


    ‘It was important to me to have a kitchen that wouldn’t date quickly and that I could update by simply changing the colour, so I opted for a hand-painted finish,’ says the owner.

    She also picked a slim glass upstand. 
‘Tiles would have looked too fussy,’ she adds.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar AEG HG755551SY Gas Hob, Stainless Steel, £359, John Lewis


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    Enjoy another makeover: Before and after – a huge extension houses a kitchen made for entertaining

    All together the project took 
six months to complete and 
the design and installation 
cost £2,700. ‘It’s exactly what 
I wanted – an inviting place 
to spend time with my family.’

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