‘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!'
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.’
'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.
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.
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.
‘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
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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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Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years.
She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.
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