Before and after: from awkward-shaped room to stylish and spacious kitchen-diner

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  • Knocking through the walls between two compact rooms and building a new extension has created a roomy open-plan kitchen that the owners absolutely love

    Makeover split Before and after: from awkward-shaped room to spacious kitchen-diner

    When the owners moved into their Victorian home in Surrey, the whole house needed renovating, so while they tackled the rest of the property, it made sense for them to update the kitchen at the same time. However, with two small, awkwardly shaped rooms, it wasn’t just cosmetic work that was needed. The downstairs layout simply wasn’t working for them, so the couple hired an architect (recommended by a neighbour) to help make some improvements.

    Extending was the solution, and after checking quotes and references, the owners found a builder to create a flat-roof extension, complete with a roof terrace and bifold doors. The existing kitchen and dining room were also knocked through to create one big space.

    When it came to the interior, the couple were weren’t fully in agreement. ‘My husband was keen to have very modern, handleless kitchen units, but I wanted a more classic look in keeping with the period of the house,’ says one of the owners. ‘Eventually I persuaded him!’

    After-kitchen IH March 17 p128 Kitchen Bailey

    The couple considered a dark teal colour at first, but then went for soft grey units from Wren Kitchens. Metro tiles give the classic Shaker cabinetry a modern edge. ‘I wasn’t sure about the white tiles at first, but my husband was,’ says the owner. ‘Now I think they contrast well with the grey units and create a fresh finish.’

    Metro-tiles IH March 17 p128 Kitchen Bailey

    Rather like the tiles, pure white quartz worktops provide a cool and crisp update to the traditional worktops.


    The couple were really keen to have a wine fridge, and this skinny version is so compact that it squeezes in perfectly between the cabinets.


    While the cooking area has a cool palette with its grey units and stainless-steel appliances, the dining area is warm and characterful thanks to a reclaimed dining table and leather chairs, not to mention the exposed-brick wall. ‘We love our feature wall,’ say the owners. ‘We think it pulls everything together really effectively.’


    Wood-look porcelain floor tiles were chosen for the floor and are virtually indistinguishable from real timber. They are super easy to clean, too. The tiles have been continued out onto the patio area. ‘When the bifold doors are open, the two spaces flow beautifully,’ the couple explain.


    The kitchen and dining areas are linked by a high breakfast bar. The owners chose stools with reclaimed-wood legs to fit with the salvaged-wood dining table and sideboard.


    The whole project was a lot of work, but the owners think it’s been more than worth it. ‘We spend so much time in here,’ they say. ‘It’s great for entertaining, family dinners and for our daughter to play in.’

    Get the look

    Buy now: Gullwing Shaker matt kitchen units, from £166 for a 600m base unit, Layla knobs, £16 for two, Heidi handles, £12 each, bespoke Aspen Ice worktops, £POA, and Foss 1.5 sink, £230, all Wren Kitchens

    Buy now: Fusion tap, from £1,150, Quooker

    Buy now: Metro wall tiles, £18.50 per sq m, and Tabula chocolate floor tiles, £39.89 per sq m, all Topps Tiles

    Buy now: similar dining table, £677, Sweetpea & Willow

    Buy now: similar ceiling light, £245, Garden Trading

    Buy now: similar dining chairs, £173 each, Lionhart Boutique

    Buy now: similar bar stools, £180 each, Heal’s

    This kitchen originally appeared in Ideal Home, March 2017

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