Before and after: from separate rooms to huge open-plan kitchen/living area

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  • Tired of being split between separate rooms, the owners sacrificed half their living room and a conservatory to build this multipurpose space that's big enough for everyone

    When the owners moved here 12 years ago, they extended to create a new kitchen-diner and put in new units. But all these years later it no longer worked for them. ‘Our sons had grown up and we needed a space where we could all be together,’ they say. ‘The kitchen lacked storage, too.’

    The couple thought about moving, but they liked their house so they consulted an architect instead. They also thought about the way they used the rest of the rooms on the ground floor. ‘Our living room was long and thin,’ they say, ‘and the far end didn’t get used much, while the conservatory was just a dumping ground.’

    Sacrificing these separate areas and incorporating them into a new larger room seemed like the best use of space. They also decided to add an extension to make the room even bigger. Hoping for something a bit special, the pair came up with idea of an Art Deco-inspired central curve. ‘The new extension looks spectacular from the garden,’ say the owners. ‘We love looking back at it and thinking how well it fits in, like it’s always been there.’

    Now that all the building work is complete, the room is a huge space that incorporates kitchen, dining and living zones all in one. ‘Although it’s large, it’s been carefully planned so the kitchen is at one end and there’s lots of seating options,’ say the owners.

    The curve of the extension gave the owners space for a generously sized dining area. The table is a genius design that doubles as a snooker table. ‘The top just lifts off,’ say the owners. ‘It’s very popular with the boys.’

    Having a proper seating area in the kitchen-diner means there’s plenty of room for all the family to chill out together. Zesty greens are used throughout the room to tie each zone together.

    At the other end of the open-plan space is a cosy reading corner, which is separated by a white shelf unit to keep it slightly removed from the hubbub. A folding door here opens out into the garden, making the room feel even bigger on warm days.

    The new space has been planned to perfection and easy garden access is also possible from the sleek white kitchen – ideal when entertaining outside.

    Putting the hob on the island means that the owners can look out into the room while cooking. ‘It’s much more sociable than having our backs to people,’ they say. Another neat trick is the extractor, which rises up out of the worktop when in use, but remains hidden the rest of the time.

    Built-in elements make this corner function with ease, from the coffee maker to the larder. Storage is definitely no longer a problem for the owners. ‘The larder holds all our dry goods and lets us see them at a glance,’ they say.

    The build took six months and it was a big project, but the owners now have the home they wanted, without having had to move. ‘It was the best thing we did,’ they say. ‘Our new living space is the perfect place to spend time together as a family.’

    Get the look

    Buy now: Masterclass Light Italia Gloss and Washed Stone units, £8,940, Teddys Kitchens & Bathrooms

    Buy now: Bespoke Snow White Krion worktop, £5,555, Porcelanosa

    Buy now: Siemens induction hob, £1,077, Appliance World

    Buy now: Regal Grey matt floor tiles, £44.94 per sq m, Topps Tiles

    Buy now: similar downdraft (rise-up) extractor, CDA

    Buy now: Siemens built-in coffee maker, £2011.93, Alza

    Buy now: Bespoke snooker/dining table, £3,000, Birmingham Billiards

    Buy now: Marcus dining chairs, £79.99 each, Atlantic Shopping

    Buy now: Fitz cocktail chairs, from £349 each, Swoon Editions

    Buy now: Rug, £37.95, Rug Superstore at eBay

    This open-plan kitchen/living room originally appeared in Ideal Home, May 2017.

    Image credits: Colin Poole

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