Before and after: A new layout makes this kitchen feel twice the size

Repositioned cabinets and a wall of glass have completely transformed a dark, dated kitchen

kitchen makeover before and after
(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

Though they didn't have a big budget, these owners wanted to refresh the kitchen of their five-bedroom detached Forties house, in Raynes Park, London. 'It had been extended by the previous owners,' they recall. 'It looked a bit like the inside of a sauna, with dark oak cabinets and flooring.'

Get your makeover off to a flying start with our kitchen ideas

'We have a large garden, but we couldn’t see it because the view was restricted from the two small windows. The layout didn’t work for us, either – the dining table was wedged in, so the room felt cramped.'

To tackle the project, the owners hired Design Squared architects, who suggested moving the units from the rear wall, which was then demolished and replaced with full-width sliding doors.

dinning area with white wall grey cabinets white counter and wooden chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

‘I was amazed how a new layout and colour scheme made the room feel twice the size,’ says the owner. ‘The units were solid oak and it didn’t make financial sense to rip them out, so we had them spray painted grey.’

dinning room with brown designed wall brown dinning table and white chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

‘We gave the dining area a modern look, complete with a hanging bubble chair, which the children love!’ says the owner.

The statement radiator provides warmth and 
wall art in one, while the different pendant designs from the same range work together beautifully.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Eero Aarnio bubble chair, £725, MoDecor (opens in new tab)
Buy now: Tom Dixon Beat pendant 
lights, from £325 each, Heal's (opens in new tab)

kitchen with silver refrigerator white counter and brown chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

'We were very 
frugal in some areas, but we splurged on key, visible items – such as the worktops and bar stools – 
to get a designer look.'

Get the look
Buy now: Elbow-style bar stools, from £211 
each, Swivel UK (opens in new tab)

kitchen flooring with herringbon and wood effect porcelaine pattern

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

The floor combines two trends in one –  the herringbone pattern, and wood-effect porcelain, which is much easier to maintain than the real thing.

Get the look
Buy now: Argento Elm porcelain, from £46.80 per sq, Mandarin Stone (opens in new tab)

kitchen appliances blue cabinet and microwave

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

'The key to our kitchen's success was having builders that could make identical units to those already there, to create a seamless look,' says the owner. 'They also adapted our old units to house our existing appliances.'

blue cabinets white counter and white book shelve and books

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

Building a bookcase on top of the wall units makes good use of an awkward space and provides the owner with storage for her cookbooks. Copper handles
 give the Shaker units a more modern, glam edge.

Get the look
Buy now: Soft handle – polished copper – Beslag design, from £8.39, All Handles & Pulls (opens in new tab)

dinning room with brown designed wall ceiling lamp brown dinning table and white counter

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

‘The log wallpaper makes 
a great feature and was 
very reasonably priced.’

Buy now: Similar Grandeco Wood Logs wallpaper, £9.10 a roll, Homebase (opens in new tab)

kitchen blue cabinets silver refrigerator white counter with brown chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

‘My biggest indulgence was the marble worktop, which has beautiful grey veins running through it. To contrast with the grey, 
I added copper sinks and 
a swan-neck tap.’

Another fab space: Before and after – a huge extension houses a kitchen made for entertaining

'The work took four months, but the new layout works perfectly for us as a family. It’s effortless for us to spend time together and I love how connected it is to the garden – the children run in and out while I’m preparing meals. I love the way the light pours in, too,' says the owner.

Thea Babington-Stitt is a Content Editor on 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.