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Tips & Advice For

In traditional, period terrace houses the kitchen is usually at the back of the property, facing the back garden, with a side return. In recent times it has become the fashion to extend these types of houses out to the side and rear, thus creating a large open-plan room. This creates a wonderful light-filled space, often with large full-width bi-fold back doors which open the house up to the garden.

The first question to consider is how you will use this new open plan space. Think about what else you want to use the new room for. How will this open-plan room affect the use of other rooms on the ground floor of the property? Do you want more kitchen storage or more worktop space? More room for appliances and gadgets? Or simply more living space and floor area? Do you want to incorporate a dining table into the room, or just casual seating around an island? Would you like space to fit in large sofas, a children's play area, or built-in furniture to house a TV and media area?

The next question to consider is where the kitchen should go in the new open-plan space. To help decide where to place the working part of the kitchen, look at the flow into the room from the main house. In period-style properties the kitchen is often through a door at the end of the hall. With a new, larger room this is sometimes not where the kitchen should remain, as it means you will be walking through the kitchen work area to get to the garden. It may be worth flipping it to the other side of the new room.

A key part of this process is to select your kitchen supplier early in the project. Get the kitchen design completed prior to any building work starting so you can go through several options on the layout and make sure everything is exactly as you want it. That way you know the final design before the builder starts and this will allow them to quote more accurately. You can also make sure things like your services are planned to be in exactly the correct areas, that natural light is coming in to the most useful areas, that underfloor heating is zoned properly, ceiling lights are in the right places, pendant lights over the island area are correct and so on.

If you choose open-plan living you may wish to consider creating a separate utility or laundry room. This will provide somewhere to leave drying clothes so you won’t have to be looking at them whilst you are relaxing. A separate utility room also stops any cooking smells getting into clean laundry, and any noise from the washing machine will be less noticeable. If you have the space, create areas to store the ironing board, bucket, mop and vacuum cleaner so they are not cluttering your living area but are still close to hand.

But what if you want more space but don't want an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room? Perhaps you still want to feel connected to the rest of your family and guests as they congregate in the dining room, but you don't want them to see the mess on the worktops in the kitchen? One solution you might consider is to create an internal kitchen and bring back the hatch or a pierced wall (like the kitchen on the right). This will allow you to still feel connected to the rest of your family or guests while you’re in the kitchen. The aperture can be as big or small as you like, and gives you the option of closing it off with doors that match the kitchen or a tambour roller to stop people seeing any mess.

Our experienced designers are on hand to advise you about your project. Call 0800 389 6938 to speak to a designer in your local showroom, or click here to request a complimentary design consultation.

  • Top Tips
  • Consider 'quiet' appliances so you're not disturbed by humming
  • Map out the light fixtures before building and take into account natural light
  • Build a hatch feature is your room is too small

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