5 clever kitchen extension ideas to inspire your project

Extension ideas

Planning to expand your home this year?KBB journo Charlotte Luxford has found these transformative extension projects to help you maximise your space…

There’s a lot to be said for improving rather than moving right now. But, let’s be honest, it’s a huge investment. A kitchen extension isn’t just about sticking a generic box onto the back of your house. More than ever before, these additions need to be cleverly planned. They have to be multi-functional, with optimal storage, to cater for a variety of different activities.

Architects are increasingly coming up with creative solutions to ensure our homes don’t just meet the space requirements. They need to be able to improve our wellbeing, enrich day-to-day living and also stand the test of time.

So, take a look at these inspiring kitchen extension ideas to see what’s possible with your space, no matter how big or small…

kitchen with green cupboards and wooden table
Kitchen: Sheraton Interiors. Photography: Marcus Peel.

Kitchen extension ideas

1. Inspired kitchen design

Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that can spark the imagination. In this case, the hallway’s Victorian tiled floor inspired the unique design of this side extension by architecture practice Mitchell + Corti. “The design of the roof trusses was drawn from the geometric pattern of the original entrance-hall tiles,” explains architect Ester Corti.

“We wanted to create a space with changing patterns of shadows throughout the day, and a feature that would offer natural light but less direct sunlight.” To maximise space, Ester designed a wall of floor-to-ceiling units to create as much storage as possible. She also allowed for open shelves and wall space. As a result, the open-plan room doesn’t feel too imposing.

extension with green cabinetry and island clad in green tiles
Side kitchen extension designed by Mitchell + Corti. Photography: Pierce Scourfield.

The kitchen was made by a local joiner and painted on-site. The island was clad in tiles to add texture and interest while also referencing the hall tiles. A window seat was incorporated to create an informal seating area in the kitchen, where the children can sit and read, or friends can perch with a glass of wine while the owners prepare meals and entertain.

2. Ahead of the curve

The ground floor of this 1930s semi-detached property in Loughton, Essex, was completely reconfigured to create a better connection with a lush, 300-foot garden. This originally sat nearly a metre below the ground floor and was accessed via a set of precarious narrow steps.

Studio Jayga Architects proposed the demolition of an existing outbuilding, which obscured the view to the outside and reduced natural daylight. The architects then opted for a split-level, open-plan space, with internal steps leading to the upper-level living area. This is zoned off via a slatted screen divider to provide privacy, while still being visually connected and to let in light.

kitchen space with wooden and green details looking out to a garden
Bespoke kitchen, from £30,000, Sheraton Interiors. Photography: Marcus Peel.

A pair of arched metal doors now lead out straight onto the garden, without any level changes. A unique curved window seat with up-and-over frameless glazing also provides unobstructed views of the garden and sky.

The bespoke kitchen, crafted by Sheraton Interiors, has a statement, fluted elliptical island at its centre, which echoes the soft curves of the arched doors and curved glass.

3. In the open

Oliver Leech Architects has transformed a Victorian house in Camberwell with a radical remodel and ground-floor side and rear extensions, using a simple palette of raw, natural materials.

The two-storey house was in poor condition, with little natural light and a tiny kitchen. The architects extended outwards and sidewards, adding width to the previously narrow kitchen, with pitched skylights overhead to bring in plenty of light into the dining space throughout the day.

The connection to the garden was key, so Oliver has designed a set of Douglas fir bi-fold doors across a low window, which can be opened up to provide flexible seating and storage both internally and externally. The bespoke kitchen, also designed by the architecture practice, continues the use of exposed raw materials, with a concrete countertop and sink to match the microcement floor.

The smooth, deep green units provide a contrast against the neutral backdrop.

space with wooden dining table, dark green cabinetry and exposed brickwork, looking out to a small garden
Bright kitchen extension designed by Oliver Leech Architects. Photography: Ståle Eriksen.

4. Green kitchen design

Interestingly, the layout of this kitchen extension centres almost exclusively around the family’s beloved dining table. The solid oak Oscar table, by Benchmark, posed a challenge for Norman-Prahm Architects. A slightly too-big table in a narrow space meant they had to be creative with the layout to make it work.

“The table is big for the house. In our initial design, we had it at the end of the plan near the garden. But it was a little tight,” says Tim Norman, co-founder of the architecture practice.

space with kitchen island in the middle, looking out to a garden
Kitchen: Plain English. Photography: Ståle Eriksen.

“The impulse and desire to sit there felt right, but the table resisted. Eventually, we found its natural home in the centre of the property, shifting the whole design around to create the sequence of spaces we have now. It solved the conundrum of what to do with the middle room of a terraced house, which is often in danger of becoming a bit of a no-man’s land.”

The table has now become the hub of the household. It features an upholstered banquette that gives the space a feeling of intimacy, while still being connected to the rest of the house. The kitchen, designed by Plain English, creates a sense of timelessness, while the exposed structural timber brings warmth and character.

area with black and wooden appliances and dining table
The solid oak table is now the hub of the household. Photography: Ståle Eriksen.

5. Catering to all occasions

Maximising space with a clever layout was the key to extending this family home in Wimbledon, London. “The owners wanted a kitchen with plenty of storage and an island for food preparation. So we decided to make use of the largest area of the open-plan space, which was in the main body of the original house, and also under the side extension,” explains Edward Ward, director of architecture practice Studio Werc.

“This allowed direct access between the utility, pantry and kitchen. At the same time, a row of full-height units and under-island cabinets helped to maximise the available storage.”

space with cream- and blue-coloured cabinetry and wooden stools
The owners opted for plenty of storage and an island for food preparation. Photography: Chris Snook.

The rear part of the extension houses the dining and informal living space, with a large picture window and a fully glazed roof flooding the dining space with natural light. The wraparound bench and table provide a flexible area the family can use at mealtimes, as well as a remote working spot and homework space for children. With large pull-out drawers, the bench doubles as storage for all the children’s books and toys.

The steel-framed French doors give access to a newly landscaped garden. They tie in with a bespoke, grid-like pattern of the media wall, where there are cabinets at a low level and shelving above for display purposes.

Colourful sitting area with beige armchairs and cabinetry, wooden tables and patterned rug
The steel-framed French doors look out to a newly landscaped garden. Photography: Chris Snook.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for split-level kitchen island ideas

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