How to make your kitchen bigger: four ways to get more space

a modern rustic kitchen featuring a dark grey island with wooden cabinetry and three charcoal pendant lights above it, illustrating how to make your kitchen bigger

Space. Do we all want more space? Or do we need it? I could do with a bit more of it in my home, if I’m honest. Especially now as it’s functioning as so many more things than before. Home office, home gym, baking set-up to rival the Great British Bake Off. Do you need more space in your kitchen? Have you been thinking about how to make your kitchen bigger?

There are a few different ways I could show you how to make your kitchen bigger. From the ever-popular kitchen extension to knocking through. Alternatively, simply reconfiguring the layout you already have to better utilise it. You might be surprised at how much a better layout could change the usable space. This is the crucial ‘space’ we’re talking about really.

a very large kitchen featuring steel-framed glazing and pendant lights over a marble island, illustrating how to make your kitchen bigger
How to make your kitchen bigger: Mowlem & Co kitchen extension.

As with any renovation project, always begin with a good assessment. No, I’m not talking boring tests or tricky questionnaires, but assessing the why, how and what of how to make your kitchen bigger.

Firstly, why do you want to make your kitchen bigger?

How can you make your kitchen bigger?

How do you use the kitchen throughout the day? Also, how many people use it?

What works in your current set-up and what doesn’t?

Lastly, what do you really want from your kitchen that it doesn’t offer now?

Of course, look around and assess the size, structure, layout and flow and really get to know the intricacies of your space and how you use it before anything else.

Then, decide which type of renovation will work best for your needs and space.

Here are some ways to make your kitchen bigger…

monochrome cabinetry and fittings in an island in front of bifold doors, with a bunch of pink roses in a vase and a yellow electric mixer on top of the island
How to make your kitchen bigger: A wraparound single-storey extension transformed the ground floor of this family home in London. The new open-plan kitchen-diner has clean lines, a linear layout, and monochrome fittings plus easy access to the rear garden. Projects by Simply Extend start from £62,400. Discover more modern kitchen extensions.

1. Build a kitchen extension

Realised that your kitchen is a bit too small for what you need or decided you’re ready to go open plan (or broken plan)? Then planning a kitchen extension may just be your solution to getting those vital extra square metres and maximising your plot. In addition, it’s a chance to rework your interior layout.

The first thing to consider when planning a kitchen extension is how you’ll spend your time in it. Think about what’s possible for the space and how you can use it most efficiently.

Then think about the style of extension that would work – a single-storey rear extension or a side-return extension, for example.

forest green kitchen units and black appliances in front of a white island with grey wooden bar stools, illustrating how to make your kitchen bigger
How to make your kitchen bigger: This kitchen was enlarged with the addition of a side-return extension which created space for a dining area and an island. Kitchen cabinetry, Davonport; worktop, Silestone; ceiling lights, Mr Resistor.  Photography: Darren Chung. See more side-return extension projects.

The good news is that many modest kitchen extensions fall within permitted development. This is where you’re able to build without the need for formal planning permission up to a certain size depending on your property type and whether it’s been remodelled before. Although it’s a good idea to seek Prior Approval for peace of mind.

Check out guidelines online: planningportal.co.uk lists all you need to know for England and Wales. For Scotland, head to eplanning.scot.

Read the ultimate guide to planning a kitchen extension here.

2. Knock through to go open-plan

Firstly, and most importantly: don’t just get the sledgehammer out! I know it’s so tempting. But you really need to seek advice before embarking on a knock through project. However, on a more positive note, a knock through is an excellent way of gaining more space without the need to extend.

As many historic properties were built with lots of small rooms, one of the ways to gain more space is to remove internal walls – perfect for a kitchen-diner.

an open plan design featuring cream cabinetry with traditional brass handles, a red splashback, a red kitchen mixer and black appliances above a wooden floor
How to make your kitchen bigger: If you plan on removing a load-bearing wall, you’ll have to install a support to take its weight. For example, a pillar like in this kitchen or with additional joists in the ceiling. This kitchen is by Simon Taylor Furniture, from £35,000.

By knocking through and reconfiguring certain rooms, you can gain floor area without having to change the entire footprint of your home. This will allow much-needed light into the larger kitchen, which will be designed with zoned areas for preparation, cooking, storage and socialising.

However, before you get the hammer out, there are things you should know. Removing a load bearing internal wall, or forming an opening in an internal wall, means building regulations will apply. Always employ a structural engineer or surveyor to determine if the wall is load bearing. This means it is supporting other parts of the property’s structure, such as the roof. They can then design a beam to cater for these loads if you wish to remove it.

3. Improve your existing kitchen layout

Ok, this one isn’t necessarily making your kitchen bigger in terms of overall footprint, but it will – if done well – make your kitchen FEEL bigger because the space will be better designed for you.

Your kitchen’s ergonomics (the way it flows) are vital for a stress-free cooking experience. Equally, if your worktops are cluttered with appliances and ingredients, you’ll have less space for food preparation and serving.

So, by looking at your current arrangement, you can find some clever tricks and solutions. These will help make the most of your room.

a light and airy kitchen extension featuring anthracite cabinetry under a white kitchen island, accessorised with a large bunch of sunflowers and various foodstuffs, illustrating how to make your kitchen bigger
How to make your kitchen bigger: This kitchen was originally poorly laid out and connected to an unused conservatory. To create more functional space, they went for a kitchen reconfiguration. They gutted the existing scheme and built a more permanent structure. Photography: Clive Doyle.

This could be something simple, such as ensuring your cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling, or including pull-our larder systems, or swapping overwhelming wall units for open shelving.

Alternatively, why not think about going bespoke instead of buying off-the-shelf carcasses? They can really make the most from tight spaces in a way that complements your room and lifestyle.

Read more about gaining space with a kitchen reconfiguration.

4. Steal some space from elsewhere

If you want to gain more space, consider reducing the sizes of your corridors. That is, without making them uncomfortably small and narrow, of course.

You could take some floor area from a boiler cupboard (obviously relocating the boiler). Or convert a conservatory into a more practical area.

Read Georgina’s guide on how to get more space from stealing some from other rooms. This could be the key to unlocking your perfect kitchen layout.

a two-level space with an illuminated stairway up to the second level, featuring blue sofas, several bookshelves and a white island with black bar stools around it
How to make your kitchen bigger: Unnecessarily large hallways or landings and mezzanines can be great places to borrow floor area from. In this project by Granit Architecture + Interiors, they reconfigured the layout and location of the stairs. They also took space from the existing first-floor mezzanine, meaning the team could create a large master suite with ensuite and dressing room. A similar project would cost £220,000.

Lastly: don’t want to extend? Listen to How To Buy A Kitchen Or Bathroom: Get a bigger kitchen WITHOUT extending for some clever ideas on boosting space without the big structural upheaval…

Featured image: The owners of this property built an extension with a pitched roof and steel-framed glazing. Kitchen design, Roundhouse. Architect, 50degrees North Architects.

So, did you enjoy this feature? Then you’ll love this inspo gallery of extensions.

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