While there are quite a few ways to make the most of a small kitchen, building a kitchen extension is a fantastic way of adding space, function and aesthetics. There are several ideas for kitchen extension which can easily transform a cramped kitchen into an inviting cooking sanctuary. It can not only become an ideal spot for preparing delectable meals, but your extended kitchen can emerge as a space for family and friends to get together and enjoy happy moments. Undertaking an extension can enable you to integrate the kitchen with living or dining spaces, or even with the garden or backyard. This way, you can infuse your home with openness and bring nature inside for a fresh, lively feel.
Extending a kitchen is no small task. It requires careful planning, consideration, intelligent designing and accurate implementation. You will need to consult an architect, engineer or builder for the process. At times, friends and family members who have the relevant experience can help you out too.
Before consulting a professional, think carefully about how you want your new kitchen to look and put together a list of considerations and wishes. Before submitting the plans and coming up with a design, you need to reflect on all the essentials carefully, as mistakes can be expensive and the simplest and cheapest design is often not the most ideal. So let’s find out how you can go about designing your kitchen extension without a hitch.
The first step towards planning a kitchen extension is to check out the original plans of the house. Check the thickness of the walls that surround the kitchen. A kitchen extension is a major investment, so plan what will be the design of the new space. Also analyze the use of the kitchen extension.The designing will be easier once you know for sure what your requirements are.
Planning should be done by taking into account what you will need now, and what might be required in future based on the changing dynamics of your family in the next five to ten years.
The best way to begin is by tracing a sketch over the original plans. Using that traced out plan, draw as many layout options as possible. While drawing the layout, always think about what the family needs from the kitchen and what may be required to entertain friends. Take everyone’s preference into consideration.
After the bigger space is planned out, try and include an island into the new kitchen extension. You can also add features like multi-functional units; additional preparation space, a bigger sink, a top built-in oven, dishwasher, wine cabinet and spacious drawers. Spare a thought for casual dining with a set of bar stools, which are ideal for entertaining, as you can cook and chat with guests at the same time.
Getting the right design for the extended space is essential. When planning the layout of your extended kitchen, keep in mind the basics of which kitchen fittings are required—refrigerator, cooking stove, sink, etc., and then add extra structures around these items. As the kitchen is a multi-functional space, zoning the cooking and eating areas will be important. This can be done using kitchen fittings and storage ideas. It should be positively decided first whether appliances are to be exposed or built-in, whether storage would be in the form of cupboards or will they be situated in a separate pantry.
Based on your decisions, select kitchen fittings that comply with industry size standards, which is practical and useful. Plan the placement of the refrigerator, oven, sink, sliding drawers, cabinets, the style of the units, cupboard doors and drawer exterior, work counters, sink, and taps. Another important fitting is the kitchen lighting—something that can make a huge transformation to the overall environment of a kitchen. The amount of natural light will impact on how much and where the artificial light fittings are required. For instance, the location of the dining table or main work space can be chosen depending on where the most natural light is within the space. The electrics, plumbing, drains, gas connection, sockets and light switches for installing heating and cooling systems, are also important considerations.
The kitchen has historically been the most important room of a house, and it remains so today. Nowadays, homeowners and renters are seeking open spaces that provide a ‘hub’ where cooking and eating is a fun activity rather than a chore. The perfect solution is an open plan kitchen and dining area where the family can cook, eat and entertain with ease—preferably a large, light-filled space that opens out to a garden or terrace for indoor or outdoor living.
Sometimes, simply removing internal walls can open up a space without having to sacrifice a prized area of the garden. Adding folding or sliding glass doors leading onto the garden is a perfect way to bring the outside freshness inside the kitchen and ensure a flawless dining experience. Take a cue from this beautiful airy kitchen designed by LWK Kitchens.
For a kitchen extension, some walls would naturally have to be pulled down to create space. However, careful attention has to be paid to the structural walls, which need to stay where they are. Bringing down walls to create a kitchen extension is a good idea but keep in mind how getting rid of existing walls will affect the other rooms that share it.
If possible, a rear extension can greatly enhance a traditional kitchen and dining zone. Remember that when common walls or boundaries are being altered, it becomes your responsibility to inform the homeowners of the neighbouring properties and take their permission too.
Once the layout design is ready, share it with an expert. He or she can then adapt the design to precise drawings and convert them to a 3D model, displaying how the kitchen will actually look like. A 3D model will correctly show you the positions of all the appliances, tables, countertops, cabinets, refrigerator, sink, oven etc. The colour of the walls, textures and wood work can also be visualized along with added features. This will give you a greater understanding of how the new extended kitchen will look, before it’s actually built.
So get started with the designing of your kitchen extension with confidence, and then request the help of a professional for best results. Take a look at another ideabook for more inspiration - Designing a clutter free, open-plan kitchen.