Kitchen Tour: A Clever New Layout That Maximised Existing Space
Removing walls and rejigging rooms gave the owners of this house a light, liveable, spacious home
With their children no longer at home, the owners decided it was time to make more of the space they had, so they searched for pros in their local area on Houzz and found designer Mia Spencer of House by Mia. She made the home feel bigger and brighter by cleverly reworking the layout and taking some inspiration from the masters of simplicity.
Who lives here? A professional couple whose children have left home
Location Bromley, south-east London
Property A 1980s detached house with three bedrooms
Dimensions Kitchen, 5m x 3m; dining area, 4m x 4m
Designer Mia Spencer of House by Mia
Photos by Nina Syruckova
The owners’ brief was simple: they wanted a light, open kitchen-diner that was connected to both the living room and the conservatory. They were also keen to have more storage.
Mia’s solution was to open up the space and install a clean-lined kitchen. “Everything was feeling very dark,” she says. “The ceilings are quite low, there aren’t really any architectural features we could make the most of, so it felt like modern was the way to go. The places to be inspired for that are Japan and the Nordic countries – they’ve done this clean-lined stuff for so long, they really are the masters of it.”
“The dining table was in the conservatory, so the space behind the kitchen had become almost a hallway – it was just a through room,” Mia says. “It’s not an enormous house, so to lose the use of a 4m sq space was a real shame.”
“The garage had ended up as a bit of a dumping ground; it had tired exercise equipment and the kids’ old stuff in there,” Mia says. “So we took 1.9m x 3m, and fitted in a washing machine, a tumble dryer and a cupboard – plus a hanging rail so clothes can be hung up straight away – then a second fridge-freezer and more storage on the other side.”
Kitchen, Howdens; painted in Cashmere. Walls painted in Rubine Ashes, Little Greene.
They chose a pale grey tile-effect design. “The darker flooring wouldn’t have worked in the kitchen, so we did a tile version of the LVT that complements the worktops.” Mia says.
The work surface is engineered stone. “It has the warmth of concrete with the practicality of quartz,” she says. To avoid interrupting the sightlines in the new space, Mia chose a hob with an integrated extractor.
Worktop, CRL Quartz.
Tempted to revamp your kitchen? Find local kitchen designers and read reviews of their work on Houzz.
The dining table has been moved into the once-wasted space next to the kitchen. “The owners’ table didn’t fit, so we found this oval one that you can walk around. Because it’s a through space [as well as a dining one], it needed to function in both ways,” Mia says. “We did quite a lot of mapping out of the size of the table to work out whether there was going to be enough space to walk around it comfortably.”
Moving the table has freed up the conservatory. “There’s a really nice connection to the garden in there, so that’s become a coffee and chat space, or somewhere the owners can sit and read,” Mia says. “Now, all the spaces are being used.”
Jenson dining table, Made. Chairs, Cult Furniture.
The pendant and wall lights chime with the gold touches in the art and accessories while keeping to the simple theme.
IC lights, Flos.
But the great relationship between the designer and the homeowners meant problems were smoothly resolved. “It’s an emotional connection with a designer,” Mia says. “You have to pick someone you like, because you need to be quite honest with them. You spend a lot of time in one another’s company.”
What do you think of this light, opened-up kitchen-diner? Share your thoughts in the Comments.