Kitchen Tour: A Poor Extension is Brilliantly Reinvented
Creative thinking helped to beautifully slot a kitchen-diner and utility/cloakroom into a small existing space
Her aim was to create a light, bright, connected space while maximising functionality and keeping costs down. Read on to see her elegant solution.
Who lives here? A family with two young children
Location Walthamstow, north-east London
Property A small Victorian terraced house with three bedrooms (one in the loft conversion)
Kitchen-diner dimensions 24 sq m
Designer Gemma Fabbri of Studio Fabbri
Photos by Heather Hobhouse
It also felt tacked on. “The original design had kept the former external wall with its doorway and small window, so that meant the kitchen didn’t get any real daylight,” Gemma says.
“I did a number of plans and came up with opening the kitchen completely to the extension [including removing the cloakroom] and moving the wall that ran alongside the staircase [seen here] slightly further into the kitchen space,” Gemma says.
“This created a corridor so we could access under the stairs, where we fitted a utility/cloakroom, which houses the washing machine,” she says. “Although this made the kitchen slightly shorter, the fact we’d opened it up made for a far more flexible space.”
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The area between the hall door and the steel column at the start of the extension lends itself to a bank of units, which slot neatly into the recess. “It gives the family a nice run, including a fridge-freezer, a larder and a microwave,” Gemma says.
The units, which are from Ikea, are made from recycled wood and PET bottles. Due to their off-the-shelf nature, the fridge-freezer doors aren’t aligned with the other cabinets. “I said we could look at that, but the owners said they quite liked it,” Gemma explains.
She added smaller cupboards up high for occasional-use items. “The good thing with Ikea kitchens is you can get top boxes, so we could fill the space right to the ceiling,” she says.
Metod kitchen carcasses; Kungsbacka cabinet fronts in White, all Ikea. Oak-faced plywood units with brass pull handles, Plykea.
The Ikea base cabinet carcasses have been fitted with oak-faced ply fronts and brass handles. “The wood brings in a bit of warmth,” Gemma says. “We wanted to keep it simple, but I think if we’d gone completely white, it wouldn’t have felt homely.”
The couple already had the range cooker and wanted to keep it.
Gemma fitted an oversized pocket door between the kitchen and hall to give a bit more flow into the space. “The door slides neatly into the wall, so as you come through the front door, you have a clear view through to the garden,” she says. “Also, as the space is quite small, there wasn’t really room to swing a door either in or out.”
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Dandelion tiles in Ivory/Honey, Marrakech Design.
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Porcelain pendant lights in Brass, Tala.
The windows are a slide and pivot design, so the family can open one pane for ventilation or push them both to the side for a large opening. “It means they can sit inside and still feel connected to the outdoors,” Gemma says.
The back door has a very thin frame, so you get a lovely sightline when you walk in. “You don’t have a bulky frame in the way, you just see straight through to the little garden,” Gemma says. The couple already had the sofa and it fits perfectly in this spot by the door.
From this angle, you can see that, on the other side of the peninsula from the open shelving, there are good-sized drawers – including under-sink bins – and a dishwasher. The worktop is white quartz from a local supplier.
Back door, Velfac. Ultraslim Slide & Pivot doors made to fit as windows, Sunseeker.
The family are delighted with the results. “I think they were just amazed at the light, especially as the room doesn’t get sun all day long,” Gemma says. “It’s made a big difference to the feel and health of the house.”
Prime Engineered Oak Herringbone Sunny White Brushed UV Oiled flooring, Wood and Beyond.
What do you like best about this reworked extension? Share your thoughts in the Comments.