Room Tour: A Unique Extension Gives a 1930s House a Playful Feel
A ‘hidden’ kitchen, natural colours and clever skylights have given this space an elegant and airy mood
The duo decided to lose the outbuilding and extend the house instead. They both have hectic jobs, so they wanted the new addition to be a fun space where they could relax, but that was also functional for family life. Seeing the work of Studio Jayga Architects on Houzz, they got in touch with founder Abul Mahdi. His clever design gave them the best of both worlds.
Who lives here? A young family with two children
Location Loughton, Essex
Property A four-bed 1930s semi-detached house
Dimensions Extension containing the kitchen-diner, 34 sq m; living area, 30 sq m
Architect Abul Mahdi of Studio Jayga Architects
Photos by Marcus Peel
In common with many of us, the owners of this 1930s semi wanted “an open-plan space for modern-day living”, but they also asked for “something special”.
Mahdi’s design has given them just that – an elegant kitchen-diner and living room with glazing onto the garden beyond. “As you walk in, you have a direct view into the garden,” Mahdi says. “The kitchen is there, but it’s not imposing; it sits there gently.”
The island isn’t a big block impeding the view, either, and Mahdi deliberately positioned it so it sits between the two doors to make the most of the glazing. Even the pendant light is minimal from this angle.
“It was important to me to design a space where the kids can easily run out into the garden,” Mahdi says. “Now there’s a visual and physical connection to the outdoors.”
The couple initially wanted the kitchen to be totally hidden behind cupboard doors, but Mahdi steered them away from this because of the practicalities – namely, how much of the limited space it would take to accommodate pocket doors on each cupboard. “In a hidden kitchen, each cupboard needs a pocket either side to slide the door into, so that takes up a lot more space,” he says. “This is a family of four, so the kitchen needed to be practical, not just look good. We assessed how many cupboards they’d actually need.”
There’s a freezer and fridge to the left, pull-out bins and a dishwasher in the base cabinets, and larder-style units to the right. Mahdi has even made use of the space above the steps with a modified cupboard. “As we had a small space for the cabinets, we wanted to maximise it, so it’s just a slightly shorter cupboard,” he says.
Island light, KES Lighting.
There’s a utility room off the hallway that accommodates the washing machine, tumble dryer and boiler.
Take a look at the work of architects in your area and read reviews from previous clients.
Mahdi and the owners spent time looking at different colour options for the units and settled on green and cream to complement the garden. The couple were keen on having terrazzo worktops, and this design adds a little pattern and nicely ties the cream and green together.
Kitchen, designed by Studio Jayga Architects and built and installed by Sheraton Interiors. Terrazzo worktops and splashback, Diespeker. Sink, sinks-taps.com. Tap, Lusso. Island and small units painted in a match to Speckled Eggs; wall units painted in a match to Herbes de Provence, both Valspar.
As with the rest of the kitchen, however, the island is designed to not dominate and is fitted with a neat induction hob, plus a downdraft extractor and a socket block that can both pop up when necessary, but that sit flush with the worktop the rest of the time.
Downdraft extractor, Elica. Arched doors, Artsteel.
You might also enjoy 23 Ideas for Green Kitchens.
The tiles in this area are limestone, warmed by underfloor heating. The chevron parquet, which covers the living area and nods to the heritage of the house, isn’t under-heated, but the team fitted additional insulation beneath the floor to make it more energy-efficient.
Goldsborough Cabochon limestone floor tiles, Natural Stone Online. Chevron wood flooring, Luxury Flooring.
The wall panelling is a nod to the 1930s heritage and adds interest to the plain wall. “The owners wanted a modern-traditional blend and the moulding was about trying to tie the kitchen to the existing house,” Mahdi says.
The couple already owned the dining table, but they added these white chairs, which chime with the light and airy feel of the room.
Dining chairs, Kartell.
A run of cupboards beneath the TV is perfect for hiding the children’s toys.
Media unit, Ikea.
Wall lights, Pooky. Living room light fitting, lights&lamps. Light switches, Dowsing & Reynolds. Mirror, La Redoute.
The family are planning to do the garden when they have more funds. In the meantime, they love their new extension and, because of the window formation, have affectionately nicknamed the house ‘nnu’.
What do you like about this imaginative extension? Share your thoughts in the Comments.