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How to plan and design a kitchen extension

Today’s kitchens are multifunctional, open plan and versatile enough to meet the needs of every homeowner. Here’s how to plan and design yours

Your dream kitchen extension is closer than you think. From deciding on a build and pinning down a design to drawing up a budget and working out a schedule, we’ve got everything you need to get started.

Ask yourself what you want from your extension

a kitchen extension with outdoor dining space by Granit Architecture + Interiors

Image: Granit Architecture + Interiors 

You will obviously want your extension to include a kitchen, but what about a dining area, living space, room for a desk or storage and access to the garden? Deciding on issues like these will help define your kitchen extension design.

What do you want your extension to look like? Would a single or double height extension, lean-to, side return or rear addition suit the look best?

Work out a schedule

modern kitchen extension ideas terrace house grand designs

Once you have a basic idea of the size and type of kitchen extension you want, you can start to consider timings.

As well as working out how long the construction will take, factor in time for securing any planning applications and party wall agreements. Make allowances, too, for finding an architect and builder.

Draw up a budget

a modern kitchen basement extension with bi-fold doors

The average spend on a kitchen extension is around £25,000 or £1,050-£1,450 a square metre for a basic extension and £1,450-£1,850 for a high-end extension. Costs for basement conversions will be more if they need tanking, a drainage pump or underpinning.

Be aware that reworking an extension is not always cheaper than starting from scratch so get the advice of an expert.

Decide on your layout

a modern blue kitchen extension design

Decide where you want to eat, cook and relax and what view you would like to have while doing each of them. Zone your space so every area has a clear function and there is an easy flow between them. Use design features to mark a change in function, such as different flooring, freestanding shelves or peninsulas.

An open plan kitchen is always on show so ensure messy areas aren’t directly in the line of sight and factor in storage for everything – not just kitchen equipment.

Consider lighting

a wide, modern kitchen extension with grey decor and lighting

A large open space may have darker areas towards the back of the extension so think about incorporating roof lights or a roof lantern. Supplement daylight with electric mood lighting, including undercounter spots.

Large windows may reduce the amount of wall space for storage so factor in islands and tall cupboards or consider a larder or utility room.

Design with the rest of your home in mind too

kitchen extension living room area ideas conversion

Create a sense of cohesion between your new kitchen extension and the rest of your home by choosing kitchen materials and colours carefully.

Wood veneers and muted tones are ideal in an open plan room. The same flooring, lighting and paint will unify a scheme.

Find lots more kitchen extension inspiration at Grand Designs Live where experts will be on hand to give advice and help with any questions. 

Words: Rachel Ogden, from original article on Grand Designs Magazine

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