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Residential Project: Planning & Designing an extension for family living

This glamorous extension and renovation has created a large, open, social space that’s perfectly suited to family life.

  • Whilst the kitchen and living room haven’t moved, they have transformed and both now open to a fabulous living space that stretches the full width of the property at the rear. It provides the perfect spot for a comfy sofa and dining room table and chairs whilst expansive, full-height bi-fold doors help connect the interior and garden.
  • Maximising the view of the garden in this way gives the impression it’s one big space. This is also helped by the addition of two large rooflights that ensure the extra space has plenty of natural light. Positioned symmetrically in the flat roof, they mirror both the two sets of bi-fold doors and the two corresponding internal kitchen and living room. The result is stunning. Wherever you are, there is a view, space and light.
  • Whilst the extension is essentially one large open plan space and shares a continuous scheme for the decor, its success is the result of its sequence of clearly defined zones and the flow between them.
  • Originally, the living room connected with the dining room at the front, rather than the kitchen next to it at the rear of the property. Now, the former dining room has been separated with a new partition wall creating a further snug/TV room at the front of the house that is accessed from the hallway. The living room at the rear is now a cocooning internal space, complete with generous sofa, large TV and a sleek wall-mounted multi-fuel burner.
  • In the newly extended space a further sofa provides another lovely place to sit and is surrounded by the owner’s photography and statement tripod light. Painting the wall behind a dark, complementary grey ensures the texture and colour of the arrangement really stands out.
  • In the centre, a contemporary white console table provides valuable storage whilst the open bookcase in a warm oak finish contrasts and creates an area of interest between the bi-fold doors.
  • The owners opted for a handle-less kitchen design for its simplicity and minimalist look so that it doesn’t shout ‘kitchen’. A long run of units and a generous central island provide lots of storage and house clever features such as pop-up sockets and a boiling water tap to eliminate the need for a kettle. But the extension goes one better with a large walk-in cupboard that has been built into the space between the kitchen and the living room.
  • A utility room has also been incorporated at the rear of the kitchen. This has retained the property’s original door out to the garden on the side of the house - just the spot for the family dog to come and go when he has muddy paws.
  • Lighting is key to the success of any extension. In addition to maximising the amount of natural light within the space, artificial lighting can also be used to great effect. Alongside a striking floor-standing photographer’s tripod lamp, the owners opted for a Rako wireless lighting system with discreet, recessed LED spotlights. Longevity and energy efficiency are two good reasons to choose LED, but this system also offers multiple lighting modes to create different light levels and effect according to how you’re using the room and to highlight certain features. The lighting can be changed by a neat wireless control.
  • Finally, flooring can also bring the whole design scheme together. Here, grey, limed oak Karndean flooring runs throughout the kitchen and extension and offers a tough, practical finish which can be easily cleaned and maintained whilst also looking stylish.

November 2017

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 Unit 5, The Birch Estate, Birch Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6PH

 01323 729025

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