Many linked detached houses built in the 1950’s suffer the problem of having a small kitchen that is not built for the modern family. Collectively, we’re spending more and more time in a kitchen that serves not only to cook, but to host social gatherings, conduct virtual work meetings, and be the heart of family life.
This is the problem that Jess and Joel with their two children had when they came to us back in August 2019. Their 1950’s linked detached house had a small, dark kitchen which was low on storage and felt disconnected to the rest of the house.
They came to us looking for a solution that would meet their needs as a busy family, that would provide ample storage for their children’s toys, with different areas suited for different moods, creating an inviting space not just to use, but to live in.
We walked Jess and Joel through our design workshop to look at their challenges in daily life, and start to design a space that would enrich their lives.
A challenging aspect of the design was to build this open family-oriented space at the rear of the house, whilst allowing flexibility in creating private spaces that would allow the children to have their own space as they grew up.
The result allowed a snug TV room (not shown) adjacent to the main living space, perfect for turning down the lights and watching movies on the weekend, or shutting the boys in when the football is on.
Rather than leaving this entire kitchen-dining-sitting room area open, the family can now enjoy a large communal living space for the busy evenings, in addition to a tranquil space for Friday night unwinding.
When we work with clients on design challenges, we are keen to challenge the customers’ perceptions on what they believe they want from their project. In this case, Jess was adamant that she wanted an island to form the centrepiece of her kitchen. We found that, actually, a peninsular kitchen suited the afforded space, and generated further storage under the larger kitchen top.
The total re-design of the kitchen-diner, sitting room, hallway, storage room, and garden has come in close to £100k for Jess and Joel, but there aren’t any areas that Jess would take back now that she is living in her new space, and she is delighted with the outcome.
Things that were important for Jess at the beginning of our journey – making sure there was space for her daughter’s mini kitchen – are now a necessity of the past.
That’s why on any family orientated project, it is important not to get caught in the requirements of the here-and-now as the plans are drawn up, but to design for a future proof living area that will serve the home for years to come.
I love my kitchen, it functions really well, the space as a whole - it works so much better now
Jess and Joel
It was small, not very much storage and dark - really dark
The house was badly laid out, there was no clear space for anybody and there was no breathing room - now it’s amazing!