Elizabeth and Simon came to Pride Road in order to brighten, expand and modernise their kitchen. Their 3 bedroom semi-detached house was dark and needed 2 separate downstairs entertaining spaces- one for children and another for adults.
I’ll outline the features of the project that Elizabeth and Simon are pleased with, along with some problems and solutions, recommendations, and cost information.
Features they’re pleased with
- While the kitchen is massive, the work triangle (the distance between the sink, hob and fridge) is really small, making the kitchen really easy to use.
- They’re happy the beam separating the lounge from the kitchen is relatively low down, as it creates the sense that it is its own space while remaining open plan.
- They adapted the original design such as keeping an original wall (to save on time and materials), and having 1 rather than 2 roof lanterns (so they have space for lights).
- Originally, the kitchen had a low flat ceiling with little light getting in, but now the window throws light into the room.
- They have a pole in the utility room for hanging laundry or guests’ coats.
- They now have spaces to work from home– Elizabeth works in the front room, which was the library/ music room originally, and Simon will be there as well, or in his son’s room.
- They remark that “It’s got versatility, so people could change it into something that would suit them, even if they didn’t like how we’d set it up.”
- The children’s lounge got slightly bigger.
- They now have the most downstairs space for any Semi-detached house on their street.
Problems, solutions and areas for improvement
- The previous owners, who extended the house, didn’t consider the impact of the extension on the existing space’s lack of light. Lisa was therefore worried that the lounge would be claustrophobic, but the roof lanterns and large doors meant this didn’t come to light!
- While the roof lanterns and large doors made the space large, bright and tall (despite the ceiling being brought down), they did increase the temperature. However, closing the blinds helped, and Elizabeth is considering a roller blind mechanism, across the base of the roof lantern as a possible solution. This should reduce heat and light in summer, while retaining heat in winter.
- Challenges in the building space meant the kitchen had to go through numerous iterations. They changed their minds from an island kitchen to a peninsula, as while they could get round both sides of an island, based on Lisa’s experience, the gap was too small so made the space feel too cramped.
- Elizabeth thought the kitchen would be too big/ long, so they allocated an area for utilities like storage and the boiler.
- While measuring their foundations, Matt, their builder, noticed that they had less space than expected. His solution was, with the agreement of the neighbours, to dig the foundations under the shared fence.
- Matt was also friends with the man that assisted with their boiler, who was able to suspend the wires and tubing over the ceiling temporarily, so they had a functional kitchen the whole time so they could stay during the whole build. Matt created this small, sufficient, U-shaped kitchen by putting MDF boards along the original backline of the house.
- The kitchen was done by MLS kitchens in Oldham, and fitted by their builder.
- Lisa loves the luxury vinyl tile from Direct Wood Flooring.
- The Venetian plastering, which is “stunning” according to Lisa, was done by Venetian Plastering North West in Ashton Under-Lyne, where you can create your own design with so many choices and samples.
- The island top is a Dekton Entzo from Richards and Richards kitchens in Stockport. Simon really likes the colour and Lisa loves the handles.
- The windows are Fakro, which are very similar to veluxes, but superior as they have a better mechanism, and they self-close when it rains.
- On Lisa’s recommendation, Elizabeth went to Express Bi-Fold Doors, which was really useful as it crystalised the idea of having one lantern not two, since they have kitchens and spaces in their show room so they could see which configurations work.
- However, they went for sliding doors rather than Bi-Fold doors since the weight is at one end when you put them in, and they have more moving elements.
- Elizabeth was worried about keeping the garden appealing after the extension, but Lisa put her in touch with Nicola Philips, a landscape architect she works with. Lisa recommends keeping layers and depth. Covering foreground, middleground and background creates an illusion of depth.
Lisa estimated a cost of £88,000 for the project, and they all agree that they have been lucky to get their results for that amount. A lot of the reduced cost came from their builder being more reasonable than others. “Not going to the obvious places made a difference,” according to Elizabeth, such as getting the builder to measure for glass, rather than a glass company.