After eight years, Arleta and Mike Cloud decided it was high time to enlarge their kitchen for a more practical layout.
With sons Max and Phillip having moved out to go to university and just 14 year-old Oscar still living at home, expanding the kitchen was by no means essential for Arleta and Mike. However, the couple were keen to establish a more ergonomic layout that would allow the family to move freely throughout the space.
Smooth Sailing Arleta took a practical approach when it came to the plans. ‘I would imagine myself taking something out of the oven and having a clear surprise to place it down on,’ she says, ‘so the kitchen island was one of my must-haves’. The couple brought in Plus Rooms (plusrooms.com) to handle the design and construction. The plans were soon given the green light under Permitted Development and works progressed without a hitch, too, thanks in large part to Plus Rooms’ organised approach. ‘The builders stuck to the schedule,’ says Arleta, ‘and it was finished bang on time’.
Mission Accomplished Despite adding just 12m2, flow in the kitchen-diner has dramatically improved. The extra space came in especially handy when Max and Phillip moved home again in March 2020. Arleta has no regrets about adding the kitchen island, either. ‘We can’t imagine the kitchen without it.’
What’s I’ve Learned ‘If you have your heart set on an idea, you shouldn’t give up on it. for me, that was the kitchen island. I may not be a professional designer, but I knew that was something I needed to incorporate.’
Charley’s clear vision and budgeting prowess has resulted in a family kitchen-diner that’s ripe for entertaining.
The couple of a good idea of the finish and style they wanted to achieve. Charley factored in lots of gold accents when choosing the colour scheme.
Sometimes you only know what you want when you see it, and that was exactly the case for Charley when she found a new family home for her husband, Adam, and their two young children. Although the house was a bit of a mismatch and looked like nothing had been done to it for a couple of decades, it had beautiful features such as stained glass, parquet flooring and fireplaces, all elements that helped seal the deal. Charley knew they’d build a beautiful new extension to replace a conservatory that was on its last legs – and now, with the project completed, she tells us how she did it.
COSTS & CONTACTS
Build Work £123,000
Design & Build Plus Rooms 0800 917 7127, plusrooms.com
‘The house needed a bit more TLC than we thought’, says Charley. ‘The windows were single glazed and the panes were cracked, so we needed to replace then, then other things cropped up that we didn’t think we’d have to do. The foundations needed to be deeper as the soil has a high water content and we’re on a hill. The floor was a beautiful mosaic, but was all cracked and needed to be replaced. We moved in December 2019 and started on the windows, then Covid happened and we had to stop with half the windows done. We got the building works completed between lockdowns one and two. We lived here during the build, but fortunately it was summer, so it wasn’t too cold.’
STEP TWO – Building Progress
‘We converted the original kitchen into a hallway and utility room, knocked down the old conservatory and built out and across. The former kitchen has a galley layout and a huge Aga, but we wanted something that was open plan and connected to the living area and playroom, and for us to be able to get out to the garden. We used a building firm that did a pre-planning package and knew what was allowed in terms of planning permissions. We had one pushback, which was that they wanted us to drop down the roof height once we reached the border of the neighbours. We wanted it to be as high as planning would allow so the room would feel more spacious and bring in lots of light.’
STEP THREE – Compromise is Key
‘We would have loved a deVOL kitchen, it is was out of budget. A friend recommended Naked and we found it to be a really good middle ground in terms of design and quality versus price. We did a lot of planning ourselves and really led the project, telling them we wanted a bank of units along the wall, an island and a dresser. We went against advice for the distance between the island and wall units and brought the island out further to make the kitchen more spacious. ‘We wanted a style in keeping with the period of the house and choose frameless Shakes doors that are a bit more modern – I’d say what we have now is a mix of the old and new’.
STEP FOUR – Personal Touches
‘Originally our architect designed the extension with a whole wall of glass at the end, but I wanted some sort of separation between the kitchen and the dining area, so we have two sets of doors with a little wall in between. I think it actually makes the space look bigger. ‘I ordered almost all the possible paint samples as I love colour, but we ended up choosing an emerald green I came across on social media – I really love it. We were originally looking at dark colours that would match the Crittall-style doors. I always wanted this style; it’s in keeping with the property and matches the stained glass windows which are leaded’.
STEP FIVE – Smart Buys
‘We had a budget to stick to but because we were thrifty, we didn’t have to scrimp of anything. I searched high and low to get the Buster & Punch-style handled that I loved. I found the ones we used via Blank Hardware, I’d definitely recommend asking for a discount on every single purchase you make you don’t always get one, but more people will be willing to give you something. ‘My other tip is to stay focused You can get really distracted with Pinterest and Instagram and can get decision fatigue when doing a big project. Stick to what you love and go with your gut’.
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