How to: expert advice for tackling tricky spaces in your kitchen redesign
Whatever the shape or size, here’s how to incorporate it into your cook-space transformation
James Bernard, director of Plus Rooms, a London-based design and build company which has completed
over 1,000 extensions, shares his expert tips
1. When it comes to making major changes to their home, I usually recommend homeowners ask themselves three questions
– How would the current space be impacted?
– How will the changes affect the character of the house?
– Will making this change cause further problems elsewhere?
2. Designing a new space is a holistic approach – and light is the key consideration. You need to be particularly careful not
to crowd your space; as you enter any area flow is the most important thing.
3. Most homeowners love to be able to look outside, so when you redesign your space try to place your living room and
dining areas where you can have the best possible views.
Windows and doors that allow the most natural light into your home are particularly key to this as they help create a
comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere in every room in the house. You should also aim to move the living elements
closer to a back space – typically towards the garden. This will help your space retain a smooth traffic flow and will
keep the garden view unobstructed.
4. If you’re dealing with a larger space, partitioning off parts of the room can allow it to become more squared off and
zoned for a particular purpose such as cooking, eating and relaxing. By doing so, you will also be able to design the
new space appropriately and use the darker central areas for more utilitarian purposes such as cloakrooms and utility
rooms. This particular project which we worked on, for example, originally featured a long narrow kitchen and a
separate dining room – each with its own entrance off the hallway, which meant neither rooms had a squared off footage.
As part of the redesigning works, we opened up the room and extended into the side so that there was a larger, staggered
space. This is when it is particularly important to keep the traffic flow in mind: our client wanted to add a utility and
toilet to their home so we divided up the large space to square off the ground floor and create a WC and utility in the
darker area of the ground floor. Our client could still access that new space from the hallway, and make the most of
the light in the living areas.
5. It’s important to try – whenever you can – to avoid dragging traffic across wide, open areas, and to aim to keep it
zoned. In this home for example, blocking access to the kitchen from the hallway would have been misguided as
residents would have had to walk through the living room.
For a successful redesign you ideally want the traffic flow to remain as natural and practical as possible, because
that is how your new space will work best in its own right.