Kitchen Sink Design Ideas

The kitchen sink – far more than just a place to wash dishes, it’s the workhorse of your kitchen, the scene of countless culinary creations and messy prep sessions. When planning your kitchen design, every detail deserves attention, and the sink is no exception. Here at Plus Rooms, our decades of experience and bespoke design service ensure each new kitchen extension boasts a sink that perfectly complements personal style and optimises functionality. So, let’s look at kitchen sink ideas, designs and inspiration, exploring the exciting options available.

What are the Options for Kitchen Sinks?

Kitchen with a butler sink.

Gone are the days of every kitchen having the exact same sink. Today, kitchen sinks come in a variety of materials, sizes, and configurations to suit every taste and need. Here’s a breakdown of some popular options to consider:

  • Stainless Steel: A timeless classic, stainless steel offers unmatched durability, affordability, and ease of cleaning. It pairs well with any style and is a great choice for busy households. For a modern kitchen sink design, make it an undermounted sink, like in this Shenley Road kitchen design. This makes the overall aesthetic cleaner and more seamless.
  • Composite Sinks: Crafted from a blend of materials like granite and acrylic, composite sinks offer a luxurious, stone-like feel. They come in a wide range of colours, are resistant to scratches and stains, and dampen sound effectively.
  • Ceramic Sinks: Renowned for their elegant, farmhouse aesthetic, ceramic sinks (similar to bathroom sinks), butler sinks (a deep, wide traditional basin, designed to have the front exposed), and Belfast sinks (deeper traditional sinks) exude a timeless charm. They offer excellent heat resistance and come in a variety of colours, though they may require a bit more care to maintain their pristine look.
  • Copper Sinks: Bringing a touch of warmth and vintage character, copper sinks like the one in this Barry Road kitchen design develops a beautiful patina over time. They are naturally anti-bacterial and a great conversation starter, though they require regular maintenance to retain their shine.

What’s the Easiest Sink to Maintain?

For busy lifestyles, stainless steel reigns supreme as the most popular modern kitchen sink design in terms of low-maintenance upkeep. Its smooth surface resists stains and wipes clean easily. Composite sinks are another low-maintenance option, with their non-porous surface resisting dirt and grime.

Kitchen Island With Sink

Kitchen island with a sink.

A kitchen island is a coveted feature in modern kitchens, and incorporating a sink adds functionality and creates a sociable workspace. This is a perfect skin design for open plan living, allowing you to interact with guests while preparing meals. When considering a sink in your island, ensure there’s ample space for prep and cleaning around it.

Under Kitchen Sink Storage Ideas

The space beneath your sink can be a black hole for cleaning supplies and forgotten items. Combat clutter with smart storage solutions. Ditch the bottomless pit and replace it with pull-out drawers for easy access to cleaning supplies. Tiered shelves help categorise items, while organisers keep sponges, sprays, and trash bags neatly contained. This simple transformation will turn your under-sink area from a frustrating mess to an organised haven, ready to tackle any kitchen chore.

Double Bowl vs. Single Bowl 

The age-old question: single or double bowl? A double bowl sink offers the ultimate in functionality, allowing you to wash dishes in one basin while soaking pots and pans in the other. However, a single bowl sink provides a more streamlined look and is ideal for larger pots and pans. Consider your washing habits and kitchen layout when making this decision.

Circular Design

A circular sink adds a touch of whimsy and elegance to your kitchen. It’s a great conversation starter, particularly suited to farmhouse or traditional style kitchens. However, the circular design may limit workspace compared to a rectangular basin. It’s a great option as a compact prep sink on your kitchen island and can be combined with a larger sink for washing up by the dishwasher.

Keep it Compact

Undermount sinks with draining built into the countertop.

Unless you want your kitchen sink design to be a focal point, it’s best to go with a more compact option. In smaller kitchens, a compact sink frees up valuable counter space. This doesn’t mean sacrificing functionality – undermount sinks with draining built into the countertop create a seamless look and maximise available space.

Go Rustic with Copper

For a touch of rustic charm, a copper sink adds warmth and character. The natural patina that develops over time adds to its unique beauty. However, be prepared for the regular maintenance required to keep copper gleaming.

Bring in the Glamour with Brass and Gold

Brass and gold sinks exude a luxurious feel and add a touch of glamour to your kitchen. A metallic kitchen sink design pairs beautifully with dark countertops and white cabinetry for a sophisticated look. Just like copper, brass requires regular cleaning to maintain its shine, but there are metallic tinted options that are low maintenance if you’re not prepared for the real thing. Using gold or brass accents on faucets is also a great idea if you feel an entire sink is too bold.

Break Up Bold Colour with a Simple White Sink

White sink breaking up bold colours in kitchen design.

Bold coloured cabinets are a popular trend. To prevent a visually overwhelming space, a simple white sink creates a clean and balanced look. White ceramic or a composite sink in a light shade is a modern kitchen sink design that will complement the bold colours without detracting from them.

Add Texture with a Fluted Front

Kitchen sink with fluted front.

For a touch of visual interest, consider a sink with a fluted front. The vertical ridges add a subtle textural element that complements farmhouse or traditional kitchens. This design detail pairs well with other vintage-inspired features like exposed brick or antique lighting.

Place it in Front of the Window

Washing dishes is no one’s idea of a great time but doing it while gazing out at a beautiful view is completely different! Positioning your sink directly beneath a window not only brings natural light into your workspace but also creates a more pleasant chore experience. This is a particularly delightful option for those with scenic backyards or gardens. Terrace houses tend to limit this option but having a sink on your kitchen island with the dishwasher built in is a great alternative to get you that view.

Stainless Steel Sink – A Timeless Choice

Stainless steel sink mounted under the counter.

Though not the most exciting option, stainless steel remains a popular and practical choice for many reasons. Its durability, affordability, and ease of maintenance make it a great all-rounder. Modern stainless steel sinks come in a variety of finishes, from brushed to polished, and can be surface mounted or mounted under the counter, allowing you to match the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Plus Rooms: Your Partner in Kitchen Design

When it comes to designing your dream kitchen extension, don’t underestimate the importance of your sink. It’s more than just a functional element – it sets the tone for your space and reflects your personal style. At Plus Rooms, our experienced design team will help you navigate the vast array of options and create a kitchen that not only looks stunning but caters perfectly to your needs.

From undermount sinks that maximise space to farmhouse ceramic beauties that add a touch of rustic charm, we’ll ensure your sink seamlessly integrates with your overall kitchen design. We source top-quality materials and guarantee exceptional craftsmanship, ensuring your sink remains a beautiful and functional fixture for years to come.

Benefit from Plus Rooms’ decades of experience and turn your dream kitchen extension into a reality. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and explore the exciting possibilities for your new kitchen. We look forward to working with you and helping you create a space that reflects your unique style and brings joy to your home.

Kitchen Worktop Ideas

The kitchen worktop is the stage for culinary creations, the witness to countless meals shared with loved ones, and the anchor of your kitchen’s functionality. When planning your dream kitchen extension with Plus Rooms, every detail deserves meticulous consideration, and the worktop is no exception. Here at Plus Rooms, our design expertise and bespoke service guarantee a worktop that seamlessly blends with your style and optimises functionality for years to come. So, as you embark on designing your perfect kitchen extension, let’s look at the best kitchen worktops and explore a variety of inspiring ideas.

What are the Options for Kitchen Worktops?

Kitchen with marble worktops.

Gone are the days of limited choices. Today’s worktops come in a vast array of materials, colours, and textures to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a breakdown of some popular options to consider:

  • Granite: A timeless classic, granite offers unmatched durability, heat resistance, and a luxurious aesthetic. The natural variations in veining make each piece unique, creating a truly bespoke look.
  • Quartz: Renowned for its non-porous surface and stain resistance, quartz offers a wide range of colours and patterns to complement any style. It’s a low-maintenance option, making it ideal for busy households.
  • Solid Wood: Warm, inviting, and undeniably stylish, solid wood worktops add a touch of natural beauty to your kitchen. They require regular maintenance but develop a beautiful patina over time.
  • Concrete: A contemporary choice, concrete worktops offer a sleek, industrial aesthetic. They are highly durable and heat resistant but require special sealants for stain resistance.
  • Composite Stone: Crafted from a blend of crushed stone, resin, and pigments, composite stone offers a vast array of colours and patterns to complement any kitchen style. These non-porous, stain-resistant worktops are ideal for busy households as they resist chipping, cracking, and require minimal maintenance.
  • Marble Kitchen Worktops: Indulge in timeless elegance with a marble worktop. Renowned for its beautiful veining and natural variations, each marble top is unique. However, this soft stone is susceptible to scratches and etching from acidic liquids. Regular sealing is necessary to maintain its beauty and prevent staining.

What to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Worktop Design

Granite kitchen worktops.

With so many options available, choosing the right worktop can feel overwhelming. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Style: Match your worktop to your overall kitchen design. For a classic look, consider granite or wood. Modern kitchens might favour sleek quartz or concrete.
  • Durability: Think about how you’ll use your kitchen. If you cook frequently, opt for a durable material like granite or quartz. Laminate offers a good balance of affordability and practicality.
  • Maintenance: Solid wood and concrete require regular maintenance. Quartz and laminate are generally low maintenance.
  • Budget: Worktops can be a significant investment. Set a realistic budget and choose a material that fits comfortably within it.

Reuse and Revamp

Sustainability is a growing trend in kitchen design. Consider giving a new lease on life to reclaimed wood or stone. Reclaimed materials often boast unique character and can add a touch of vintage charm to your kitchen extension.

Black Worktop Ideas

Kitchen with black worktops.

Black worktops add a touch of drama and sophistication to any kitchen. They pair beautifully with white cabinetry for a striking contrast or create a seamless look when matched with dark cabinets. Choose black granite, black quartz, or a high-quality composite black stone for a bold, black statement, like in this Bovill Road kitchen extension

Oak Worktop Kitchen Ideas

Kitchen with oak worktops.

Oak is a popular choice for wooden worktops, offering a warm and inviting feel. Its natural grain adds visual interest and complements a variety of kitchen styles. Pair oak worktops with white or light-coloured cabinets for a bright and airy space and modern aesthetic or go for rich, deep colours like in this Barry Road kitchen design for an elegant farmhouse kitchen.

Kitchen Worktop Storage Ideas

The kitchen worktop is prime real estate, but it can often become cluttered with appliances and everyday essentials. To maximise functionality and create a streamlined workspace, consider incorporating clever storage solutions directly into your worktop. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  • Pop-Up Power: Ditch unsightly extension cords with integrated pop-up sockets that retract flush with the worktop when not in use. This keeps your workspace clutter-free and provides convenient access to power when needed.
  • Hidden Drawers and Shelves: Utilise the space beneath your worktop by installing pull-out drawers or discreetly integrated shelves. These hidden compartments are ideal for storing utensils, spices, or small appliances, keeping them readily accessible without sacrificing valuable counter space.
  • Vertical Spice Racks: Free up counter space and add a touch of visual interest with vertical spice racks that seamlessly integrate into the backsplash behind your worktop. This keeps your spices organised and easily within reach while cooking.
  • Cutting Board Inserts: Create a designated space for your cutting boards by incorporating a pull-out or lift-up section within your worktop. This keeps them neatly tucked away when not in use and provides a hygienic surface for food preparation.
  • Integrated Bins: Maintain a clean and organised workspace with a strategically placed waste bin that seamlessly pops up from a designated spot in your worktop. This eliminates the need for a bulky freestanding bin and keeps waste disposal convenient.

Tiled Kitchen Worktop Ideas

Tiles aren’t often considered for a worktop as the grouting can collect dirt more easily. But they do offer endless design possibilities for your worktop. Choose classic metro tiles for a timeless look or explore bold patterns and colours to create a unique statement piece. Keep in mind that grout lines may require extra maintenance.

Kitchen Worktop Decor Ideas

While the worktop itself is a key design element, incorporating tasteful decor can add personality and functionality to your kitchen. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Curated Collections: Showcase your personality with a curated collection of cookbooks or beautiful pottery. Arrange them artfully on a designated spot on your worktop for a touch of visual interest and easy access to your culinary inspiration.
  • Fresh Produce on Display: Introduce a touch of life and colour with a stylish fruit bowl filled with seasonal produce. Not only is it visually appealing, but it also serves as a healthy reminder to incorporate fresh ingredients into your meals.
  • Cutting Board as Art: A beautiful wooden cutting board can be a functional workhorse and a decorative piece. Choose a unique design or one with interesting wood grains and display it when not in use.
  • Herb Garden at Hand: For a touch of greenery and readily available fresh herbs, create a mini herb garden on your worktop. Invest in small, stylish planters and position them near a window for optimal sunlight.
  • Upcycled Treasures: Give a vintage canister or a quirky ceramic jar a new lease on life. Use them to store utensils, coffee beans, or dry goods, adding a touch of character and conversation-starting charm to your worktop.
  • Lighting the Way: Under-cabinet lighting can be both functional and decorative. It provides task lighting for food preparation while casting a warm glow on your worktop displays, creating an inviting atmosphere.

Wooden Worktop Kitchen Ideas

Kitchen with wooden worktops.

Beyond oak, there’s a whole world of wood to explore for your worktop. Walnut offers a rich, dark aesthetic, while maple provides a light and airy feel. Wooden worktops add a touch of natural beauty and warmth to your kitchen. However, they require more maintenance than other options. Here are some tips for keeping your wooden worktops looking their best:

  • Apply a food-safe oil regularly to protect the wood and enhance its natural grain.
  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining.
  • Use cutting boards to avoid direct contact with knives.
  • Embrace the natural patina that develops over time – it adds to the character of the wood.

Rethink Classic Styles

Don’t be afraid to put a modern twist on classic styles. For example, pair a traditional white farmhouse sink with a sleek quartz worktop for a touch of contemporary elegance. Similarly, consider a statement backsplash in bold colours or geometric patterns to complement a classic granite worktop.

Unite Different Surfaces with the Same Worktop

Create a cohesive look by using the same worktop material for your countertops, breakfast bar, and even island surfaces. This technique creates a sense of flow and visual continuity within your kitchen extension and works especially well if you have contrasting cabinet colours.

Go for a Greener Option

Sustainable materials like bamboo are becoming increasingly popular choices for worktops. Bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource that offers good durability and a unique aesthetic.

Go Stone for a Bespoke Finish

Kitchen island with marble worktop.

For a truly unique look, consider granite or marble. The natural variations in veining ensure no two natural stone worktops are ever identical. This creates a bespoke statement piece in your kitchen extension. If you don’t want to overwhelm your space with pattern, you can use a marble countertop on your kitchen island and a more subtle option for the rest of your space.

Discover the Hidden Quality of Quartz

Kitchen with quartz worktop.

Quartz is a popular choice for a reason. Not only is it beautiful and stain-resistant, but it’s also surprisingly versatile. Modern quartz comes in a vast array of colours and patterns, allowing you to mimic the look of natural stone like marble or create a completely unique statement piece. It’s also a great option if you love the quality and feel of natural stone but you want a more subtle pattern, as it can be manufactured for a uniform look.

Plus Rooms: Your Partner in Kitchen Design

Your kitchen worktop is more than just a surface – it sets the tone for your entire kitchen. At Plus Rooms, we understand the importance of choosing the right worktop material that complements your style and optimises functionality. Our experienced design team will help you navigate the vast array of options and create a kitchen extension that reflects your unique vision.

We source top-quality materials and guarantee exceptional craftsmanship, ensuring your worktop remains a beautiful and functional centrepiece for years to come. Benefit from Plus Rooms’ decades of experience and turn your dream kitchen extension into a reality. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and explore the exciting possibilities for your new kitchen. We look forward to working with you and helping you create a space that inspires culinary creations and fosters lasting memories.

Building Regulations in the UK

The United Kingdom boasts a rich architectural landscape, but behind the beauty lies a robust framework of building regulations. These regulations are the backbone of the construction industry, dictating standards that ensure safety, accessibility, and sustainability. This comprehensive guide from Plus Rooms, London’s leading design and build company, looks into building regulations in the UK, covering various facets such as application processes, responsibilities, planning rules, and specific project considerations like extensions.

Table of Contents

What are Building Regulations?

Building regulations in the UK constitute a comprehensive set of standards and requirements governing the construction, alteration, and renovation of buildings. Enforced by local authorities, these regulations are designed to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of occupants, as well as promote energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment.

At their core, building regulations address a diverse range of critical aspects pertaining to building design, construction, and occupancy. These encompass structural integrity and safety, fire safety, ventilation, thermal performance, accessibility, and drainage, among others. By setting minimum standards for each of these elements, building regulations ensure that buildings are structurally sound, safe to inhabit, and environmentally responsible.

For example, structural integrity requirements dictate that buildings must be designed and constructed to withstand the loads they are likely to experience throughout their lifespan. This includes factors such as wind, snow, and dead loads from the structure itself. Fire safety regulations, on the other hand, mandate the incorporation of fire-resistant materials, escape routes, and firefighting provisions to minimise the risk of fire-related injuries and fatalities.

Moreover, building regulations place a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability, particularly in response to the growing concerns over climate change and environmental degradation. As such, they include provisions for thermal insulation, airtightness, and the use of renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the environmental impact of buildings.

Overall, building regulations play a vital role in shaping the built environment, ensuring that buildings are safe, sustainable, and fit for purpose. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory for all construction projects in the UK, underscoring their importance in upholding public health, safety, and welfare standards.

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Do I Need Building Regulations Approval?

The question of whether building regulations approval is required is one that frequently arises among property owners and developers. In most cases, the answer is yes. Any new construction, extension, alteration, or significant conversion is likely to necessitate building regulations approval, which is why our design and build company offers planning permission services. However, certain minor works or repairs may fall under exemptions. Determining whether approval is needed is essential and can be verified through consultation with our design and build company or speaking to your local authorities.

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The Different Types of Building Regulation Applications

Navigating the intricacies of building regulation applications is crucial for ensuring compliance and the smooth progression of projects. There are several types of applications available, each catering to different project scenarios and requirements.

One common avenue is the building notice application, offering a streamlined approach by simply notifying the local authority of the intent to commence building work. Instead of laboriously submitting detailed plans and specifications, applicants need only provide a brief notice to the local authority indicating their intent to commence construction work. While this method offers agility and flexibility, it may not be suitable for intricate or high-risk projects where a more comprehensive approach is warranted. While this method provides flexibility and expediency, it may not be suitable for complex or high-risk projects.

Alternatively, the full plans submission route entails submitting detailed plans, specifications, and other relevant documents for approval before commencing construction. This thorough approach allows for a comprehensive review by the local authority, providing assurance of compliance with building regulations.

For projects undertaken without prior approval, the regularisation process offers a retrospective option to rectify non-compliant works. Through this process, the local authority assesses the completed works and, if satisfactory, issues a regularisation certificate, legitimising the construction.

Understanding the nuances of each application type is essential for property owners, developers, and professionals alike, ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements and the successful execution of construction projects.

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Planning Permission vs. Building Regulations

Building regulations are often confused with planning permission. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

  • Building Regulations: Focus on the technical aspects of construction, ensuring safety, health, energy efficiency, and accessibility. Approval relates to the building itself and its compliance with technical standards.
  • Planning Permission: Governs the use of land and the outward appearance of buildings. Approval relates to whether the proposed development is acceptable in terms of its impact on the surrounding area, visual amenity, and potential impact on neighbours.

While some projects may require both planning permission and building regulations approval, they are separate processes with distinct purposes.

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Who is Responsible for Building Regulations Approval?

The responsibility for obtaining building regulations approval rests primarily on the shoulders of the property owner or developer undertaking the endeavour and is handled in house by our design and build company. This pivotal role entails ensuring that all aspects of the project comply with the stringent standards outlined in the building regulations.

However, it’s crucial to recognise that the onus of responsibility isn’t borne solely by the property owner or developer. Architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals engaged in the project also share accountability in ensuring compliance with building regulations within their respective spheres of expertise.

Ultimately, effective collaboration and communication among all parties involved are essential for navigating the complexities of building regulations and securing approval from the local authority. By working together cohesively and proactively addressing regulatory requirements, stakeholders can ensure the successful realisation of construction projects while upholding safety, quality, and regulatory compliance.

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How to Apply for Building Regulations Approval

Applying for building regulations approval is a multi-step process that demands attention to detail, and managing planning permission is a key service offered by our design and build company. This entails preparing comprehensive plans, specifications, and requisite documentation, completing requisite application forms, and fulfilling any associated fees. Depending on the project’s complexity and local authority requirements, additional information may be requested during the review process, underscoring the importance of thoroughness and readiness to respond to queries.

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Planning Rules and Building Regulations for Extensions

A house extension by a design and build company.

Extensions offer an enticing opportunity to expand living space and enhance property value, yet they’re subject to a dual regime of planning rules and building regulations. 

Planning rules serve as the initial hurdle for prospective extension projects, dictating aspects such as size, location, and aesthetics. These rules are enforced by local planning authorities and are designed to preserve the character and amenity of neighbourhoods while minimising adverse impacts on neighbouring properties and the wider environment.

Key considerations under planning rules include whether the proposed extension falls within permitted development rights or requires formal planning permission. Permitted development rights grant homeowners certain freedoms to undertake minor alterations and extensions without the need for planning permission, subject to specified criteria. However, larger extensions or those situated in sensitive locations may necessitate planning permission, requiring adherence to additional requirements and consultation with local planning authorities.

Once planning considerations have been addressed, the spotlight shifts to building regulations, which govern the technical aspects of construction, ensuring safety, accessibility, and sustainability. Building regulations for extensions encompass a broad spectrum of requirements, encompassing structural integrity, fire safety, ventilation, thermal performance, and accessibility, among others.

Structural integrity requirements dictate that extensions must be designed and constructed to withstand the loads they are likely to experience, ensuring stability and longevity. Fire safety regulations mandate the incorporation of fire-resistant materials, escape routes, and firefighting provisions to minimise the risk of fire-related hazards.

Ventilation standards ensure adequate airflow within the extension, promoting a healthy indoor environment and mitigating issues such as condensation and mould growth. Thermal performance requirements focus on enhancing energy efficiency through measures such as insulation, airtightness, and efficient heating systems, reducing carbon emissions and energy bills in the process.

Accessibility considerations ensure that extensions are inclusive and cater to the needs of all occupants, including those with disabilities. This entails providing accessible entrances, doorways, and facilities to facilitate ease of use and movement within the extension.

By diligently adhering to planning rules and building regulations, homeowners can navigate the complexities of extension projects with confidence, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and the successful realisation of their vision for expanded living space. Collaboration with architects, engineers, and other professionals is key to navigating these regulations effectively, ensuring that extensions not only meet regulatory standards but also exceed expectations in terms of functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability.

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Do You Need an Architect for an Extension?

A house extension that was done without using an architect.

There’s no statutory requirement to enlist an architect for an extension, so essentially, you do not need an architect for most extensions. When contemplating an extension project, homeowners often deliberate whether to engage an architect or choose a design and build company. While both avenues have their merits, the latter offers distinct advantages that make it a compelling choice for many.

One reason is the high cost of architect fees. Architect fees for extensions are complex and depend on many different variables. Factors such as project size, complexity, desired level of service, and architect’s experience all influence fee structures. Whether it’s percentage-based fees, fixed rates, or hourly billing, it’s essential for property owners to obtain comprehensive quotes from architects, transparently discussing the scope of services and associated costs to facilitate informed decision-making.

Overall, while the choice between hiring an architect or opting for a design and build company ultimately depends on individual preferences and project requirements, the latter offers a compelling solution for homeowners seeking a hassle-free, efficient, and cost-effective approach to their extension project.

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What are the Architect Fees for an Extension?

House extension in London.

Architect fees for your house extension in the UK can vary depending on the project’s size, complexity, and the architect’s experience. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Percentage of Build Cost: Typically, architects charge 5-12% of the total project cost. For instance, a £100,000 extension could incur fees between £5,000 and £12,000.
  • Hourly Rates: Some architects opt for hourly billing, typically ranging from £50 to £90 per hour. This can be less predictable, so discuss the estimated number of hours upfront.
  • Service Scope: Be clear on what’s included in the fee. A fixed fee often covers design, planning application drawings, and possibly building regulation drawings. Project management, however, might be an additional cost.

Getting quotes from several architects with experience in extensions is recommended. Discuss the services included and ensure they align with your project needs. This will help you budget effectively for your dream extension. Remember, you can always use a design and build company for your extension and avoid architect fees.

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Using a Design and Build Company vs. an Architect for Your Extension

Design and build house extension in London.

The choice between engaging a design and build company or an architect for an extension hinges on several factors. Design and build companies offer a turnkey solution, seamlessly integrating design and construction under one roof for enhanced efficiency and cost control. Conversely, working with an architect allows for greater customisation and client involvement in the design process, albeit potentially requiring more extensive project management oversight.

Design and build companies provide a holistic solution by integrating design and construction services under one roof. This streamlined approach not only simplifies the process for homeowners but also offers numerous benefits in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and accountability.

One of the key advantages of working with a design and build company is the seamless coordination between the design and construction phases. By having both functions housed within the same organisation, communication is enhanced, and potential conflicts or discrepancies between the design and implementation are minimised. This results in smoother project progression, reduced delays, and ultimately, a more efficient and timely delivery.

Moreover, design and build companies often have established relationships with suppliers, subcontractors, and other industry professionals. This network allows them to secure competitive pricing, source quality materials, and access specialised expertise, all of which contribute to cost savings for homeowners.

Another benefit of opting for a design and build company is the single point of contact it provides throughout the project. Rather than dealing with multiple parties, homeowners can liaise directly with a designated project manager who oversees every aspect of the extension, from initial design concepts to final construction. This simplifies communication, streamlines decision-making, and offers peace of mind knowing that there is a dedicated professional overseeing the entire process.

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Planning Permission for Kitchen Extensions

House extension and planning permission done by Plus Rooms.

The need for planning permission for kitchen extensions is contingent upon various factors, including the size, location, and impact of the proposed extension. In many cases, small-scale extensions may fall within permitted development rights, granting homeowners certain freedoms to undertake minor alterations without formal planning permission. However, larger extensions or those situated in sensitive locations may require approval from the local planning authority.

When determining whether planning permission is needed for a kitchen extension, it’s essential to consult with the local planning authority or a qualified professional. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements and help assess the feasibility of the project within the confines of planning regulations. By proactively addressing planning considerations and obtaining necessary permissions, homeowners can embark on their kitchen extension journey with confidence, knowing that their project complies with legal requirements and can proceed smoothly.

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How Much Does a Kitchen Extension Cost

Kitchen extension in London completed by Plus Rooms.

The cost of a kitchen extension is a pivotal consideration, influenced by project specifics such as size, design complexity, choice of materials, and desired finishes. On average, kitchen extensions in the UK can range from £20,000 to £50,000 or more. The cost of a kitchen extension in the UK can vary widely depending on several factors. One significant consideration is the size of the extension, with larger projects naturally requiring more materials and labour, thus increasing costs. The complexity of the design and specifications also plays a crucial role, as intricate features or customisations may incur additional expenses.

Materials used in the construction, such as flooring, cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures, can significantly impact the overall cost. High-quality materials and finishes will typically come at a higher price point compared to standard options. Furthermore, labour costs, including those for skilled tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, contribute significantly to the total expenditure. Other factors influencing the cost of a kitchen extension include site preparation, structural work, permits, and professional fees.

To help homeowners estimate the cost of their kitchen extension more accurately, our design and build company offers a user-friendly cost calculator. This tool considers various project parameters, such as size, location, materials, and design preferences, to provide an estimate tailored to the homeowner’s specific requirements. By utilising our cost calculator, homeowners can gain valuable insights into the potential cost of their kitchen extension, empowering them to make informed decisions and budget effectively for their project.

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Design and Build Contracts

Extension done with a design and build contract.

A design and build contract is an agreement in which a single entity is responsible for both the design and construction of a project. This streamlined approach offers homeowners convenience and accountability. The contract typically outlines the scope of work, project timeline, budget, and responsibilities of both parties. It may also include details regarding design specifications, materials, and quality standards. Ultimately, the design and build contract serves as a comprehensive roadmap for the entire project, ensuring clarity, efficiency, and alignment of expectations between the homeowner and the contracted company.

Design and build contracts are a popular procurement method for construction projects, offering homeowners a streamlined approach by entrusting both design and construction responsibilities to a single entity. However, the success of a design and build contract hinges greatly on the reputation and capabilities of the chosen company.

When considering design and build contracts, partnering with a company renowned for its excellent reputation is paramount. A reputable design and build company brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and integrity to the table, ensuring that the project is executed with professionalism, transparency, and adherence to high standards.

Building regulations serve as the bedrock of the UK’s construction landscape, underpinning safety, quality, and sustainability. Navigating the labyrinth of regulations, planning rules, and project considerations demands vigilance, expertise, and meticulous planning. By embracing the insights provided in this comprehensive guide, stakeholders ranging from property owners to professionals can navigate the intricacies of building regulations with confidence, ensuring their construction endeavours not only meet regulatory standards but also exceed expectations in terms of functionality, aesthetics, and longevity.

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Contact the Leading Design and Build Company in the UK

Plus Rooms is London’s premier design and build company, specialising in luxury kitchen extensions. We oversee every stage of the project, from design to completion, handling planning permission, party wall notices, and building works. We ensure all necessary certificates are obtained and provide a guarantee for our work upon completion, delivering peace of mind and exceptional results to our clients. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

Kitchen Style Ideas: Designing Your Dream Space

The kitchen is where meals are prepared, memories are made, and laughter fills the air.  But with so many design options available, choosing the right kitchen style can feel overwhelming.  This guide from Plus Rooms, London’s leading design & build company, explores some of the most popular kitchen styles, along with classic styles that will never go out of fashion.

Trending Kitchen Styles

The kitchen isn’t just a room for cooking anymore; it’s the heart of the home, a place for gathering, entertaining, and creating culinary masterpieces.  As our lifestyles evolve, so too do our kitchen designs. The following are four of the most popular kitchen trends currently transforming kitchens into functional and stylish havens.

Biophilic Design: Nature’s Embrace

A kitchen embracing biophilic design.

Imagine stepping into a kitchen bathed in natural light, with lush greenery adding a touch of life.  Biophilic design, a concept that emphasises connecting with nature indoors, is a major trend in kitchen design. This approach aims to create a sense of well-being and tranquillity within the cooking space.

Here’s how you can incorporate biophilic design into your kitchen:

  • Natural Light: Maximise natural light by incorporating large windows or skylights as seen in this Southwark kitchen extension. If natural light is limited, strategically placed task lighting can mimic the warm glow of sunlight.
  • Houseplants: Live plants not only add a touch of freshness but also improve air quality. Choose low-maintenance varieties that thrive in kitchens, such as snake plants, spider plants, or herbs.
  • Earthy Colour Palette: Embrace nature’s calming hues by incorporating earthy tones like green, brown, and beige into your colour scheme. These colours can be used for cabinets, countertops, or even backsplashes.
  • Natural Materials: Wood, stone, and other natural materials bring a sense of the outdoors into your kitchen. Consider wood cabinetry, natural stone countertops like granite or soapstone, or exposed brick walls for a rustic touch.

Two-Tone Cabinets: A Playful Departure

A kitchen with two-tone cabinets.

Gone are the days of monotonous single-colour cabinets. Two-tone kitchens are a trending look that adds visual interest and allows for creative expression. This approach involves using two different cabinet colours to create a dynamic and stylish space.

Here are some ideas to explore when implementing two-tone cabinets:

  • Classic Contrast: For a timeless look, pair a crisp white with a darker shade like charcoal grey, forest green, or navy blue. This combination creates a sense of balance and allows the white cabinets to stand out as seen in this kitchen extension in East Dulwich.
  • Warm and Cool Duo: Combine a warm wood tone like maple or cherry with a cool colour like mint green or light blue. This creates a unique and inviting atmosphere.
  • Island Statement: For a bolder approach, use a contrasting colour for your kitchen island as seen in this Richmond kitchen extension, letting it become the focal point of the space. This works well with open-plan kitchens where the island takes centre stage.

Smart Kitchens: Technology at Your Fingertips

Technology is no longer confined to our living rooms; it’s making its way into the kitchen in a big way. Smart kitchens are all about integrating technology seamlessly into the cooking experience, increasing efficiency and convenience.

Here are some exciting smart kitchen features to consider:

  • Smart Appliances: From ovens and refrigerators to dishwashers and coffee makers, a wide range of smart appliances are now available. These appliances can be controlled remotely using your smartphone or voice-activated assistants, making it easier to preheat the oven or start the dishwasher even when you’re not in the kitchen.
  • Voice-Activated Controls: Imagine asking your kitchen to preheat the oven or brew coffee – voice-activated controls are making this a reality. These hands-free systems allow you to control various appliances with simple voice commands, perfect for when your hands are full.
  • Touchless Faucets: Promote hygiene and convenience with touchless faucets that automatically turn on and off when you place your hand near them. This is a great feature for busy kitchens and helps in maintaining cleanliness.

Maximised Storage: Making Every Inch Count

Modern kitchens, especially those in smaller spaces, demand smart and efficient storage solutions.  Maximised storage goes beyond adding more cabinets; it’s about utilising every inch of space available and incorporating clever design elements to keep your kitchen clutter-free.

Here are some tips for maximising storage in your kitchen:

  • Hidden Gems: Consider built-in cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling to maximise vertical space. Utilise pull-out drawers in cabinets to make accessing items in the back easier.
  • Corner Solutions: Don’t let those awkward corner spaces go to waste. Install carousels or L-shaped drawers that make use of these often-neglected areas.
  • Vertical Organisers: Make the most of your wall space with hanging shelves, utensil racks, or pot rails. These offer additional storage while keeping frequently used items within easy reach.
  • Appliance Garages: Reduce countertop clutter by incorporating built-in appliance garages specifically designed to hide away toasters, blenders, or coffee makers when not in use.

Modern Kitchen Styles

A modern style kitchen with pendant lights.

Modern kitchens are all about clean lines, sleek finishes, and functionality. Here are some key features:

  • Flat-panel cabinetry:  Sleek and uncluttered, flat-panel cabinets create a minimalist look.
  • Quartz countertops:  Durable, non-porous, and available in a wide range of colours and patterns, quartz countertops are a popular choice in modern kitchens.
  • Integrated appliances:  For a seamless look, appliances are built-in and hidden behind cabinet doors or tucked away in kitchen islands.
  • Statement lighting:  Modern kitchens often feature bold pendant lights with minimalist, hidden track lighting to make a bold and artistic style statement.

Shaker Style Kitchen

A kitchen with shaker style cabinets.

Shaker style kitchens are a timeless classic, offering a clean and elegant look that blends seamlessly with various design styles. Here’s what defines them:

Country Style Kitchen

A country style kitchen with a deep farmhouse sink.

Country style kitchens evoke a sense of warmth, comfort, and nostalgia. Here are some key elements:

  • Painted cabinets:  Often featuring distressed finishes, painted cabinets in shades like white, cream, deep blue, or sage green are a hallmark of country kitchens.
  • Butcher block countertops:  Warm and inviting, butcher block countertops add a touch of rustic charm.
  • Farmhouse sink:  A large, deep farmhouse sink adds functionality and a touch of vintage style.
  • Open shelving:  Display plates, mugs, and other decorative items on open shelves for a cosy and personal touch.
  • Textiles:  Country kitchens often incorporate textiles like woven rugs, curtains with floral patterns, and tea towels displayed on hooks.

Industrial Style Kitchen

An industrial style kitchen with Crittall-style doors.

Industrial style kitchens have a raw and edgy aesthetic, often incorporating elements found in warehouses or factories. Here’s what defines them:

  • Exposed brick:  Exposed brick walls add texture and a touch of industrial history to the space.
  • Stainless steel countertops:  Durable and easy to clean, stainless steel countertops are a perfect choice for an industrial kitchen.
  • Metal accents:  Metal chairs, pendant lights with exposed bulbs, industrial-style hardware, and steel Crittall-style doors create a rugged look.
  • Concrete floors: Polished concrete floors add a sense of coolness and durability to an industrial kitchen.
  • Minimalist décor:  Industrial kitchens prioritise clean lines and functionality, with minimal decorative elements.

Cottage Style Kitchen

A cottage style kitchen with painted cabinets.

Cottage style kitchens are charming and inviting, perfect for creating a cosy and comfortable atmosphere. Here are some characteristics:

  • Painted cabinets:  Similar to country style, cottage kitchens often utilise painted cabinets, but in a wider range of colours, including pastel shades and blues.
  • Natural stone or wood countertops:  Granite, marble, wooden, or soapstone countertops add a touch of luxury to a cottage kitchen.
  • Butler’s pantry:  For extra storage and a touch of vintage charm, consider incorporating a butler’s pantry.
  • Vintage details: Vintage and thrift store finds like antique fixtures, mismatched chairs, and decorative plates on display add personality to a cottage kitchen.
  • Patterned floors:  Black and white chequered floors, floral tiles, wide reclaimed wood floors, and clay tiles can add a touch of whimsy to a cottage kitchen.

Plus Rooms: Bespoke Kitchen Extensions for Discerning Homeowners

Now that you’ve explored a range of popular kitchen styles, it’s time to consider how to bring your dream kitchen to life.  

Plus Rooms boasts decades of experience in crafting stunning kitchen extensions.  This extensive experience translates into a deep understanding of the entire process, from initial design concepts to meticulous construction.

Investing in a Plus Rooms extension guarantees the highest calibre of craftsmanship, utilising premium materials and meticulous attention to detail. Our team of experienced builders takes pride in their work, ensuring your kitchen is constructed to the highest standards and built to last.
If you’re ready to create your dream kitchen, Plus Rooms is the perfect partner. Our experience, expertise, and dedication to quality will ensure a successful project that exceeds your expectations. Contact Plus Rooms today to schedule a consultation and embark on the journey to your dream kitchen or try out our extension cost calculator.

Our Guide to Design and Build Contracts in the UK

Design and build contracts are commonly used in the construction industry in the UK. This guide provides an overview of design and build contracts, their advantages, the roles of the contractor and architect, a comparison with traditional contracts, and the different types of design and build contracts available. This is especially important for anyone considering a home extension in the UK, so let’s take a look.

What is a Design and Build Contract?

This is when the contractor is responsible for both the design and construction of a project. Instead of separate contracts for design and construction that include multiple parties like architects and builders, the client enters into a single agreement with the contractor – that is, the design and build company – streamlining the process.

Advantages of a Design and Build Contract

  • Single point of responsibility: With a design and build contract, the contractor assumes full responsibility for the entire project, including design, construction, and coordination. This reduces the client’s administrative burden and ensures clear accountability.
  • Faster project delivery: Since design and construction are integrated, there is no need for time-consuming bid processes between the architect and contractors. This can lead to faster project delivery and reduced construction time.
  • Control of costs and reduced project costs: Design and build contracts often provide cost certainty to clients since the contractor is responsible for managing and controlling the project’s budget. This can help avoid cost overruns and change orders, as well as make your project more affordable.
  • Better collaboration: Design and build contracts utilise a team that has always worked together rather than people who are strangers from different organisations that have their own separate goals and values. This means they already work well as a team, which creates effective communication, problem-solving, and innovation.

Role of the Contractor in a Design and Build Contract

Here, the contractor takes on a more prominent role compared to traditional contracts. Their responsibilities include:

  • Design development: The contractor works closely with the client to develop the project’s design, ensuring it meets the client’s requirements and adheres to relevant regulations and standards.
  • Construction: The contractor is responsible for executing the construction phase, managing subcontractors, procuring materials, and ensuring the project is completed within the agreed-upon timeframe and budget.
  • Project management: The contractor oversees the entire project, including scheduling, budgeting, quality control, and coordination of various stakeholders.

Architect’s Role in a Design and Build Contract

For most residential extensions, you don’t need an architect if you work with a design and build company, which is one of the biggest cost-saving benefits. However, there will be an experienced specialist who takes on this role. The design specialist or architect in a design and build company has more of a team role in the project when it’s a design and build contract, working directly with the contractor and client to develop the building or extension’s design. Their responsibilities typically include:

  • Developing the initial design concept: The design specialist or architect collaborates with the client to establish the project’s design objectives, vision, and requirements. They develop an initial concept, which the contractor refines during the design development phase.
  • Technical support: They will also provide technical expertise and guidance to the contractor during the design phase, ensuring compliance with building codes, rules for extensions, regulations, and industry standards.
  • Construction administration: During the building process, they assist the contractor in overseeing the construction phase, reviewing shop drawings, conducting site inspections, and addressing any design-related issues that may arise.

Traditional Building Contracts vs. Design and Build Contracts

Traditional contracts involve separate agreements with architects and all the different contractors, where the architect’s design is completed and signed off on by the client before the contractor is engaged. The architect here is completely separated from the construction process – if you finish with their services and then need changes made to your design, you will have to go and renegotiate with them. 

In contrast, design and build contracts are all-in-one services. They integrate both design and construction under a single contract, where the architect or design specialist and the contractor, as well as any other specialists, work as a single team. This means that they are involved in the process from concept and design through construction until the project is completed.

Key differences include:

  • Responsibility: In a traditional contract, the client assumes greater responsibility for coordinating between the architect and contractor. Design and build contracts transfer this responsibility to the contractor.
  • Collaboration: Design and build contracts promote collaboration with and early involvement of the contractor as well as other professionals on the team. Because all the relevant parties, including the client, are involved, it’s easier to work together or make changes throughout the process. Traditional contracts involve sequential processes where each process is signed off before the next can occur. This can hinder collaboration because parties work independently. For example, if the architect’s plans are signed off but the client decides they actually want a larger or another window, the process has to essentially start over. 
  • Risk allocation: Traditional contracts often allocate more risk to the client, while design and build contracts transfer some risk to the contractor, who is responsible for both design and construction.

Types of Design and Build Contracts in the UK

  • Novation design and build contract: Here, the client enters into a contract with the architect initially. Once the design is sufficiently developed, the architect’s contract is novated (transferred) to the contractor, who takes on responsibility for the design and construction.
  • Two-stage design and build contract: In the first stage, the client engages a contractor based on preliminary information. The contractor will work with the client and architect to develop the design further. Once the design is sufficiently developed, the contract is finalised, and construction commences.
  • Negotiated design and build contract: This is a contract type that’s recommended when the client or contractor wants specific or non-traditional terms and responsibilities. The client and contractor will then negotiate the terms of the contract, including design and construction. This type of contract offers flexibility and allows for more direct involvement of the client in the decision-making process.
  • Turnkey design and build contract: In this contract, the contractor takes full responsibility for the design, construction, and delivery of a fully operational project. The client typically has minimal involvement in the design process and receives the completed project at the end. This is typically used in residential housing projects rather than an individual’s home.
  • Management contract: This can be included as part of a design and build contract. Here, the client appoints a design and build contractor as a manager to oversee and coordinate the project. The contractor manages the design and construction process, procuring and coordinating subcontractors and suppliers on behalf of the client.
  • Design, build, and operate (DBO) contract: This type of contract is typically used for infrastructure projects rather than private home builds and extensions. It extends beyond design and construction to include the operation and maintenance of the completed project. The contractor is responsible for delivering a fully functional facility and managing its operation for a specified period.
  • Public-private partnership (PPP) contract: PPP contracts involve collaboration between a public entity and a private contractor. The contractor assumes responsibility for the design, construction, financing, and operation of a public infrastructure project, such as roads or hospitals.
  • Framework design and build contract: This type of contract is established between the client and the contractor to facilitate the delivery of multiple projects over a specified period. It’s typically used for large-scale development, such as building several schools in an area. The contractor is engaged on a long-term basis and provides design and construction services for individual projects as they arise.

It’s important to note that specific terms and conditions can vary within each type of design and build contract, so they need to be read carefully regardless. At Plus Rooms, London’s leading design and build company, we typically use a negotiated design and build contract that can include project management if needed, as this gives our clients the most flexibility and works well within our team’s capabilities, leading to the best possible results.

Read more about building regulations in the UK.

Work with London’s Leading Design and Build Company for Your Dream Home

Plus Rooms is a full-service provider for all types of home extensions in the greater London area, including loft, kitchen, and kitchen diner extensions. As a top design and build company, we’ll work with you through the entire process, from designing your extension and managing planning permission to building the project and ensuring it is completed to your satisfaction. Please visit our website to see more of our home extensions, to be inspired by our kitchen extension design ideasto see reviews from past clients, and to start the journey towards your dream home.

Industrial Style Kitchen Ideas

In recent years, industrial style kitchens have emerged as a popular choice for homeowners seeking a contemporary yet raw aesthetic. Characterised by its rugged appeal, exposed materials, and utilitarian elements, industrial kitchens offer a unique blend of functionality and charm. Let’s explore various kitchen design ideas to help you craft the perfect industrial-style kitchen, drawing inspiration from projects showcased by Plus Rooms, the leading design and build company in the UK.

What is an Industrial Kitchen?

An industrial style kitchen draws inspiration from the design elements typically found in factories, warehouses, and other industrial spaces. It embraces the raw, utilitarian aesthetic of these environments while incorporating modern amenities and sleek finishes. Key features of industrial kitchens include exposed materials such as brick, concrete, and metal, as well as functional elements like open shelving, industrial lighting fixtures, and stainless steel appliances.

Benefits of Industrial Kitchen Designs

One of the primary benefits of an industrial style kitchen is its durability and practicality. The industrial design prioritises sturdy materials and streamlined layouts, making it well-suited for high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Materials such as concrete and metal are not only visually striking but also highly resilient, standing up to the rigours of daily use and providing long-lasting durability.

Additionally, industrial kitchens offer ample storage and workspace, thanks to their emphasis on functional design. Open shelving and expansive countertops provide plenty of room for storing and preparing food, while tall cabinets and built-in storage solutions maximise organisation and efficiency. This abundance of storage options helps to keep the kitchen clutter-free and facilitates easy access to cooking essentials.

Another benefit of industrial style kitchens is their versatility and adaptability to different design aesthetics. While industrial design is often associated with a rugged, urban look, it can be tailored to suit a variety of tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer a minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic or a more eclectic, vintage-inspired vibe, industrial elements can be incorporated into your kitchen design to create a space that reflects your personal style.

Furthermore, industrial kitchens are known for their timeless appeal and enduring popularity. Unlike trend-driven design styles that may quickly fall out of fashion, industrial design has stood the test of time and continues to be a popular choice for homeowners and designers alike. Its clean lines, raw materials, and understated elegance lend themselves well to both modern and traditional interiors, ensuring that your industrial style kitchen will remain stylish and relevant for years to come.

Incorporating Industrial Elements into Your Kitchen Design

An industrial style kitchen combines rugged charm with modern sophistication, creating a space that is both functional and visually striking. With its emphasis on durability, practicality, and versatility, an industrial kitchen is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a timeless and stylish design aesthetic that will stand the test of time. Whether you’re renovating your existing kitchen or designing a new space from scratch, consider incorporating industrial elements to create a kitchen that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Play With Height

A kitchen extension with crittall-style steel doors.

Industrial kitchens often feature high ceilings and expansive windows, which contribute to an airy and spacious feel. Embrace the vertical space by installing tall cabinets or open shelving units to maximise storage and display opportunities. Another good idea is to include Crittall-style industrial steel doors, like in this Forest Hill kitchen extension, for additional impact as well as plenty of natural light. This verticality adds drama to the room and draws the eye upward, creating a sense of grandeur.

Make the Most of Concrete

An industrial style kitchen with polished concrete floors.

Concrete is a quintessential element of industrial design, prised for its durability and industrial-chic aesthetic. Consider incorporating concrete countertops, floors, or accent walls to infuse your kitchen with an urban edge. Concrete floors add impact and durability, and you can choose polished concrete or concrete tiles to get this look. The raw, unfinished texture of concrete adds character to the space and serves as a versatile backdrop for other design elements. If you don’t like concrete, natural stone, like in this Clyde Road kitchen extension, is the ideal alternative!

Use Pendant Lights

An industrial style kitchen with pendant lights.

Pendant lights are a stylish and practical addition to any industrial style kitchen. Choose sleek metal fixtures with exposed bulbs to complement the rugged aesthetic of the space, like in this Braemar Ave kitchen extension. Alternatively, add a touch of artistry or glamour with a chic pendant light like this that adds contrast to the space. Hang them above the kitchen island or dining area to provide task lighting and create a focal point within the room.

Strip It Back With Open Shelving

An industrial style kitchen with open shelving.

Open shelving is a hallmark of industrial design, allowing for easy access to kitchen essentials while showcasing decorative items. Replace traditional upper cabinets with floating shelves made from reclaimed wood or metal brackets for a modern, industrial look. Display your favourite dishes, glassware, and cookbooks to add personality and visual interest to the space, like in this Leppoc Road kitchen extension.

Layer Shades of Black and Grey

An industrial style kitchen with black and grey colour scheme.

Black and grey are staple colours in industrial design, evoking a sense of sophistication and timelessness, like in this Louisville Road home. Layering different shades of black and grey throughout the kitchen creates depth, drama, and dimension, while maintaining a cohesive and harmonious colour scheme. Mix matte and glossy finishes for added visual contrast and incorporate metallic accents like stainless steel or brushed nickel, like in this Salisbury Road kitchen extension for a touch of glamour.

Contrast Dark and Light Tones

To achieve the quintessential industrial look, consider incorporating a mix of dark and light tones into your kitchen design. Contrast is key in creating visual interest, so pair dark cabinetry with light countertops or vice versa. This interplay of colours adds depth and dimension to the space, while maintaining a cohesive and balanced aesthetic.

Use Warm-Toned Woods

Incorporating warm-toned woods such as reclaimed oak or walnut can soften the industrial aesthetic and add a touch of warmth to the space. Consider using wooden accents for shelving, countertops, or flooring to introduce natural textures and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Add Ornaments for Personality

Personalise your industrial kitchen with curated decor and accessories that reflect your unique style. Vintage signs, industrial-inspired artwork, and eclectic knick-knacks can add personality and charm to the space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures and finishes to create a dynamic and visually engaging environment.

Be Bold With the Use of Colour

While industrial kitchens typically feature a neutral colour palette, don’t shy away from incorporating pops of colour to liven up the space. Consider adding vibrant accents such as teal or mustard yellow through accessories like bar stools, dishware, or decorative objects. These unexpected splashes of colour can inject energy and personality into the room without overwhelming the industrial aesthetic.

Get Playful With Textures

Texture plays a crucial role in industrial design, adding visual interest and tactile appeal to the space. Experiment with a variety of materials such as rough-hewn wood, distressed metal, and tactile fabrics to create a rich and layered look. Incorporate texture through textiles like rugs, curtains, and upholstery, as well as through architectural elements like exposed brick walls and rough concrete surfaces.

In conclusion, designing an industrial style kitchen offers endless opportunities for creativity and expression. By embracing the rugged charm of raw materials, sleek finishes, and utilitarian elements, you can create a space that is both functional and visually striking. 

See more kitchen style ideas here.

Whether you prefer a minimalist aesthetic or a more eclectic vibe, Plus Rooms offers expert design and build services to bring your industrial kitchen dreams to life. Contact us today to learn more about our kitchen extension services or try out our kitchen extension cost calculator and start transforming the heart of your home.

Cottage Style Kitchen Ideas

Discover how to infuse warmth and character into your kitchen with expert tips and inspiration from Plus Rooms, the leading design and build company in London. From mixing wood finishes to maximising natural light, we’ll help you transform your space into a cosy retreat that celebrates the timeless allure of cottage living.

What Is a Cottage Style Kitchen?

A cottage style kitchen with open shelving and exposed roof beams.

A cottage style kitchen evokes the quaint charm and cosiness of countryside living, offering a welcoming and intimate space for cooking, dining, and gathering with loved ones. This design aesthetic draws inspiration from traditional English and European cottages, blending rustic elements with vintage accents to create a timeless and inviting atmosphere.

At its core, a cottage style kitchen is characterised by its warm and welcoming ambience, achieved through the use of natural materials, soft colour palettes, and eclectic furnishings. The emphasis is on creating a space that feels lived-in and loved, with an emphasis on comfort and practicality.

One of the defining features of a cottage style kitchen is its use of natural materials. Wood, stone, and other natural elements are prominently featured throughout the space, lending warmth, texture, and character to the design. From hardwood floors to exposed ceiling beams like in this Salisbury Road kitchen design to butcher block countertops, these materials add a sense of authenticity and charm to the kitchen, creating a connection to the surrounding landscape and environment.

Another hallmark of cottage style kitchens is their soft and soothing colour palettes, which you can see at their best in this Kingsway kitchen extension. Pale shades of white, cream, soft blue, and muted green are commonly used to create a light and airy feel, while pops of colour in the form of pastel accents or vintage-inspired patterns add personality and charm to the space. These subtle hues create a sense of tranquillity and serenity, making the kitchen feel like a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In addition to their use of natural materials and soft colour palettes, cottage style kitchens are also characterised by their eclectic furnishings and vintage accents. Mixing and matching different styles of furniture, such as farmhouse tables, Windsor chairs, and vintage hutches, adds depth and personality to the space, while antique accessories and collectables infuse the kitchen with a sense of nostalgia and history.

What makes cottage style kitchens truly timeless is their ability to evoke a sense of warmth, comfort, and nostalgia that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re drawn to the rustic charm of exposed beams and reclaimed wood or the vintage allure of floral prints and farmhouse sinks, there’s something inherently inviting and comforting about the cottage aesthetic that transcends trends and fads.

In an increasingly fast-paced and digitally driven world, cottage style kitchens offer a welcome reprieve, providing a cosy and intimate space where families can gather, meals can be shared, and memories can be made. Their timeless appeal lies in their ability to create a sense of home and belonging, making them a beloved and enduring design choice for homeowners around the world.

Inspiration for Your Cottage Style Kitchen

Mix Wood Finishes

A cottage style kitchen with mixed wood finishes.

Embrace the eclectic charm of a cottage kitchen by mixing different wood finishes. Combine light oak cabinets with dark walnut countertops or incorporate reclaimed wood accents for added texture and character. This idea is brought to life in this Petergate kitchen extension.

Introduce Bold but Natural Colour

A cottage style kitchen with bold natural colours.

Infuse your cottage style kitchen with pops of bold yet natural colours such as deep greens, vibrant blues, or earthy terracotta, like in this Adys Road kitchen extension. These hues add personality and warmth to the space while maintaining a connection to nature.

Choose A Natural Floorcovering

A cottage style kitchen with warm natural flooring.

Choose a natural floor covering like hardwood or stone to enhance the cottage aesthetic. These durable and timeless materials bring warmth and authenticity to the space, while also providing a practical and easy-to-clean surface. You can see just how much character and warmth this flooring choice delivers in this Forest Hill kitchen design.

Storage Solutions

A cottage style kitchen with open shelving.

Maximise storage in your cottage kitchen with clever solutions like built-in pantry cabinets, open shelving, and concealed storage bins. This ensures that everything has its place, keeping the kitchen organised and clutter-free. Open shelving, like in this Crawthew Grove kitchen extension is also a great space for bringing in more country-style elements, from growing fresh herbs to storing eye-catching containers and art.

Rustic Timber Table and Chairs

A cottage style kitchen with rustic wooden table and chairs.

Create a cosy dining area within your cottage kitchen by incorporating a new or reclaimed rustic timber table and chairs, like in this Wolfington Road kitchen extension. This adds warmth and character to the space, inviting family and guests to gather for meals and conversation.

Choose A Real Wood Kitchen Worktop

A cottage style kitchen with wooden kitchen worktop.

Elevate the authenticity of your cottage kitchen with a real wood kitchen worktop. Choose from a variety of wood species such as oak, maple, or walnut to add warmth, texture, and character to the space. This can be used on all kitchen countertops or as an eye-catching feature on just your kitchen island, like in this Crawthew Grove kitchen extension.

Create A Cosy Feel with A Warm Wall Colour

A cottage style kitchen with warm wall colours.

Set the tone for your cottage kitchen with a warm wall colour like creamy whites, soft yellows, or warm beiges. Even pastels look incredible in a cottage style kitchen, which you can see in this pretty-as-a-picture Sefton Street kitchen extension. These soothing hues create a cosy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for casual gatherings and intimate meals.

Paint Wall Cabinets to Match the Walls

A cottage style kitchen with cabinets painted to match the walls.

Create a seamless and cohesive look in your cottage kitchen by painting wall cabinets to match the walls. This creates a unified backdrop that allows other elements, such as countertops and accents, to stand out and shine. In this Griffiths Road kitchen extension, you can see how this creates a charming and spacious effect that is well suited to more minimalist cottage kitchen designs.

Choose Real Wood Shaker-Style Cabinetry

Invest in quality, real wood shaker-style cabinetry to achieve the classic cottage look. The simple yet elegant design of shaker cabinets adds timeless appeal to the kitchen, while the natural wood finish enhances the rustic charm. You can read all about shaker style kitchen ideas here.

Maximise Natural Light with Pale Cabinets

Opt for pale-coloured cabinets to maximise natural light in your cottage style kitchen. Light hues like soft creams, pale blues, or muted greys reflect sunlight, creating a bright and airy feel that enhances the overall sense of openness and warmth.

Fit A Shelf Above a Window

Maximise vertical space and add charm to your cottage kitchen by installing a shelf above the window. Use it to display decorative items, potted herbs, or vintage kitchenware, adding visual interest and personality to the space.

Glazed Wall Cabinets

Look for glazed wall cabinets to add a touch of vintage elegance to your cottage kitchen. The glass doors allow you to showcase your favourite dishes or collectables while adding a subtle hint of nostalgia to the space.

Natural Wood Cabinetry

Embrace the natural beauty of wood in your cottage kitchen with natural wood cabinetry. Choose a wood species with rich grain patterns and warm tones to add warmth, texture, and character to the space.

Add In a Moveable Kitchen Island

Enhance the functionality of your cottage kitchen with a moveable kitchen island. This versatile piece of furniture provides additional countertop space, storage, and seating options, allowing you to customise the layout to suit your needs.

Install Some Wall Hooks

Incorporate wall hooks into your cottage kitchen to add both style and functionality. Use them to hang aprons, dish towels, or cooking utensils, keeping essentials within easy reach while adding a touch of rustic charm to the space.

In conclusion, creating a cottage style kitchen offers endless opportunities for infusing warmth, charm, and character into your home. By incorporating vintage elements, rustic finishes, and inviting accents, you can transform your kitchen into a cosy and welcoming retreat that celebrates the timeless appeal of countryside living. 

See more kitchen style ideas here.

Plus Rooms offers expert design and build services for kitchen extensions to help you bring your cottage kitchen dreams to life. Contact us today to learn more about our kitchen extension services or use our kitchen design cost calculator to help budget for your dream kitchen.

Country Style Kitchen Ideas

The charm of a country style kitchen lies in its warmth, simplicity, and timeless appeal. Rooted in rural traditions and inspired by the cosy cottages of the countryside, a country or farmhouse kitchen exudes a welcoming atmosphere that brings a touch of nostalgia to modern homes. To help you create your own country style kitchen, our London-based kitchen design and build team explores the key elements of this kitchen design.

What is a Country Style Kitchen?

A country style kitchen is a design aesthetic that draws inspiration from rural landscapes, traditional farmhouses, and rustic simplicity. This timeless style is characterised by its emphasis on warmth, comfort, and functionality. In a country kitchen, you’ll often find a combination of natural materials, vintage elements, and a colour palette that reflects the outdoors. It’s a space that encourages gatherings, embraces imperfections, and exudes a sense of well-lived charm.

How Do I Make My Kitchen into A Country Kitchen?

Transforming your kitchen into a country haven involves a thoughtful approach that considers various design elements. Here are some key ideas to guide you in achieving the quintessential country style.

Expose Structural Materials

Country style kitchen with exposed brick wall.

Country kitchens often celebrate the authenticity of materials. Consider exposing structural elements such as wooden beams or brick walls to add a touch of rustic charm, like in this Petergate kitchen extension. These features create a connection to the architectural roots of country style, fostering a sense of cosiness and character within the space.

Colour-Match the Floors and Surfaces

Country style kitchen design with matching floors and surfaces.

Harmonise the colour scheme of your kitchen by choosing complementary tones for the floors and surfaces. Neutral hues like warm beige, soft grey, terracotta, or muted earth tones work well to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere. This natural colour-matching technique was beautifully implemented in this Adys Road kitchen extension, helping to tie the various elements of the kitchen together, contributing to the overall harmonious aesthetic.

Add a Farmhouse Kitchen Island

Country style kitchen with a farmhouse kitchen island.

A farmhouse kitchen island serves as both a functional centrepiece and a stylistic anchor in a country kitchen like the one in this kitchen extension in Carmina Road. Look for a large, sturdy island with a distressed finish or reclaimed wood to capture the farmhouse charm. This central element provides additional workspace, storage, and a gathering place for family and friends.

Choose Stone for Surfaces

Country style kitchen with stone surfaces.

Natural stone surfaces, such as granite or soapstone, add an authentic touch to a country kitchen. Stone countertops and backsplashes not only exude timeless elegance but also withstand the rigours of daily use. The rugged beauty of stone complements the rustic appeal of this Telegraph Lane country kitchen, creating a durable and visually appealing environment.

Look for Rough-Hewn Textures

Country style kitchen design incorporating rough-hewn textures.

Country kitchens embrace the beauty of imperfections and celebrate the authenticity of raw, rough-hewn textures. Incorporate distressed finishes, reclaimed wood, or textured materials in furniture, cabinetry, and decor to add layers of visual interest. These textures create a tactile and inviting environment, inviting a sense of comfort and familiarity, as you can see in this elegant Barry Road farmhouse kitchen design.

Try a Pastel Palette

Country style kitchen with pastel colours.

Explore a pastel palette for a refreshing and charming twist on country style. Soft blues, greens, yellows, and pinks can be introduced through cabinetry, accessories, or even small appliances. This subtle infusion of colour adds a touch of vintage-inspired whimsy without compromising the overall rustic feel, which you can see in the soft sage tones of this Sefton Street kitchen.

Choose Classic Flooring

Country style kitchen with classic flooring.

Select classic flooring options that align with the country aesthetic. Hardwood floors in warm tones or distressed finishes evoke a sense of tradition and rustic charm. Alternatively, consider stone or tile flooring with a weathered appearance to enhance the authenticity of your country kitchen, like in this Clyde Road kitchen extension.

Include Open Storage

Open storage, such as open shelving or plate racks, is a hallmark of country kitchens. Displaying dishes, cookware, or vintage items on open shelves like this Sefton Street kitchen design adds a personalised and lived-in touch to the space. This approach embraces the practicality of easy access while contributing to the overall aesthetic.

Create a Lighting Plan

A well-thought-out lighting plan is essential for enhancing the ambience of any kitchen, including farmhouse-style kitchens. Incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create layers of illumination. Chandeliers with a rustic or vintage design, pendant lights over the island, and wall sconces can all contribute to a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Cabinet-Free Walls

Consider leaving some walls free of upper cabinets to create an open and airy feel in your country kitchen. This design choice not only adds a sense of spaciousness but also provides an opportunity to showcase decorative elements, such as vintage kitchenware or artwork. It contributes to the unpretentious and relaxed vibe that defines country style. If you have a smaller kitchen and need storage space on your walls, open shelving is a great option. Consider using wrought iron brackets and reclaimed wood for an authentic farmhouse style.

Add in Wooden Details

Wood is a staple material in country kitchens, and incorporating wooden details can enhance the overall aesthetic. Consider wooden ceiling beams, open shelving with distressed wood, wooden kitchen doors, wooden dining sets, wood flooring, or a wooden mantel hood over the stove. These details contribute to the warmth and character of a country kitchen.

Add an Oversized Island

An oversized kitchen island not only serves as a functional centrepiece but also enhances the visual impact of a country kitchen. Choose a substantial island with a distressed or reclaimed wood finish to anchor the space. This creates a focal point that exudes the warmth and hospitality characteristic of country style.

Glazed Cabinets

Introduce glazed cabinets to your country kitchen for a touch of vintage charm. Glazed finishes add depth and character to cabinetry, creating an aged appearance that aligns with the well-loved aesthetic of country style. This subtle antiquing effect contributes to the overall warmth and authenticity of the space.

Introduce Attractive Task Lighting

Highlight specific areas of the kitchen with attractive task lighting. Consider pendant lights with farmhouse-inspired designs over the sink or island. Adjustable wall-mounted or under-cabinet fixtures can illuminate workspaces and enhance both functionality and aesthetics in a country kitchen.

Use Baskets for Storage

Incorporate baskets for storage to add a practical yet charming element to your farmhouse kitchen. Woven baskets can be used to organise pantry items, fruits, or vegetables, bringing a touch of rustic simplicity to the space. Open shelving with baskets contributes to the informal and lived-in feel characteristic of the country style.

Keep it Light and Bright

Country kitchens often feature light and bright colour schemes that contribute to the welcoming atmosphere. Use soft whites, creams, or light earth tones to create an airy and cheerful environment. Light-coloured cabinetry and walls reflect natural light, making the space feel open and inviting.

Use Wood on Your Surfaces

Incorporate wood into various surfaces to enhance the country charm. Wooden countertops, especially in areas like the kitchen island or breakfast bar, add warmth and a touch of rustic elegance. Consider reclaimed wood for a weathered look that complements the country aesthetic.

Add a Flash of Bold Colour

While country kitchens often feature neutral and muted tones, introducing a flash of bold colour can add a surprising element to the design. Consider incorporating a vibrant hue through a statement piece, such as a colourful backsplash, kitchen island, or accent decor. This unexpected touch adds personality and visual interest to the space. You can also see more examples of interesting kitchen colour ideas here.

Creating a country style kitchen is a delightful journey of blending timeless charm with modern functionality. By incorporating elements such as exposed structural materials, coordinating colour schemes, farmhouse-inspired islands, and embracing rough-hewn textures, you can transform your kitchen into a rustic haven that exudes warmth and character. Whether you opt for classic elements or add a contemporary twist, a country style kitchen offers a welcoming and timeless ambience that turns every meal into a memorable experience.

See more kitchen style ideas here.

Create an Exceptional Home with London Design and Build Specialists

Plus Rooms is a full-service provider for all types of home extensions in the greater London area, including loft, kitchen, and kitchen diner extensions. We’ll work with you through the entire process, from costing your renovation to designing your extension to managing planning permission, building the project, and ensuring it is completed to your satisfaction. Please visit our website to see more of our kitchen extensions, and to be inspired by our kitchen extension design ideas and client reviews

Contact us today to start your journey towards the exceptional home you deserve.

Shaker Style Kitchen Ideas: Timeless Elegance for Modern Living

The Shaker style kitchen is a classic and timeless design that has endured for centuries. Characterised by simplicity, functionality, and clean lines, the Shaker style originated from the Shaker religious community in the 18th century. Today, it continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a combination of traditional charm and modern functionality in their kitchen spaces. Our design and build team in London specialising in luxury kitchen extensions looks into the various aspects of Shaker style kitchens, from its fundamental elements to modern interpretations and innovative ideas to elevate this enduring design.

What is a Shaker Style Kitchen?

A Shaker style kitchen is rooted in the principles of the Shaker religious community, which believed in simplicity, utility, and honesty in design. Shaker furniture and architecture reflect these principles, characterised by clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and functional features. In the context of kitchens, the Shaker style embraces a design philosophy that values practicality and craftsmanship, creating spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and highly efficient.

Modern Shaker Style Kitchen

While the Shaker style originated in the 18th century, its enduring appeal has led to modern interpretations that blend classic elements with contemporary aesthetics. A modern Shaker style kitchen often incorporates sleeker lines, updated materials, and a more minimalist approach. These kitchens retain the fundamental Shaker principles while adapting to the demands of contemporary living.

Kitchen Shaker Style Doors

One of the defining features of a Shaker style kitchen is the style of the kitchen doors. Shaker doors are typically characterised by a five-piece construction, with a flat centre panel framed by four sturdy rails and stiles. The simplicity of the door design contributes to the overall clean and uncluttered look of the kitchen. Modern variations may feature inset panels or subtle embellishments, maintaining the essence of Shaker style while adding a touch of sophistication.

Kitchen Shaker Style Cabinets

Kitchen with shaker style cabinets.

Shaker style cabinets are the backbone of a Shaker kitchen, and their design plays a crucial role in achieving the desired aesthetic. Cabinets are often made of solid wood, reflecting the Shaker commitment to craftsmanship and durability. White or light-coloured cabinets, like in this modern Shaker style kitchen design in Lincoln Avenue are popular choices, contributing to the bright and airy feel associated with Shaker kitchens. However, modern interpretations may explore a wider range of colours, allowing for personalised and contemporary expressions. For example, this Wolfington Road kitchen extension uses Shaker cabinets in a deep, elegant green.

Classic Shaker Kitchen Ideas

For those who appreciate the authenticity of the classic Shaker style, there are several ideas to consider when designing a kitchen that pays homage to this timeless aesthetic.

Unpainted Cabinetry for an Authentic Shaker Look

Kitchen with unpainted counter tops to give it a shaker style look.

To capture the essence of traditional Shaker design, consider choosing unpainted cabinetry or countertops. Natural wood finishes, such as oak, maple, or cherry, showcase the beauty of the wood grain and emphasise the craftsmanship behind Shaker-style furniture. Unpainted cabinets exude warmth and authenticity, creating a connection to the past while remaining relevant in the present.

Storage for Shaker Kitchen

Efficient storage solutions are integral to Shaker kitchens. Embrace the Shaker commitment to simplicity by incorporating built-in storage options. Consider pull-out pantry shelves, deep drawers, and customised organisers to maximise space and keep the kitchen clutter-free. The result is a functional and organised space that aligns with the practicality of Shaker design.

Patterned Wallpaper and Colour to Add Character

While Shaker style is often associated with neutral colours and simplicity, there’s plenty of room for creativity within the aesthetic. Introduce character to the kitchen with patterned wallpaper or a carefully chosen accent colour. This can be applied to a feature wall or incorporated through accessories and textiles, adding personality without compromising the overall simplicity of the design.

Embrace Natural Materials from Ceiling to Floor

In keeping with the Shaker commitment to authenticity, embrace natural materials throughout the kitchen. From hardwood floors to wooden ceiling beams, the use of natural materials adds warmth and a sense of connection to nature. Stone countertops, such as marble or granite, further enhance the timeless appeal of the space.

Quintessential Shaker Elements

To ensure that your kitchen remains true to Shaker style, incorporate quintessential elements such as simple hardware, unadorned light fixtures, and a farmhouse sink. These details pay homage to the historical roots of the Shaker design while maintaining a cohesive and harmonious aesthetic.

Incorporating Shaker Kitchen Ideas with Other Styles

Kitchen design that incorporates shaker style ideas with other styles.

While a classic Shaker kitchen holds its own charm, there’s room to experiment by blending Shaker elements with other design styles. This fusion allows for a personalised and unique kitchen that combines the best of both worlds. One great example is this Barry Road kitchen extension, where the Shaker style is used as a foundation for an artistic, character-filled space.

Mix Different Colours on Cabinetry

Shaker style kitchen with mixed colours on cabinetry.

While white or light-coloured cabinets are synonymous with Shaker kitchens, consider mixing different colours to add visual interest. Choose a two-tone cabinet scheme by combining a neutral shade with a muted pastel or a darker hue, like in this Kingsway kitchen extension. This modern twist on Shaker style injects personality into the space while maintaining the overall balance of simplicity.

Glazed Cabinets

Kitchen extension with a shaker style glazed cabinet.

Introduce glazed cabinets to reflect and bounce light around the kitchen. This not only brightens the space but also adds a touch of elegance to the Shaker aesthetic. Glass-fronted cabinets, including free-standing pieces, can be used to display carefully curated items, balancing the practicality of Shaker design with decorative elements. A great example of this is this Petergate kitchen extension.

Accessorise with Rustic Materials

Kitchen with rustic materials to give a shaker style kitchen look.

Enhance the Shaker kitchen with rustic accessories that complement the simplicity of the design. Consider wrought iron or black metal hardware, open shelving with reclaimed wood, or vintage-inspired lighting fixtures. These rustic touches, which you can see in this Clyde Road kitchen extension, add character and warmth, creating a lived-in feel within the clean lines of the Shaker style.

Add a Timeless Sink

Incorporate a farmhouse or apron-front sink for a timeless touch that complements the Shaker style. The simplicity of the Shaker cabinets pairs well with the classic, practical design of farmhouse or butler sinks, creating a harmonious and functional focal point in the kitchen. You can also incorporate some glamour into this design with a copper or metallic sink.

Add Texture with Tiles

Experiment with textures by incorporating patterned or textured tiles into the kitchen design. This can be achieved through a decorative backsplash or tiled flooring. The juxtaposition of texture against the simplicity of Shaker cabinets adds depth and visual interest, creating a modern and inviting space.

Shaker style kitchens have stood the test of time, and their enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of clean lines, functional design, and craftsmanship. Whether you prefer a classic interpretation or a modern twist, Shaker kitchens provide a versatile canvas for creating a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. By embracing the fundamental principles of Shaker design while incorporating innovative ideas, you can achieve a kitchen that seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary living, ensuring a timeless and elegant atmosphere for years to come.

See more kitchen style ideas here.

Use the Best Kitchen Design and Construction Specialists in London

As a leading design and build company in London, we bring a wealth of experience and dedication to every project we undertake. Our family-run business takes pride in crafting beautifully tailored kitchen extensions that cater to homes of all sizes. 

From the initial concept to the final finishing touches, we oversee every aspect of the design, planning, and construction process, ensuring your kitchen reflects your unique style and fulfils your specific needs. We even have a cost calculator that you can use to help plan your kitchen design. At Plus Rooms, we understand that your kitchen is the heart of your home, and we are committed to transforming it into a space where memories are made. With our expertise and passion for excellence, you can trust us to turn your kitchen dreams into a reality. Contact us today for more information.

Kitchen Design Ideas

Evolving beyond its utilitarian roots, the modern kitchen stands as a testament to innovation, style, and functionality. From the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology to the timeless allure of classic aesthetics, each facet of kitchen design carries the potential to transform a space into an inviting haven. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into a myriad of kitchen design ideas tailored for contemporary living, exploring trends, concepts, and inspirations that promise to elevate this essential space to new heights of sophistication and comfort. Whether you seek practical solutions, artistic expressions, or a harmonious blend of both, join us on a captivating journey through the realm of kitchen design innovations.

Table of Contents

Modern Kitchen Design Ideas

Modern kitchen design in London.

Kitchens are constantly evolving, not just in how they look but also in how they are used. In the past, the kitchen was hidden away, with the wealthiest homeowners leaving the space to staff and hardly setting foot in it. Now, kitchens are the heart of the home, designed as much for cooking and running the household as for family gatherings and entertaining guests.

Ultimately, every contemporary kitchen design should be unique, reflecting your lifestyle and creative tastes. However, a few things that are considered essential for a modern kitchen include frameless cabinetry, minimalist hardware, natural materials, simple patterns, sleek appliances, and double-bowl or large sinks.

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Kitchen Remodelling Ideas

Remodelled kitchen in London by Plus Rooms design and build company.

Kitchen remodelling can breathe new life into your home and add value to your property. It is one of the most popular home renovation projects among homeowners. If you want to give your kitchen a fresh and modern look, there are plenty of kitchen remodelling ideas that you can consider. From updating the paint colour to replacing the flooring, there are several ways to transform your kitchen into a stylish and functional space.

One of the simplest ways to refresh your kitchen is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Choosing the right colour can make all the difference in creating a warm, inviting vibe in your kitchen. If you’re looking for a pop of colour, consider painting an accent wall or the cabinet doors. White is a classic colour that will never go out of style and is perfect for creating a clean and bright look. If you want to add some drama, try a dark navy, or black to create a bold, modern feel.

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Kitchen Colour Ideas

Use of colour in a kitchen extension by London based design and build company Plus Rooms.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any home. It’s where people come together to cook, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. So, it’s no surprise that many homeowners want to make their kitchens as inviting and unique as possible. One way to achieve this is by adding colour to the kitchen.

Although there’s nothing wrong with a white kitchen, adding colour to your kitchen can have many benefits. It is an excellent way to show off your personality and style, creating a look that’s unique to you and making the kitchen a reflection of who you are. Colour has an incredible impact on our mood and emotions. Adding colour to your kitchen can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that invites people to relax and enjoy the space. If you’re planning to sell your home, adding colour to your kitchen can increase its value. A colourful and inviting kitchen is one of the most attractive features for potential buyers.

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Kitchen Door Ideas

Back door of a kitchen extension in London by Plus Rooms design and build company.

The back door of the kitchen serves as a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, making it an essential element to consider. The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and the doors that lead into this bustling space can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic and functionality. From back doors to interior doors, there are various design options to consider when it comes to kitchen entrances. 

Installing a sliding glass door creates a seamless transition between your kitchen and outdoor entertaining area. This design choice allows natural light to flood the space while providing a panoramic view of the surroundings. You can choose between PVC and aluminium frames for exceptional durability, with colours to match your style.

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Kitchen Decor Ideas

Kitchen decor of kitchen extension in London done by Plus Rooms design and build company.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where meals are prepared, conversations flow, and memories are made. As a homeowner, you have the opportunity to transform this essential space into a stylish and functional area that reflects your personality and taste through kitchen decor. Some of the trending kitchen styles that homeowners are embracing today in their kitchen extension designs include farmhouse kitchens, retro-inspired kitchens, and modern sleek kitchens.

An accent wall is an excellent way to introduce personality and drama into your space, making it a must-have kitchen decorating idea. Consider using bold wallpaper, a striking paint colour, or even natural materials like reclaimed wood or brick to create a focal point. This technique can help break up the monotony of a single-coloured kitchen and provide a sense of depth and character. In a modern sleek kitchen, an accent wall can be a textured masterpiece, adding depth to the minimalist design. In a retro-inspired kitchen, opt for a playful wallpaper pattern that takes you back in time. For a farmhouse kitchen, a reclaimed wood accent wall can create that rustic, welcoming atmosphere.

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Kitchen Lighting Design Ideas

Lighting in a kitchen extension built by Plus Rooms in London.

Lighting is often considered last in a kitchen design process, with extensions, appliances, countertops, and cabinets taking the most attention. But the right lighting is just as important as any other aspect of your design, impacting functionality and aesthetics. Accent lighting should show off the creative side of this highly functional space, so don’t be afraid to add visual interest and style with a larger pendant light, several pendant lights, or a chandelier. Lights that are too small can make the space feel bottom heavy and out of proportion.

Task lighting is the most functional, so you want bright lighting to light up the prep, cooking, and washing up areas. Directional lighting tends to be an issue because it causes you to cast a shadow over the countertop, so we recommend hidden under-cabinet lighting strips. Big light fittings, multiple recessed kitchen ceiling lights, and multiple bulbs in ambient and accent lighting can easily overpower a kitchen, especially if it’s a small space. Adding dimmers along with warm, low watt bulbs is one of the best kitchen lighting ideas – and a must-have to create a warm, social area.

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Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Kitchen extension in London with island.

Kitchen islands have been around for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a kitchen without one. Although they used to be reserved for large or open design kitchens, modern designs allow you to include this functional and attractive piece in almost any space. Kitchen islands can be custom designed to your exact specifications, making them one of the most useful features in your kitchen.

Whatever you want to use your kitchen island for, make sure your design includes good lighting. This is especially important if you are using it as a cooking, prep, or dining space. It’s also a fantastic way to add character and style to highlight this feature. By simply adding a larger countertop surface to your kitchen island, you instantly create a dining space that’s convenient for everyday use. It makes the kitchen a more social zone, is perfect for serving meals directly from the kitchen, and means you get lots of company while you cook or entertain. 

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Kitchen Splashback Ideas

Granite kitchen splashback in London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Among the myriad elements that contribute to the overall visual appeal of a kitchen, splashbacks have emerged as a canvas for creative expression. This modest yet impactful space serves as the perfect focus for artistic expression in your kitchen design. Its strategic placement, nestled between culinary essentials and beneath ambient lighting, ensures that your splashback is a constant feast for the eyes. 

With an infinite array of colours, materials, and patterns at your disposal, this seemingly compact area possesses the power to redefine the entire ambience of your kitchen. Whether you seek to infuse vibrant hues that reflect your vivacious personality or prefer the understated elegance of intricate designs, the kitchen splashback eagerly embraces your creative journey. It is the space where innovation meets function, where everyday cooking transforms into an artful experience.

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Kitchen Flooring Ideas

Flooring of a kitchen extension in London by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Selecting the right flooring material for your kitchen can have a profound impact on its aesthetics, durability, and overall feel. The best kitchen flooring depends on several factors, including your personal style, budget, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to.

Dark flooring can lend a sleek and contemporary feeling to your kitchen. Options like dark hardwood or deep-hued tiles can create a dramatic contrast with cabinets and countertops. This look is not only trendy but also hides dirt and stains better than lighter options. Wood-look tile flooring for kitchens offers the timeless beauty of hardwood with added durability. These ceramic or porcelain tiles mimic the rich grains and natural warmth of wood while providing the water resistance and easy maintenance required in kitchen spaces.

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Kitchen Tile Ideas

Kitchen tiles of a kitchen extension in London by Plus Rooms.

Embarking on a kitchen renovation is an exciting journey, and one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is choosing the right tiles. Choosing the right type of tiles is paramount to the success of your kitchen renovation. Various materials offer distinct benefits, considering both aesthetics and practicality.

Known for their durability and low maintenance, porcelain tiles are an ideal option for high-traffic areas like kitchens. They are resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture, making them suitable for both floors and walls. Porcelain tiles also offer diverse design possibilities, replicating the look of natural stone or wood. Durable and affordable, ceramic tiles come in an array of styles and colours. They are resistant to heat and moisture, making them an excellent choice for kitchen floors and walls. Choose a glazed finish for added protection and easy cleaning.

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Kitchen Wall Ideas

Wall of a kitchen extension decorated with artwork and a pinboard.

Beyond the functional aspects of cabinetry and appliances, your kitchen walls provide an opportunity to express your personality and enhance the overall aesthetic of the space. For a versatile and functional approach to kitchen walls, consider incorporating a chalkboard or pinboard. Not only does it serve as a practical space for grocery lists, recipes, and notes, but it also offers an ever-changing canvas for your creativity. Use coloured chalk to add a burst of vibrancy, or keep it classic with white chalk for a timeless look. A chalkboard wall encourages interaction and can be an excellent way to involve family members in kitchen activities.

Bring an industrial and rustic charm to your kitchen by exposing the bricks on your walls. Exposed brick adds texture, warmth, and a sense of history to the space. This design choice works well in both modern and traditional kitchens, creating a visually compelling backdrop. You can choose to leave the bricks in their natural state or paint them to complement your overall colour scheme. Combine exposed bricks with sleek countertops and modern appliances for a balanced and eclectic look.

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Kitchen Sink Ideas

A copper kitchen sink in a kitchen extension in London.

The kitchen sink – far more than just a place to wash dishes, it’s the workhorse of your kitchen, the scene of countless culinary creations and messy prep sessions. When planning your kitchen design, every detail deserves attention, and the sink is no exception. Gone are the days of every kitchen having the exact same sink. Today, kitchen sinks come in a variety of materials, sizes, and configurations to suit every taste and need.

For busy lifestyles, stainless steel reigns supreme as the most popular modern kitchen sink design in terms of low-maintenance upkeep. Its smooth surface resists stains and wipes clean easily. Composite sinks are another low-maintenance option, with their non-porous surface resisting dirt and grime.

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Kitchen Worktop Ideas

Granite kitchen worktop in a London kitchen extension.

The kitchen worktop is the stage for culinary creations, the witness to countless meals shared with loved ones, and the anchor of your kitchen’s functionality. Gone are the days of limited choices. Today’s worktops come in a vast array of materials, colours, and textures to suit every taste and budget. A timeless classic, granite offers unmatched durability, heat resistance, and a luxurious aesthetic. The natural variations in veining make each piece unique, creating a truly bespoke look.

Renowned for its non-porous surface and stain resistance, quartz offers a wide range of colours and patterns to complement any style. It’s a low-maintenance option, making it ideal for busy households. Warm, inviting, and undeniably stylish, solid wood worktops add a touch of natural beauty to your kitchen. They require regular maintenance but develop a beautiful patina over time.

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Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Kitchen renovation in London done by Plus Rooms.

If there’s one room that deserves to be renovated, it’s the kitchen. As the heart of the home, it’s a space everyone uses daily for meals, entertaining, and much more. It’s a space that should uplift your spirits when you walk into it and wow buyers when it comes time to sell. It’s also the space that’s often the most outdated in your home where a renovation will make a considerable impact.

In UK homes, the thing our clients want most is more floor space. Kitchen extensions, when designed properly, can give you much more breathing room, space for storage, and can change your small kitchen into an airy kitchen diner. Although these projects do cost more than standard renovations, they also add the most value to your lifestyle and property. 

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Kitchen Diner Design Ideas

Kitchen diner extension in London by design and building company Plus Rooms.

Kitchen diners fit in perfectly with modern, hybrid lifestyles, creating a space for everything from food preparation and keeping an eye on the kids to entertaining and office work. Kitchen diners are a part of both large and small homes due to their flexible functionality and – when done right – their eye-catching style.

When designing a kitchen diner, it’s important to create a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Whether for a large or small space, kitchen diners are all about the flow of traffic in the kitchen space and through to the rest of the house. You don’t want people getting in each other’s way while the multifunction space is being used. Because of this, what you build and what you put in the space has to match how you want to use it. And this can be a lot more challenging than it appears.

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Open Plan Kitchen Design Ideas

Open plan kitchen design in London.

Versatile and functional, the open plan kitchen isn’t going anywhere. The best news is that this design can be achieved in almost any home, regardless of the current kitchen size. Whether you’re living on your own or have a family, your home is modern or traditional, or your style is classic or eclectic, open plan works for them all. 

Open plan living is very effective in small spaces, giving you more useful floor area by removing unnecessary walls and doors. You can also add more floor space by extending your open plan design out into your garden or side return. Just 1.5 metres worth of extension can transform a small kitchen space. Adding space vertically with a vaulted ceiling immediately adds light, drama, and spaciousness to small kitchens.

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Galley Kitchen Ideas

A galley kitchen extension in London.

Designing a new kitchen is an exciting endeavour, and for those working with limited space, the galley kitchen layout offers a practical and efficient solution. A galley kitchen is a unique and efficient layout characterised by its long, narrow design with parallel countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Originating from the compact kitchens found on ships and aeroplanes, the galley kitchen maximises space utilisation while presenting a streamlined and functional workspace. Despite its space-saving advantages, designing an aesthetically pleasing and functional galley kitchen can present challenges that require thoughtful consideration.

Your type of kitchen flooring can significantly impact the perception of space in a galley kitchen. Choose flooring with directional patterns, such as diagonal tiles or hardwood planks laid parallel to the longest walls. The long, wider planks deliver an optical illusion that creates a sense of movement and visually expands the dimensions of the narrow galley kitchen. For those willing to make a more significant investment, a side extension can be a transformative addition to a galley kitchen. This architectural enhancement not only expands the physical dimensions of the kitchen but also provides an opportunity to introduce larger windows or doors.

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U-shape Kitchen Design Ideas

A U-shape kitchen extension in London built by Plus Rooms.

U-shaped kitchens are a popular layout choice that provides ample space for cooking, preparing meals, and socialising. As the name suggests, this kitchen design features cabinets, countertops, and appliances arranged in a U-shaped configuration. With countertops and storage options on three sides, U-shaped kitchens offer excellent efficiency and accessibility, making them ideal for both small and large kitchens.

Small kitchens can benefit greatly from the U-shaped layout, as it optimises the available space. Installing a bay window or full-width sliding doors at the open end of a U-shaped kitchen can bring in natural light, making the kitchen appear more spacious and enhancing its overall appeal. For U-shaped kitchens, a substantial island can serve as a multifunctional centrepiece. It can house appliances, offer additional storage, and act as a casual dining area or workspace. Incorporating a breakfast bar across one end of the U-shaped kitchen provides a convenient dining area while also creating additional countertop space for food preparation.

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Small Kitchen Design Ideas

A small kitchen in London made bigger with a kitchen extension.

Many homeowners dream of a spacious kitchen with more cupboard space than they know what to do with, but the reality is that a small kitchen can be just as rewarding. Maximising your space in a small kitchen is where things get a bit creative. With a limited floorspace, you don’t want to impede traffic and movement through the space, but there are ways you can get almost all the storage and counterspace you desire. Upper cabinets can make your space feel crowded and boxed in, so why not go for open shelving? This is a beautiful statement item and it’s much more affordable too.

If you are considering renovating to make your small kitchen a little larger, it’s good to keep in mind that just an extra metre here and there can make a world of difference to your space. One of the best options is to extend into your side return, which turns a largely unused space into a useful one. 

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Choose the Best Design and Build Company to Create Your Dream Kitchen Extension

Plus Rooms is an experienced, full-service design and construction business in London, handling every aspect of your construction projects and with an exceptional track record of completing over 1,400 projects in homes throughout London to world-class standards. In addition to handling small home extensions and kitchen extensions, we also specialise in single storey, double storey, and loft extensions. Contact us today to find out more about our kitchen extensions or to get a quote on your project.