Tessa Milton was inspired by the look and colour palette of her childhood kitchen when designing this relaxing family space


Q? Why did you want to change your existing kitchen?
It was dark and narrow and had a cramped extension stuck on the end, which was only big enough for a tiny dining table. I always knew I wanted to knock it down and build a new extension, so when I had the budget I approached design and build company, Plus Rooms. They took my ideas and provided all the technical know-how, such as how many rooflights would be needed. I knew that I wouldn?t be able to project-manage it myself as I was working full time, so it was reassuring to know that one company could look after everything for me.

Q? Did you face any challenges in the process?
Fortunately, setting up a temporary kitchen in the living room meant we didn?t have to move out, even when the back wall was taken down! The work only took around six months, but it was completed over the winter, which meant we were quite cold at times, especially when the water and heating had to be turned off for a couple of days! As there?s no side or rear access, the builders had to bring everything through the house, but they were extremely careful and considerate. My tip would be to order items such as taps early, because any delivery delays can hold up the project.

Q? What inspired your design for the kitchen cabinets?
I worked with my mum to come up with the sage-green colour; she was also an interior designer, and we had a green kitchen when I was growing up. The cabinets were made by a local carpenter from spray-painted MDF, and it took about five attempts before I found the perfect shade! The idea for rattan inserts came from the designer Matilda Goad, who uses it in her designs. I soaked the rattan in water so that it swelled, then cut it to size and attached the panels to the cabinet doors with staples and glue. I?m so pleased with the finished result ? everything in the extension has turned out even better than I could have imagined.



Interior designer Tessa Milton (tessamilton.com), lives with children Tom, 14 and Flora, 12, in this three-storey, three-bedroom terraced house in Putney, south-west London

To demolish an existing dated lean-to, extending out to the side of the property to create a wraparound timber-framed kitchen-diner that opens out onto the garden

Design, build & materials ?51,800 Doors & windows ?12,046 Kitchen cabinets ?12,000 Worktop ?5,000 Parquet floor ?3,400 Patio tiling ?1,400 Furniture, lighting & appliances ?24,350

TOTAL SPEND ?109,996

Tessa?s trips to Morocco motivated her to lay encaustic tiles as a patio, bringing colour and interest to the small rear garden and creating a low-maintenance feature to enjoy inside and out

Designing the new layout and cabinetry herself, Tessa chose bespoke sage-green doors inspired by her childhood kitchen, and a glazed Zellige tile splashback. Engineered parquet flooring has been laid over underfloor heating

‘I worked with my mum to come up with colour as we had a green kitchen when I was growing up – it took a few attempts before I found the perfect sage shade’

CREATE HIDDEN STORAGE A practical L-shaped dining bench was made by a local carpenter to Tessa’s specification, which she uses to store items such as cutlery and placements within handy reach of the dining table

Windows & doors, ?12,046, Integral. Habitation Mountain Chalet parquet flooring, ?89.99 per sqm, Claybrook. Antique handmade reclaimed Hacienda patio tiles, ?150 per sqm, Maitland and Poate. Kitchen cabinets, ?12,000, Slawek Smiech. Composite worktop, ?5,000, Stoneworks. Oslo dining table, ?1,749, and bench, ?949, Heal?s. Chair, ?139, Cult Furniture. Aquila wall lights, ?105 each, Pooky. Zellige tiles, ?98 per sqm, Mosaic Factory. Flora mirror, ?940, Balineum. Lucia L bracket wall light, from ?288 each, Hector
Finch. Rattan wave pendant lights, ?160 each, Matilda Goad. LG GSJ560PZXV American fridge-freezer in stainless steel, ?1,249, Appliance City. Rangemaster PDL90DFFSS/C dual-fuel range cooker, ?12,069, Donaghy Bros. Aged brass kitchen tap, ?607, Perrin & Rowe

DESIGN-IN-THE-DETAIL Inspired by designer Matilda Goad, Tessa fitted the distinctive rattan inserts on the cabinetry herself, finishing with brass knobs and cup handles that perfectly complement her chosen shade of green

On Trend Decorating
Primarily used for chairs and inserts on 1970s sideboards, this versatile natural material is currently enjoying a style resurgence in UK homes, appearing in everything from dining room furniture to quirky cabinetry. One of its great selling points is its lightweight, pliable quality, and it also stains well – meaning it can be painted or sprayed to suit your decorating scheme. Tolerant to extreme heat and moisture, rattan is the ideal material for kitchens and bathrooms in particular; plus its purse-friendly price tag is perfect for projects on a budget.