HOUSE OF FUN
An open-plan wrap-around addition has given Amy and Nick Robert-Nicoud a loft-style space to spend quality family time in.
Feature DEBBIE JEFFERY Photographer LIANE RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Project PLUS ROOMS
Q? What was your inspiration for the new extension?
The most important thing was that it should be a relaxing, fun space for the whole family, and we liked the idea of a quirky open-plan look, similar to a New York loft apartment The traditional layout of separate rooms just didn’t work for us, and we wanted to bring more natural light into the ground floor. The design and build company we chose, Plus Rooms, has a great reputation locally and was able to secure planning permission and build the entire shell of the new brick and block extension while we stayed living in the house.
Q? How did you achieve the loft look?
We salvaged bricks from demolished walls, which were used for the interior wall in the dining area, and instead of boxing in the structural steelwork, we left it exposed and painted it black to contrast with the white walls and ceiling. The whole family enjoys playing pool, so making space for the pool table and adding accessories like the Fender bar stools has given us the relaxed, fun living space we’d hoped for.
Q? ?Why did you choose a two-tone kitchen?
Although the house was quite dated when we bought it in 2018, the previous owner had recently installed a new kitchen, which we just couldn’t justify ripping out We saved the cabinets, but although we found the same design, we weren’t able to source the colour, so we took a risk and mixed grey and white units together. Its something everyone comments on, and we’ve continued the colour scheme throughout the space, including our built-in storage seat under the bi-fold window. We are always keen to mend or re-use: we also kept the range cooker and the sink from the old kitchen, which helped keep costs down further. In fact, we came in under the original budget, and the extension only took eleven weeks to build and fit out, which was such a pleasant surprise.
THE PROJECT DETAILS
MEET THE RENOVATORS
Amy Robert-Nicoud, a teacher, and her husband Nick, who works in marketing, live with their children, Sam, 16 and Tea, 15, in this three-storey, five-bedroom Edwardian semi in Richmond?
To incorporate an existing lean-to utility room into a wrap-around rear and side extension, creating an open-plan kitchen/dining/ living space overlooking the garden through bi-fold doors and lit from above by rooflights
Building work ?87,500 Doors, windows & skylights ?18,000 Grey kitchen cabinets & worktop ?4,800 Laminate flooring ?1,400 Wall tiles ?300 Fridge-freezer ?1,100 Lighting ?200 Furniture & decoration ?14,700
TOTAL SPEND ?128,000
GO FLAT OUT
The timber-framed fibreglass roof over the new extension is perfect for housing the generous rooflights, and avoids blocking views from the upper windows, while a small overhanging canopy of 30cm runs flush with the internal ceiling.
MAKE SPACE FOR GAMES
A pool table doesn’t need to be consigned to a garage or playroom – incorporating it into the main living space brings the whole family together and is a fun way to spend time with visiting friends.
‘Adding accessories like the Fender bar stools has given us the relaxed, fun living space we’d hoped for’ MIX AND MATCH
The original kitchen cabinetry has been reused and new unit doors added in a contrasting colourway for a contemporary two-tone effect
‘We couldn’t justify ripping out the kitchen so saved the cabinets and kept the range cooker, which helped keep costs down’.
The couple decided against a central island, choosing instead to utilise a peninsular unit as a breakfast far, creating a more spacious, relaxed scheme
From everyday use to entertaining, the open-plan arrangement of the extension is adaptable, with the couple able to bring a second identical table into this space for larger dinner parties
BUILD IN STORAGE
A comfy window seat doubles as clutter-clearing, space-saving, solution as well as inviting feature
NEED-TO-KNOW: OPEN-PLAN LIVING
Building regulation approval will normally be required for any major internal alternations, such as removing a load-bearing wall, beam, or chimney breast, and when two or more rooms are combined.? A load-bearing wall supports other elements of the building, such as the roof, so ensure you seek expert advice from a structural engineer or other qualified professional.
Every wall you remove means fewer places to position furniture and radiators, so sketch potential layouts before you start, and design in plenty of storage to reduce clutter.? The window and door positions in an open-plan space need to be considered, floor levels might not meet from one room to the next, while radiators and electrical switches and sockets may need relocating.
Open-plan kitchens with dining and seating areas are extremely sociable, but having another quiet room to escape to offers an ideal solution for busy families, and a separate utility room will reduce noise from washing machines, for example.? Choose soft furnishings and large rugs to stifle sound in a large room and install efficient ventilation to extract strong cooking smells.
Glass bi-fold doors, windows and rooflights, ?18,000, Integral Home. Grey kitchen cabinets and worktops, ?4,800, Howdens. Tegola whitewashed laminate flooring, ?1,400, Carpetright. Jerry dining chairs, ?85 each, Habitat. Rangemaster Kitchener range cooker, ?1,569, Appliance City. Fender bar stools, ?99 each, Andertons. Samsung American-style fridge-freezer, ?1,100, Currys. Wall tiles, Topps Tiles, ?300. Diamond pool table, ?400, Radley Pool Tables. Vintage wooden circus sign, ?50, Vintage French. For a similar dining table, try the Watford extendable vintage design, ?599, La Redoute