Kitchen extension ideas…

Some great gallery images of kitchen extensions on

All images courtesy of:

We’ve gone through just about every possibility of extending our living space, all of which so far have been beyond are very modest budget! My latest idea is to simply use the existing shell of the kitchen and utility area and to just redesign the space into a kitchen / dining room area, with large double French doors onto the garden.

This will mean no knocking down walls, building new walls, moving drains, laying foundations, no skylights etc. It will just mean putting a new pitched and tiled roof on the existing utility room (it’s a flat roof at present) and extending the walls up a bit.

The other main thing will be to insert a load-bearing steel lintel to support the end gable of the house, allowing us to open up the existing space into a single space. This may sound complicated but it just involves propping up the existing walls with removable steel supports then sliding in the new steel. We’d get a builder to do this and the roof and we’re getting quotes right now. Hopefully it’ll be affordable!

The connection to the garden is really important and means we would be able to see the kids without needing to be right by them outside. It would also improve our connection to the seasons and outside, including more light, better views and an improved feeling of space inside.

All the other jobs we can do ourselves, such as getting a new window for the kitchen, finding and installing the French doors to the garden, fitting a new kitchen, painting and decorating. I feel some major Doing Yourself In coming!


World Tour of Bath #6 – Holburne Museum…

Eric Parry’s Holburne Museum extension. Completed in 2011, in parallel with the restoration of the main building, which dates from 1796. The scheme took 10 years to progress through the design, planning and construction stages.

The result is a fairly impressive structure. The ceramic and glazed exterior is quite a challenging thing, particularly in the context of such as strong local character and it’s location: attached to a grade l listed building. The glazing does reflect the mature plane trees to the rear which are the start of Sydney Gardens, through which a canal and trainline pass!

The green and metallic ceramic vertical tiles work well and compliment the form of the older building and the contrast is significant. The whole scheme would have transformed the interaction of the museum with the gardens and the interior spaces are very well integrated with the 18th century building.

The ground floor cafe and outdoor seating area works well and I could see this being a very nice place to hang out in the summer – it was nice enough when I was there and I managed to avoid a pretty torrential rain storm while I was in side – to emerge with large puddles everywhere and torrents of water running down the hill to the University of Bath!

A 30 minute walk to the university campus and an interesting lecture. Lots of interesting new build projects there and overall a day of inspiring design.



A quick idea for the interior design of our hoped for house extension…

Combined with natural wood and white walls? : )


Itiquira House – Rio…

Some inspiring images from the Itiquira House in Rio (thanks again to the Cool Hunter!).

I’ve always got our future (and at this point totally imaginary) extension in mind as well as the garden landscaping, and we’re always adding to our ideas on design. There are a few ideas from this which are interesting.

– the use of covered outside canopy to provide rain shelter and extended living space.

– large glazing which lets in loads of light and the views.

– there is a restricted view to the garden but this is mitigated by the interesting plants – the perception of space inside is the key feature. There is very little depth but very interesting.

– it’s easier to control a smaller area and make it look really good, as opposed to the whole garden space. Our friends had a very small decked area to the rear of their old house – but because it was well presented and neat, the effect was really positive

– the use wood piles could help to define part of the outside room, combined with decking and plants, to form layers of texture and colour.


Coloured cladding panels…

I’ve been thinking about the materials for our (at this point hypothetical) extension and have just come across another interesting option. The product is the Moeding Longoton terracotta panel, which can be made to dimensions ranging from 150mm to 3000mm.

The idea is that these panels are used as an external wall system, on top of an aluminium support framework. The insulation goes behind this and the main supporting wall. This system provides colour, texture and weather proofing and is an alternative to brick or render.

Brochure for product: Longoton_09-08_en[1]

Most of the back of the house is going to be white rendered fairly soon (fingers crossed!), while the front of the house is retained as the traditional Victorian brick with rendered bay. The red to cream colour range could be a nice reference to both the red brick and the white detailing and render, while also adding some interest and colour.


Boston Ivy…

After having in my mind the ideal plant to combine with an extension material, for the last 4 years, i’ve only just got around to trying to find out what it is.

The building next to my old office in Swindon was covered in Boston Ivy, as is the old B&Q store on Bruton Way. Every time I pass the derelict building i’m impressed with the plants colours, forms and changing nature. It is deciduous and during the autumn there is an amazing array of colours.

The other important feature is that it is non-intrusive and does not penetrate the base material, therefore will not compromise the stability or weather-proof nature of the walls.

I want to use timber panels as the outer cladding and this will weather naturally to a silver grey, and during the winter, this will be exposed when the Ivy has died back, with just the winding stems showing.

Eventually, I want to re-build the shed at the bottom of the garden, making it a ‘lodge’ which would have a single habitable room (maybe for music or guests) with a wood and garden equipment store attached. The idea is that this will tie in with the extension material and the overall appearance. It might take a while, but as they say, the journey is more important than the destination.


Colston Hall extension, Bristol…

On Friday we went to see Grandma in Bristol and had a very nice lunch at the Watershed, by the floating harbour area in the centre.

After that, we had a quick look around the new Colston Hall Theatre extension, designed by Levitt Berstein Associates.

Awesome spaces inside and I love the facade! It is a copper alloy (probably Techu Gold) which is designed to not weather, but keep it’s colour and tone, unlike natural copper.