‘We’ve extended and decorated our home in the nine years we’ve lived here but had always wanted to create our dream kitchen,’ says Maria. ‘Our old one was in the centre of the house and had no door to the garden.
‘With three growing children and a dog, it had become impractical,’ she adds. ‘We love entertaining, too, but as the original kitchen was small, whoever was cooking would be left out while guests retreated to another room.’
The couple wanted a multi-functional kitchen-diner for family living, with an area for the children to do their homework, plus plenty of space for entertaining guests.
- The owners: Maria Jude, a housewife, and her husband Frederick, who runs his own record company, live here with their three children, Marcus, 12, Leanna, nine, and Miles, six
- The property: A four-bedroom 1960s house
- The location: Barnet, north London
- What they spent: The couple’s kitchen project cost around £96,000
Even before hiring architect Paul Scott, Maria and Frederick were keen to combine Edwardian detailing with contemporary design in a new extended space.
‘We love orangeries, which were popular in the Edwardian period, and wanted this to be the style of the build,’ Maria explains. ‘That meant the extension could feature brickwork in keeping with our house’s exterior, plus a pitched glazed skylight to maximise the light.’
There was already a rear extension on the right-hand side of the house, so for the new kitchen-diner they planned to extend the dining room to the rear on the left.
Architect Paul Scott took on board the couple’s ideas, designing an orangeryinspired extension with folding sliding doors opening out to the garden. He also did all the paperwork for the planning permission, and the build was able to start 12 weeks later.
Although the building work was fairly straightforward, there were a couple of difficult moments and problems to solve.
‘The day work began, we decided to increase the size of the new space and add a utility room, which we hadn’t included in the original planning application,’ says Maria. ‘However, we wanted the build to continue while we waited for our revised plans to be accepted. It wasn’t so bad when the foundations were laid, but it became nerve-wracking once the walls went up in case permission wasn’t given.’
After a tense eight weeks, the revised plans were granted and the couple breathed a sigh of relief.
A pile and raft construction had to be used for the extension’s foundations as the soil had a history of heave from tree roots.
‘The builders were good at coming up with ideas and decided to build a hipped brick plinth course to cover the raft and disguise the foundations,’ says Maria. ‘It helped that Frederick was on site every morning as he could help solve problems and ensure the work kept to schedule.’
The couple factored in a two-way chimney breast with one opening in the new kitchen and the other in the adjacent living room. However, the finished design was too big and dominated the space, so Frederick decided to knock it down.
‘The size of the chimney was our fault but we hated it,’ says Maria. ‘The builders were brilliant and started again, making its width much smaller this time.’
With the build under way, the couple could consider the kitchen design. They had collated a lot of ideas over the years and knew what they wanted: a traditional style with contemporary features.
‘We chose kitchen designer Moneyhill Interiors as they delivered our ideas and took the lead with the design,’ says Maria.
Having saved a picture of a curved island unit from a magazine, Maria opted for a similar style in the new space. The couple chose a Regency-style kitchen, incorporating Edwardian features with a monochrome scheme for a timeless look.
‘Frederick likes getting involved with details, so he decided on the high skirtings, architraves and coving,’ says Maria. ‘I wanted plenty of storage, without it encroaching on the space. There are cupboards built into the island, plus a larder-style wall next to the fridge-freezer.
‘Although we spent more than we had planned, our kitchen is exactly what we had dreamed of,’ Maria adds. ‘We’ve already enjoyed having the doors opening out into the garden this summer.’
|Kitchen units, worktops, appliances, fixtures and fittings||£40,250|
|Extension and foundations||£35,000|