Modern kitchen-diner from a side return extension

Guy and Fiona Walkinshaw built out to the side of their home to create the ideal family kitchen space for entertaining

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‘Celebrating Christmas with family and friends in our home is fantastic now that we’ve extended to create a sociable entertaining area,’ says Guy. ‘It’s great that we can all be in the same part of the house rather than being stuck in separate rooms.’

The modern family space is a far cry from the small kitchen and dining room that the couple inherited when they bought the Victorian house back in 2008.

Shortly after moving in, the couple began transforming the property, starting with essentials such as fitting a new boiler, radiators and double glazing. However, after five years they wanted to extend the house to gain an open plan kitchen dining area, with a relocated cloak room.

The couple started their project by researching local construction firms with experience of building similar extensions. They chose Buildteam, who offered in-house architects, and also handled gaining planning permission within a Conservation Area.‘

With the plans approved, building work started in October and the project lasted eight months, during which time the family continued living in the house to save on costs.

Fact file

  • The owners: Guy and Fiona Walkinshaw live here with their son Thomas, nine. Guy is a marketing consultant in advertising and media, and Fiona is a maternity services manager
  • The property: Five-bedroom Victorian semi
  • The location: Streatham, south-east London
  • What they spent: The couple’s extension project cost around £177,000

‘We’ve now got a sociable space that’s ideal for entertaining, whatever the time of year,’ – Guy, homeowner


The original house had a separate kitchen and dining room with limited access to the garden. In order to create the large space the couple wanted, several steel beams had to be fitted to support the structure of the house. To retain the traditional high ceilings of the original property, the steel beams were cut into the ceiling rather than lowering the ceiling and boxing in the beams, which would have been the cheaper option.


Improving access to the outside space was also a large part of the project, so rather than stepping down from the kitchen-diner to a patio or decked area, Guy and Fiona wanted the floor and terrace to be on the same level, creating a seamless link between indoors and out. To achieve this, the ground level at the rear of property was raised and the wood-effect porcelain tiles used inside were continued outside to create a seamless transition between the spaces. Following advice from friend Francesca Green of Green Eye Garden Design, the terrace area was extended by around one metre.


To achieve a streamlined look, the cupboards feature hidden handles, the main appliances are built in and the Stella 90 ceiling extractor by Falmec sits flush with the ceiling. For similar bar stools, try the bicycle seat design from Etsy. ‘Ben Jones, the designer, was great and came up with several ideas we liked, such as the asymmetric wooden breakfast bar,’ explains Guy.


In the the kitchen-diner, Yara cabinets in matt Pearl Grey have been teamed with an Organic White Caesarstone worktop and a breakfast bar in Wild Brasilica, all from Espresso Design. The Marazzi Treverk Teak floor tiles from World’s End Tiles continue out to the garden. With its large tree and decorations from John Lewis, the space is perfect for a family Christmas.


The living area is designed around the Riva Studio Edge wood-burning fire from Stonewoods, with a large corner sofa from providing a space to unwind. The walls are painted in Tunsgate Green by Farrow & Ball.

• The full feature – including stockists and more images – appears in the December 2015 issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.