An open-plan kitchen

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Claire Rampling and Simon Kirby wanted more space and a light and airy feel, something that was lacking in the tiny kitchen in their Victorian home – the answer was to extend.

Fact file

The owners: Claire Rampling, a full-time mum, and her husband Simon Kirby, a creative director, live here with their son William, six
The property: A three-bedroom Victorian end-of-terrace house
The location: Teddington, Middlesex
What they spent: It cost the couple £12,983 to remodel and extend the space

The problem

‘When we first moved in six years ago, our old kitchen was perfectly habitable – it just wasn’t our style.

‘As time went by, it started showing more wear and tear and we had to keep making running repairs to the units. I particularly hated the cracked cream floor with its cream grout, which was really hard to keep clean, especially when people came in from the garden. It also had dark grey, heavy-looking laminate worktops, which darkened the entire room. It was time for a kitchen makeover.’

What we did

‘We knew the house would benefit from an extension. Although we had lived here quite comfortably when William was a baby, now he was older we needed more room for him to play plus storage for his ever-growing collection of toys. We decided to create a new dining area and a utility room, which would free up much-needed room in the existing space.

‘An architect friend drew up some initial sketches to help us with quotes from local recommended builders, then we submitted full plans to the council for planning permission.

‘The starting point for the extension would incorporate glass doors opening up into the garden, linking the inside with the outside and creating one big uninterrupted space.

‘We decided to go for large sliding doors instead of folding doors to keep vertical lines to a minimum. Simon and I were very specific about how we wanted the doors and the skylight to look as they were so integral to our new layout and I trawled the internet and magazines, searching for the perfect doors. Once we’d found them, the extension went ahead.

‘The floor of the new extension was built up to keep the same level between the new and old parts of the house and, at the same time, we installed underfloor heating.

‘Our old kitchen had always been really cold and we often shut it off from the rest of the house. Now with the new heated floor it has given a cosy feel to the entire space and we’re so glad we decided to install it.

‘When it came to choosing our new kitchen, we wanted to replace it with a more contemporary style, so we started visiting various showrooms for ideas. However, the designs we liked were not really within our budget – then a friend recommended a company called Supply Only Kitchens.

‘We were told they made all their kitchens using German-designed Blum systems, so we visited the factory in Hampshire and talked through various options with the owner and a designer.

‘We liked what we saw and decided against having a wood kitchen, like our previous one, and choose a modern white high-gloss door finish instead. It’s more practical with a young child running around as it is easy to keep clean – and reflects a lot of light. It’s a streamlined kitchen that has been designed to make the most of the available space – for example, it has a pull-out cleaning cupboard.

‘We then turned our attention to sourcing a worktop – again online – and visited a company beforehand to look at their work. As we wanted as much light as possible, we chose a pale composite worktop – it’s contemporary and fits perfectly with our scheme.

‘Floor tiles were next on our list, so we looked around until we found the right balance between colour and practicality. They needed to be dark enough to take all the traffic from the garden, but pale enough to make the space look light and airy.

‘We didn’t want to have tiling on our splashbacks, though, and instead chose a glass splashback so we’d have an easy-to-clean surface behind the hob. With its shocking pink colour, I think it really pulls the whole scheme together, giving it a unique personal signature. We love our new kitchen – we’re so pleased with the results.’


Furniture & accessories£277
Walls & flooring£1,150