Extending for a dream kitchen

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Veronica and David Reichental have extended their 1950s detached house to create their dream kitchen under permitted development rights, knocking through and extending into the garden to build a rectangular kitchen extension with a central island that leads through to a dining area and has roof windows for added natural light.

Veronica ReichentalFact file

The owners: Veronica Reichental, a director of a risk management company, and her husband David, who is the MD of a computer software company, live here with their daughter Anna, two The property: A five-bedroom semi-detached house built in the 1950s The location: Dublin, Republic of Ireland What they spent: The couple’s kitchen project cost around £75,000

‘The layout of our 1950s house had remained unchanged through the decades,’ says Veronica. ‘Its small kitchen was typical of that era, with a serving hatch through to the dining room next door. It didn’t suit a family lifestyle – we needed more space.’

As the couple were using the adjacent room as living space, they were reluctant to knock through to create a bigger kitchen, so they decided instead to extend outwards into their large garden.

‘We consulted an architect who drew up plans for the extension, but we were not keen on his layout as it would have blocked the living room off from the garden, so we came up with our own design,’ says Veronica.

The couple were pleased to discover that they didn’t have to apply for planning permission as the design and proportions of their proposed extension were classed as permitted development.

‘While we were planning the new extension, we received a fl yer advertising RWN Construction and arranged to view some of their previous projects,’ says Veronica. ‘Impressed with the standard of their work, we hired the company to build our extension in the spring.’

The new plan incorporated the existing kitchen into the extension. Two-thirds of the original space would become a utility room, with the remaining third used as an access corridor to the extension. To maximise the space, the corridor would be lined with storage cupboards.

‘We wanted a light-filled extension, so we decided on two fully glazed sides facing the garden,’ says Veronica. ‘We also factored in a pitched roof with large skylights to bring in plenty of light.’

As the couple were keen to make the most of their large garden, they chose six-metre folding sliding doors to run along the entire width of the extension.

‘In our original plans, the concertina doors and the sliding door on the end wall were centred within their respective walls,’ Veronica explains. ‘When the project began, we realised that we were creating a blind spot which was blocking some of the garden views.’

However, the builders had started to construct the block wall foundations of the extension, so these had to be taken down.

‘They installed a steel column instead to allow the doors to run corner-to-corner for uninterrupted views,’ says Veronica.

Meanwhile, the couple visited kitchen showrooms for ideas and quotes for a functional contemporary kitchen. They wanted units on the party wall side, with a large island incorporating a breakfast bar.

‘David and I chose a fresh design from French company Mobalpa, with cappuccino cabinets and white worktops,’ says Veronica. ‘I dislike clutter, so we integrated as many appliances as possible and included deep capacity drawers.’

An InSinkErator tap, which dispenses instant hot and cold filtered water, is part of the new features.

‘It provides boiling hot water, so we don’t need a kettle – it was very useful for making up our baby Anna’s bottles.’

The couple were glad when their kitchen was complete after the three-month project, as they had been managing with only a toaster and a microwave.

‘It’s lovely to be able to access the garden so easily,’ says Veronica. ‘It becomes another living space in the summer.’

The costs

Building work£43,500
Kitchen, including appliances and worktops£18,700
Windows and doors£10,000