The kitchen of this period property is in the middle of the house and didn't receive much natural light. The situation had been made worse as the previous owners had made the exterior veranda in to a conservatory, reducing the light in the kitchen further and making an awkward step down from the dining room. They had also partially 'knocked through' to make an opening from the kitchen to the dining room, but the remaining walls blocked out light and meant that the two areas were still quite small and separated from each other. I wanted more light in the cooking area and a better connection with the dining room, so decided to open up the space. As we had a young family at the time, we wanted the new space to be family friendly, and a place where everyone could spend time together. There were also several practical problems with the kitchen - the freezer was in the utility room beyond the conservatory, the cooker hood wasn't on an external wall so wasn't extracting anything, the fridge was too small and under the counter, and there wasn't enough storage. The kitchen unit doors were a faux wood with a raised grain effect making them hard to clean, and the work surface was tiled with grout joints harbouring germs. Worst of all, the position of the hob and oven meant that the person cooking had their back to the rest of the room, so it wasn't a very sociable place to be.
I redesigned the whole space to make the three separate areas (kitchen, dining room, conservatory) in to one. I decided to knock the two walls surrounding the kitchen down and remove the internal doors from the dining room to really open everything up. I added Velux roof lights to the conservatory area and removed the internal window in the kitchen to let more light in. Next, I raised the floor level in the conservatory using reclaimed floorboards to match the originals, and had the original quarry tiles in the kitchen area cleaned and polished. For the kitchen design, I decided to remove the wall units and have one large bank of storage going all the way up to the ceiling, which could house the new American style fridge freezer and two ovens (one of which is also a space saving microwave). I added a breakfast bar with an induction hob, so the cook is at the centre of the space, with a down draft extractor to extract steam and cooking smells under the floor to the outside. I chose a Corian worktop and integrated sink as this material is durable, hygienic and easy to care for. I also added the matching upstand instead of tiles, as this would help the kitchen integrate in to the living and dining space. I picked a warm pink colour for all the walls as it toned really well with the pale grey units, using a scrub-able finish for practicality. I added further warmth by using a mix of copper, steel and brass on the lighting and breakfast bar. I added LED lights to highlight certain features in the room, such as the picture rail and above the kitchen units, and placed all the lighting on separate circuits so I could create different moods throughout the day. Finally, I chose an extendable dining table, comfortable dining chairs, and added a seating area for relaxing.