Kitchen tour: new layout is a winner in this open plan kitchen
Kitchen renovations can be a great way to improve the look and feel of your home. And sometimes, the smallest of changes can have a big impact to how you use a space. From improving the flow of a space to achieving better energy efficiency, there are many benefits that come with a kitchen renovation. In this article, I am sharing the finished space from our kitchen renovation and will explore the most important benefits that this space has given back to my family.
This blog post is in collaboration with CAPLE
Project at a Glance
Location: Warlingham, south of Croydon
Property: A 1980s detached five bedroom and three-bathroom house in quiet cul de sac
Structural Engineer: Sussex Structural Engineers
Year of project: 2022
| Read: The Seasons in Colour Kitchen Renovation Plans
How long did it take to complete this project
What started as an idea in 2019 was put on hold for 2 years while COVID-19 gave everyone a lot of uncertainty. To spend money during a pandemic seemed unreasonable. At the end of June 2022, we started working on the site and the space was watertight; by the middle of October.
In the month of November, we completed the internal work - plastering and initial painting as well as the tiling and plumbing for our radiators. Lights were installed as well. Then in early December, the kitchen and appliances were delivered and installed.
How big is the extension?
The home’s previous layout, with a long galley kitchen and a separated dining room, had to be tackled. The house was extended by less than 20sqm but the finished space ended up being around 50sqm (roughly 10m long and 5m deep).
Drawings by RESI
So how did we do it? Here's where a good architect and structural engineer will come handy. Given the weight of the house above as well as the weight of the new flat roof with a large glass) our structural engineer advised on a steel box frame and reinforced warm flat roof.
A steel box frame is composed of a top steel beam supported either end by vertical columns and a
bottom steel beam that adds rigidity to the structure. Depending on your project's needs, it may be possible to only have a 'goalpost' type of frame (no bottom beam). This was not possible in our home.
With the box frame, we made it possible to remove any internal columns for a completely visual
Interior design of the space
Naturally, an open plan space like this can easily feel chaotic. It is important, therefore, to create zones that help visually and functionally separate the large, cavernous room, in smaller areas with distinct use while also working together in a harmonious and complimentary way.
The first step was to decide the main layout and location of the kitchen cabinets. It made sense to utilise the longest available wall for this as shown below, while in front of the kitchen we could add a generously sized island with enough space to move around and offering lovely views of the garden for the cook of the day!
Use of an island was important – this has now become the hub of all activity in the room. You find us hovering around, whether cooking, chatting, relaxing and admiring the garden!
Kitchen Cabinetry from 1909 Kitchens
One of the biggest trend for kitchens in 2022 was in-frame kitchen models. This is when a door is inset within a frame that is fitted to the front of a kitchen carcass. The structure means that the door is smaller than usual, as it will open within the wooden frame. However, this can offer practical benefits. For example, the edges of the cabinet doors are less likely to show wear and tear, making your kitchen look great for longer.
Product used: in frame slab doors from 1909 Kitchens in two colours, cashmere and truffle (for the island). All handles are Alexander and Wilks (the Lynd Cupboard Knob for the top cabinets; the Quantock Cup Handle for the island and the drawers under the sink; and the Crispin Reeded T-bar Cupboard Pull Handle for the fridge and the pantries, all in dark bronze finish.
Downdraft venting hob
At the center stage of the new space is a 3m long island housing the CAPLE DD810BK Venting hob. At 80cm wide, with 10 speeds, pause and auto shut off functions, this hob can automatically detect pans, has timer for each hob and a child safety lock. It took all of five seconds to get used to it and despite my initial concerns around losing some of my cooking control, I could not be happier.
To start, cooking is faster than with my old gas hob. And with its powerful (yet not loud) downdraft extractor, the hob works its magic to ensure that the open plan space is not overtaken by cooking smells.
Family and friends now sit at the island to keep me company while I am prepping food. It's fun and interactive. I can have a glass of wine while talking to them and together we move to the dinner table when all the cooking is done.
And as 'low maintenance' was always at the top of my wish list for this space, the filters for the hob can be removed in seconds and thrown in the dishwasher for a quick clean. The sleek black surface looks mighty sexy too.
Product used: CAPLE DD810BK downdraft hob
The smart oven
One of the appliances that have saved me more time than I know is the Smart Pyrolytic Single Oven Stainless Steel from CAPLE's Premium Sense range. The seamless oven connectivity to the CAPLE HOME app means that once connected to your home's WIFI, you can then access the oven from anywhere, start it and stop it.
Product used: CAPLE C2600SS Smart Pyrolytic Single Oven Stainless Steel and CAPLE CM111SS Combi Microwave
Things that I can do with this oven and app that I couldn't do before?
Turn on the oven while I am leaving the supermarket, making sure it'ss ready for me the minute I get home;
Factory settings for pizza, bread proving, dehydration and roasting
Features its own rotisserie spit and a temperature prob
Ability for multi step cooking (e.g., grill cooking at 250C for 20 min; then switch to fan only cooking at 180C for 40 min).
Ability to save cooking steps for regularly used recipes.
My most favourite function is of course the Pizza setting which will cook thin base or pan pizzas in a couple minutes (and the digital screen will even tell when to put your pizza in and when to take it out!).
Together with the single oven we also added a combi microwave oven. This is mostly used as a microwave to cook breakfast or heat up food and when cooking for many it becomes a second oven for cooking side dishes.
Investing in a combi microwave oven (which can be used both as a microwave and conventional oven) can release space on your counter or pantry (where you would normally place a small freestanding microwave). Ours is the Caple CM111SS Combi Microwave from the Sense range.
A smart tap
The CAPLE VAPOS 2 3-in-1 tap has an impressive 3.5l capacity boiler which sits beneath our sink. It is extremely easy to keep clean and easy to use. It includes a filter for the water going into the boiler which I feel will help with the boiler's longevity. This also means that any nasty chemicals and smells are removed before the water is boiled. Afternoon tea never tasted this good!
Steaming hot water is delivered in seconds and I can use that not just for my tea but also for blanching vegetables and assisting the cooking of pasta, noodles and rice. The tap was paired with a CAPLE ZERO 1.5 bowl stainless sink, giving enough space for all the kitchen chores.
Products used: CAPLE ZERO 1.5 bowl right stainless sink and CAPLE VAPOS 2 3-in-1 tap
Integrated fridge freezer
The new kitchen required a change from the type of fridge we owned in the last decade. Moving from a freestanding fridge only (with a separate large freezer in the garage) to an integrated fridge freezer from CAPLE has been quite eye opening.
We now use less energy by keeping only one appliance connected and at the same time, buy less food and throw even less away. This unit has an impressive 243 Litre total net capacity and features CAPLE's Frost Free technology.
Product used: CAPLE 70/30 Frost Free In-Column Fridge Freezer (SKU: Ri7320)
The design details
The north facing kitchen is bathed in natural light through a 5-meter-long multi panel roof light expertly installed by Southern Windows. The same company also installed new sliding doors for the extension with a 20mm profile in the middle, something I had seen at the Grand Designs Show in 2022.
Having looked at a number of firms for this product, we decided to use, at the recommendation of Southern Windows, a Spanish manufacturer - CORTIZO.
They can open from both sides but lock only from the inside. More importantly, they come in a range of RAL colours and are significantly cheaper than the more known German Schueco doors.
Product used: Cortizo Vision 20mm sliding doors, Southern Windows
We were absolutely delighted with the look and feel of the porcelain tiles we used inside and outside the new space. Knowing this is going to be a heavy traffic area and with the new large roof light likely to add some UV damage to hardwood flooring over time we decided to instead choose hardwearing porcelain tiles.
The colour helps lighten up the space and bring more light to the back, close to the kitchen. All the pale floor surface helps keep the space bright and maintain the overall feel of simplicity, while working together with the soft, warm tone of the wood in the space.
Up close, the tiles have a slight terrazzo look. This gives a beautiful depth to the finish. The same tiles were used on the patio (20mm), so that during the summer, the space will feel even bigger when doors are open.
Product used: Mandarin Stone KAST 10mm and 20mm (outdoors) porcelain tiles in ‘Sand’.
The new space has a combination of general, task and accent lights, to help with tasks and general ambience.
The island pendants by Hungarian Intueri were made in a burnt brass finish and work in harmony with the dark bronze finish of the Astro Lighting spotlights. Intueri are also the designer behind the pendant over the dining table.
Product used: Intueri Bullarum SS-1 DISC in burnt brass (over the island); Intueri Pure T-2 in burnt brass (over the dining table); Astro Lighting ASCOLI spotlights in bronze. IC lights from FLOS on the wall, design by Michael Anastassiades. POOKY larger Milton picture light in brass.
The colour scheme
Juliet Docherty (@ColourTutor) came to the rescue with some fantastic advice and that made choosing the colour for our walls so much easier. All the walls were painted in Farrow and Ball's Skimming Stone. This calming and contemporary neutral matches perfectly with the colour on the cabinets. It is a stony off-white with warm light grey undertones that helps radiate tranquility in this space.
Throughout the space a combination of warm and cold metals were also used. The stainless steel look on the ovens matches beautifully with the tap and works well with the dark bronze cabinet handles.
The large custom built bookcase was made in a walnut effect product (EGGER MCF) to create contrast and because the space could really take some darker surfaces.
Wall paint colour used: Farrow and Ball Skimming Stone
Two pantries were included in the kitchen design. One is used as a coffee corner/bar and offering extra storage with ample shelving and deep drawers. Both pantries include sockets to allow for smaller appliances to be used (like our coffee machine and stand mixer).
The bookcase was built by Landview Carpentry and includes base cabinets to hide away more formal and seasonal crockery. It also has hidden motion sensor lights.
Kitchen renovations can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and preparation, you can make sure that your project is a success. With some creative thinking and planning, you can make the most out of your kitchen renovation and create a beautiful space that meets all of your needs.
It has been a long journey getting to this stage but with the help of professionals we were able to continue with the process and complete all tasks without compromises.
So far, we have enjoyed the space in cold winter light and cannot wait to experience it in the summer with the doors open and our heart warmed up by the summer sun. Cooking in this kitchen in different seasons feels like it is going to be so much fun!