The Seasons in Colour Kitchen Extension and Renovation
Most homes go through some sort of renovation, sometimes due to their age and sometimes to accommodate the growing needs of their owners. Kitchen makeovers are said to add significantly to the value of a home and it's easy to see why.
My kitchen extension journey started in 2019 but it was put on hold when COVID brought the world to a standstill. The thought of actually building an extension in the middle of so much uncertainty felt like a big adventure that we did not want to embark on.
Two years later, in the summer of 2022, we started building our dream kitchen. It wasn’t entirely drama-free and despite having an army of specialists around us we faced various set backs from the start.
Read on to find out how we designed the new space to address the needs of our family and the appliances we included that will change the way we cook forever!
This blog post is in collaboration with CAPLE CAPLE is a British brand that started in Bristol in 1995 and is a leading kitchen and bedroom supplier. Through continuous innovation they have become a trusted partner in kitchen appliances. They are the largest brand of wine cabinets and one of the largest brands of cooker hoods in the UK. Find our more on Caple.co.uk
Our home before the extension
Our home is a 1980s detached house, in a leafy cul-de-sac in the village of Warlingham, in Surrey. Unlike most of the nearby homes, it has a footprint that has not changed since it was built and which was aimed at creating a large number of rooms, that ended up being small and disconnected.
The galley kitchen
Our house featured a galley-style kitchen that offered plenty of storage but no sitting space. It did not allow the experience of 'cooking with company', it was dark, busy-looking and very uninspiring.
The pantry was away from the cooking worktop, the dog was permanently in the way (with her bed in front of the garage door, on the way to the freezer), and half the cabinets were not really used correctly.
The extension plan
Our plan included extending the rear of the house (only the kitchen) by around 2.5 meters and then connecting it with the dining room. The pitched roof over the dining room, would be removed and replaced with a flat roof to accomodate a large roof light.
The footprint of the house was increased by less than 20 square meters. But quite a few internal walls had to be removed to give us the open plan space we were after.
Drawings of our home (before and after) by Resi.com
Inspiration for our kitchen extension
I spent a lot of time considering the must haves for the new space. When you go through a project like this, it is good to create a mood board, this will keep you focused and over time you can identify the style characteristics you are mostly drawn to.
Induction hob with downdraft extractor
Everything in the new space is designed around a central island which will become our new family hub. The island will include an induction hob and the question we needed to answer early on was: should we go for a ceiling extractor or a downdraft extractor?
Adding a downdraft extractor on an island while extending your kitchen is easy as you can add the venting pipes while building the space.
The alternative is to have the hob on an external wall which allows you to add the venting easily or to add a re-circulation kit which filters all food odours before venting the air back into the room from the bottom of your island.
Unlike ceiling or wall hoods, a downdraft extractor based on your island can ensure that there are no visual obstacles. And with technology having moved, these integrated extractors are powerful
We designed the kitchen island to accommodate a CAPLE downdraft induction, with external venting. This will become the place where we can gather together, and cooking will no longer be the lonely task it used to be.
At 80cm wide, with 10 speeds, pause and auto shut off functions, the CAPLE DD810BK Venting hob can automatically detect pans, has timer for each hob and a child safety lock.
A smart tap
Daily tasks, like boiling water in a kettle, will become a distant memory with the introduction of a smart 3 in 1 tap. The CAPLE VAPOS 2 3-in-1 tap has a 3.5l capacity boiler which sits beneath your sink. Smart taps are definitely an upward trend for kitchens in 2023.
The Vapos tap gives you fresh mains cold water, regular hot water via your hot water system and filtered 98°C steaming hot water, the perfect temperature for preparing tea, blanching vegetables and assisting the cooking of pasta and rice.
The boiler comes with its own filter system, designed to provide the best available water quality for the user, by removing lime scale build up in the boiler. The filters require replacing every 6 months or so, and is a simple d.i.y task, easily changed without the need for tools.
A self-cleaning oven with a pizza function?
Making our favourite Friday night dish, home-made pizza, will become even easier thanks to a CAPLE smart oven with pizza cooking function from their Premium Sense range.
The oven also has a pyrolytic function, making cleaning the leftover cheese that drops around the base a far easier task going forward.
For more fine cooking experience than pizza, however, the oven includes 23 functions, can dehydrate and slow cook and includes a temperature probe to make sure meat is cooked to perfection.
Saving space with a combi microwave oven
Microwaves have plenty of uses. From warming up plates (my favourite), to warming up food, cooking pop corn and de-frosting food, they are a useful appliance but they take up valuable space on a counter.
Investing in a combi microwave oven (which can be used both as a microwave and conventional oven) can save up valuable space on your counter or pantry and it will still look good whether you use it on its own or with another single oven, as shown below. Check out the Caple CM111SS Combi Microwave from the Sense range.
The addition of smart kitchen appliances
When it comes to convenience, there are few things that can beat having a smart kitchen appliance. Whether you are looking for a way to make your life easier or you are hoping to save some time and effort, these devices can help you out immensely.
One of the primary benefits of having a smart kitchen appliance is that you can save a lot of time. For instance, the CAPLE oven that we are adding has a number of settings that can be chosen quickly, taking the guessing out of cooking. You can choose the type of food you are cooking, set it and forget it until it is time to eat. This can free up a lot of time in your day for other activities.
Having a smart kitchen appliance can also help you to stay healthy. This is because these devices can help you to cook your food in a healthy way, as well as offering you new ways to cook food (like air frying!)
The use of smart appliances, connected to the internet and managed through apps will be an exciting addition to this new space. Such appliances have already been available in the market for some years and are quickly becoming the norm. So, it’s great to invest in them if you are currently planning your kitchen makeover.
Dealing with a north facing space
The kitchen will be filled with light through a contemporary 5-meter-long roof light and new sliding doors with slim profiles. The north facing room will never be the same again. And the use of a light-coloured tile across the entire floor will help bounce light to the inner parts of the room.
At night, a combination of light fixtures will help with tasks or to create ambience.
A play for metallics in the space: warm and cold metals will be mixed for a contemporary look. Top right: the Electric Pyrolytic Single Oven Gunmetal from CAPLE is quadruple glazed and fully touch controlled. The pyrolytic technology carbonises leftover grime to ash, making cleaning a game. Bottom right: Tiles by Mandarin Stone, this is Kast in colour 'Sand'. Bottom left: CAPLE offers a variety of sinks, from stainless steel to granite. Find their full collection here.
What were the challenges during the build?
To start, the work took longer than we hoped. Building regulations have changed significantly over the years (with a new set of Regulation in force since June 2022) and this complicated part of the build. Changes in specifications also caused delays.
Staying onsite during the build was difficult at times but not impossible and it meant we could keep an eye on progress. Nevertheless, we now want our space back and the builders out!
No home extension is ever completely straightforward. My best advice is to make sure you have professionals to help you (architect, engineer etc), be patient and stick to your original plan making as few changes as possible (better still: make no changes at all!).
What is the current status of the space?
Having finished the shell of the space in late October 2022, we continued with plastering, painting and tiling the open plan kitchen.
With lights and the outdoor tiling finished, we recently also installed the kitchen units. The in-frame, two-tone kitchen from 1909 Kitchens will be the perfect backdrop for a marble effect porcelain worktop that will be fitted just before all the appliances are connected.
Coming up: the Seasonsincolour kitchen reveal!