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Real home: An inviting, light-filled space designed for enjoying meals

An extra eight square metres makes this kitchen extension bigger and brighter
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 12-12-2017 18:45pm

When they bought their Edwardian four-bedroom terraced home in North London seven years ago, Sarah and Alastair Brooks thought they had very little work to do. “The house was in pretty good condition, but over the years, we have actually ended up doing a lot more than we realised we had to in order to make it suitable for our family life,” admits Sarah.

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Quick View

- Owners/residents: Sarah and Alastair Brooks and their two daughters, Isabelle and Elsie

- Designer: Vicky Shudell, director of Funktional Kitchens
- Style: Contemporary, Scandinavian  

- Kitchen feature: Handleless Grey Oak Pore and White Ultra Satin furniture has been designed to create a streamlined, modern look in this family kitchen. The two finishes provide gentle contrast, while durable quartz worktops of Compac White Zement create a clean and practical finish. Black and steel appliances and a splashback of fresh green glass complete the sleek design

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Now that the couple have two daughters, their most recent project is a kitchen extension. “We wanted a larger room because we love cooking, entertaining and spending time together as a family in the kitchen,” explains Sarah, adding that the existing room was chilly and uninviting in winter thanks to poor insulation. Working with architect Peter Lancaric the couple decided to build over the wasted space of the side return. Peter explains, “As the house is in a conservation area, it was particularly important to create a design that complements the existing structure, rather than something mock-traditional.” His plan for a frameless transparent glass structure, sweeping over just one solid wall, created a newly enlarged and widened room, filled with natural light.

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“Although we have only added an extra eight square metres the room feels so much brighter and bigger,” says Sarah. Bi-fold doors create easy access to the garden, while underfloor heating adds warmth on cold days. When it came to the design of the kitchen furniture, the couple quickly settled on Funktional Kitchens as their supplier of choice. “We felt the entire approach of the company was very friendly,” says Sarah, adding that they were also both instantly attracted to the unusual light wood finish they saw on display in their showroom.

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“We liked the interesting combination of the warmth of the wood with simple, clean white,” she explains. The island serves as the hub of the room, allowing Sarah and Alastair to chat to their guests at the dining table when they are cooking. And what does she like most about the room? “It feels so light, calm and welcoming,” she says. “We just love to sit around the table on a beautiful day and look up at the sky.”

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Q & A – Vicky Shudell, director of Funktional Kitchens

- How did you begin the project?
At the beginning we were working from a plan, before the extension was finished. It was clear that the focus was on maximising the natural light and space in the new room, so the layout needed to reflect this. The wall run is very sleek and streamlined, and we made sure that the tall cabinet just in front of the bi-fold doors is stepped back, so that it doesn’t obscure the garden views. The tall fridge-freezer and boiler are tucked away in cupboards by the door, again so that they don’t create bulky obstructions.

- Can you tell us about the finishes?
An all-white glossy design might have looked cold and clinical, so we combined elements of softer, satin white cabinetry with a grey wood to add some gentle warmth and texture. The White Zement quartz worktop gives a clean finish, which is also very practical as it is so hardwearing, while the green of the glass splashback adds a pop of colour and echoes the garden view.

- And the island?
The island makes the focal point in the room, an effect enhanced by the tubular extractor hood which is very striking. It is also a very practical cooking zone, with the wide gas hob and lots of prep surface. The worktop sweeps down to the floor on one end, to create a very smart finish as you enter the room, while the other end is softly rounded, to add interest and a family friendly touch.

Credit: Paul Craig (Images), Amelia Thorpe (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 243

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