LET THERE BE LIGHT!
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Best laid schemes…
We were engaged in 2017 to prepare designs to alter and extend an existing kitchen that formed part of a detached house in Edenbridge.
Whilst previous owners had undertaken various changes to the property, the kitchen had been neglected. It was a gloomy space, poorly laid out, with ad-hoc walls, and a tiny window and two side-facing windows which gave no real view of the stunning garden. As well as the existing kitchen there was an entrance / boot area, stores, and utility room.
Why had nothing been done by the previous owners? Possible reasons quickly became apparent as we examined the structure of the house. The side and rear walls of the first floor would need supporting, and this was made more complex by a side elevation that stepped in/out, meaning more structural work. The existing internal wall supported the corner of the house above and was therefore quite significant! The boiler, electrical distribution board, gas meter, and electricity meter, would all need moving, adding substantial cost to any project, all of which might hint at why previous homeowners had baulked at altering and extending the kitchen.
Shedding light on the subject
To us, it was important to reassert the kitchen as the centre of the family home, to provide it with very high levels of natural light as well as proper visual and physical connection with the gardens – both front and rear.
In terms of natural light, the two side windows faced north-east, meaning some sunlight was possible on summer mornings, whilst the side door to the kitchen would catch the evening summer sun.
The kitchen was extended to the side and rear, making use of space at the side and rear of the house, as well as part of the existing boot area. The utility room remained pretty much where it was but was extended to incorporate one of the stores, giving a larger, more practical space. Adding a new door to the outside from the utility room retained the ease of access, but also allowed the layout to be re-planned to improve the functionality of the space.
The covered entrance area at the front/side of the house offers protection from the elements and is subtle enough not to be confused with, or to compete with, the main entrance to the house. Overhanging eaves provide protection too, and an opportunity for some downlighting, reducing any potential upward light pollution.
Crucially, it was the amount of glazing within the new kitchen extension which bathed the space with natural light and created visual connections to the outside that were so desperately needed – two pairs of sliding doors enable the dining space to be opened up to the garden. At the front / side, corner windows and a rooflight allow morning sun to flood the room, before the sun reappears on the opposite side/rear of the space.
Completed in October 2018.
Photo credits: Pippa Tanko Photography www.pippatanko.co.uk