Leigh-on-sea, Essex, UK
TYPE Interior & exterior alterations
SERVICE Design I Fabrication I Construction
The usual choice for a larger new kitchen to 3 bedroom detached houses is to create a side extension to the outrigger at ground floor. This often brings the compromise of reduced daylight to the existing back room and can be costly with new-build elements as well as party wall and lawful development consents to be considered.
In order to side step these complications, we reconfigured the existing spaces of the ground floor to create a more effective layout that combined a small kitchen (previously big enough for just one person with virtually no useable work surfaces) and a good sized yet unused dining room.
With no new build elements, money was saved, leaving a wider choice of finish materials and detailing.
The result is a light, warm kitchen and day room that has become the hub of the family house. The fitted cabinets are confined to the original kitchen space whilst furniture in the larger space is free standing so that designed elements dissolve into the spaces. (The intention was not simply to create one large kitchen but to provide enough storage and useful surface). The narrow outrigger meant that units to one side of the kitchen could be no more that 360mm deep. The mass was reduced further by referencing the open style of joinery (characterised by planes of timber that appear to overlap and float past each other) often found in older Japanese cabinetry made for smaller houses.
In the morning light the whole space glows and is filled with sounds of breakfast and the smell of fresh coffee, full of family life - which was simply not possible with the previous arrangement. Strictly an exercise in interior design, yet something which drew on all of our experience and practise of architecture.