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  • Nicola Burt

Family Kitchen Extension in Herne Hill

Updated: May 9, 2021

Planning the Design for a Family Kitchen Extension

Kitchen extension with full height glass doors and island looking out to garden
Family kitchen extension Herne Hill

Situated in Herne Hill in Southeast London, this classic Victorian Terrace with side return

needed remodelling and enlarging. A new design for this family kitchen extension was required to cater to the needs of this busy family of five.

The children were becoming teenagers, so a reworking of the ground and first floor of the

property was proposed to give the family the space they needed. The owners of this home, an Anglo-French family, enlisted our help with the refurbishment, design and installation of their new kitchen-dining space.

The brief for this kitchen renovation was to create one large space in which to cook, eat, and entertain.

Rendered visual showing how the finished kitchen design will look
Rendered visual of proposed kitchen extension

Defining the space and kitchen layout

This client needed help with the planning and design of this kitchen renovation so that not only would it would be optimised for all the activities of a busy family, but that she would

also get the dream kitchen that she wanted.

The existing kitchen looked out onto the side return and was not large enough for a table or even an island. It opened on to the living area and the client wanted this to be separated, and the kitchen relocated to beside the existing dining room.

The dining room was accessed from the kitchen by going out into the hallway and down a corridor to enter the separate, self-contained dining room. By filling in the side return and removing the existing external wall of the dining room we created a new, large, communal family kitchen-dining space.

The brief required:

  • an island with breakfast bar seating

  • standalone larder / breakfast prep cupboard

  • double larder cupboard with pastry shelf

  • large range cooker

  • integrated fridge freezer

  • integrated dishwasher

  • boiling water tap

  • to comfortably accommodate a large 6 seater dining table

  • the design to incorporate their existing furniture

The key words for the style of this kitchen renovation was ‘French Chateau Kitchen’ so this was borne in mind when considering the look and feel. Advising on the space planning and layout of the kitchen was paramount to maximise the natural light, and I also advised on colour scheme, kitchen style, lighting, materials and finishes.

Having had a successful career as an art dealer before having her family, my client has an

appreciation of beautiful objêts. She has collected beautiful things over the years and wanted

them to have a place in her new kitchen.

Lots of minute, detailed planning took place to ensure we could create a decent-sized island

that not only worked ergonomically with the kitchen prep area, but also comfortably fit their 6-seater dining table and majestic dining chairs.

I worked closely with my kitchen supplier on this kitchen renovation to ensure we incorporated all the elements the client desired to create her ultimate dream kitchen.

Bespoke Kitchen Design

French style kitchen with tiled splashback and canopy hood above range cooker
Tiled splashback in family kitchen extension

Cutlery Drawer

The bespoke nature of the service I offer included ensuring specific details the client requested were all incorporated.

One such detail was wide drawers on the dining side of the island to store crockery and cutlery, so the client’s children can set and clear the table without getting in the way of the cook preparing the meal.

Bespoke cutlery drawer and pan drawers on dining side of kitchen island
Bespoke cutlery and pan drawers

Extractor Canopy

To enhance the look and feel of the ‘French Chateau Kitchen’ I had my kitchen suppliers

make a bespoke canopy with decorative supports, to hide the extractor.

French style canopy for extractor hood and green glazed tile splashback
French style canopy for extractor hood

Glazed Tiles

To introduce some colour into the kitchen and create a focal point we installed these beautiful tiles from the Fired Earth ‘Acapulco’ range as the splashback behind the range cooker.

These glazed and decorated tiles are inspired by the vivid shades of Mexican interiors and

ceramics. They work beautifully with the client’s own French crockery hanging above the extractor, further enhancing the French Chateau Kitchen feel.

Range cooker with glazed green tile splashback and canopy hood
Range cooker with ornate extractor hood

Designing the Kitchen Island

The long island which separates the cooking area from the dining area, houses the integrated dishwasher and bin storage below on the kitchen side, with undermounted sink and Qooker tap above.

Kitchen island with Qooker tap opposite range cooker
Kitchen island in kitchen renovation

On the dining side, we have incorporated pan storage below as well as a wide cutlery

drawer above. We also included some open shelving for cookery books at the end of this run. The open shelving is in oak, which matches all the internal carcasses.

Large cutlery drawer beside dining table with deep pan drawers underneath kitchen island
Drawers in island in kitchen refurbishment

At the kitchen end of the island we created an overhang large enough for two counter stools. With a hidden socket underneath, it’s the perfect place for teenagers to chat to Mum while their phone is charging or they’re on their laptop!

Kitchen island with pair of barstools under island overhang
Kitchen island with overhang for pair of bar stools

The Details : Elevating a Kitchen from Good to Great

Countertop Material

The island, countertop and upstands are in San Vincente Classic Quartz stone.

Fun Fact: Quartz countertops are an environmentally sound choice. 90% of the stone-like

materials that form the base of quartz countertops are all waste by-products of other

quarrying or manufacturing processes. No natural stone is quarried solely for use in quartz


Kitchen drawers in island with gold cup handles
Gold cup handles on kitchen drawers

Cabinet Handles

Details are so important in a kitchen, and I believe they make or break the look and style you

want to achieve in your kitchen. So many kitchens are let down by the wrong choice of handles! Equally, you can elevate a not-so-expensive kitchen cabinet with quality handles.

To reinforce the French traditional style of this kitchen we chose a mix of cup handles and

knobs for the cabinets, all in burnished old gold.

Gold kitchen knobs for integrated fridge and larder cupboard
Gold kitchen knobs for integrated fridge

Glass-fronted Wall Cabinets

We included a glass-fronted double wall cabinet at the end of the kitchen run to lighten the

view of that wall and lead the eye out to the garden just beyond. It helped that the client had

a lovely collection of antique glass, crockery and silver!

Glass fronted wall cabinets with gold handles
Glass fronted wall cabinet in kitchen renovation


In the dining area we were able to install the client’s beautiful ornate French wall mirrors.

Not only do mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of a larger space, in this kitchen renovation the ornate gold detailing of the client's antique mirrors picked up the old gold finish of the cabinetry handles, as did the gold-framed artwork on the same wall.

French antique gold mirror on wall in dining area of kitchen renovation
Antique French wall mirror with gold detail in dining area

The Final Result

Our design resulted in a kitchen renovation that exceeded the client’s desires – beautiful and practical, with plenty of storage within the ergonomic design.

Kitchen island and range cooker with skylight and view to garden
Family kitchen renovation island and wall of units

What the client said:

“We have the kitchen of our dreams.

Family life is transformed and it is a place I feel happy to come home to, happy to entertain in, and happy to wake up to, especially at weekends!

Nicola delivered excellent attention to detail, articulate preparation and was proficient in identifying specific client tastes. She worked every angle with a subtle combination of consideration and efficiency.

She knew exactly how to provide quality and every detail was attended to. Her team were on time and her spec was on budget, even managing the challenges of on-site builders with good grace.

I was very impressed and am so proud to live with the results. Thank you Nicola!”

Are You Thinking of Extending or Renovating Your Kitchen and Don’t Know Where to Start?

You can see more of our kitchen design projects in the website portfolio and see my 5 star client reviews on Houzz.

If you would like my expert help, get in touch and I can work with you to create your

ultimate dream kitchen.

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