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35 Stunning kitchen extension ideas

By Gianna Huesch

Published: May 11th, 2021

Clever design means a kitchen extension doesn’t need a huge footprint to completely transform the interior with generous light and space. For inspo, just take a look at these gorgeous kitchen extension ideas

You’ve probably heard the catchcry “don’t move, improve!”. Well, it’s being heard more and more around the UK than ever before as homeowners transform their homes with a variety of home extensions. Top of the list for many homeowners is a kitchen extension renovation, which is why we’ve put together these kitchen extension ideas for you.

If you’ve been struggling for kitchen space at home, an extension is a perfect solution to add volume and floor space. Gaining more space here is not only important for functional and aesthetic reasons, but it will also improve the sociability of your home.

A kitchen extension can create a wonderfully light-filled, spacious kitchen/diner, with more storage space, functionality and a better flow into the garden. And the beauty is that an extension is a surefire way to increase your home’s resale value, making it a wise investment as well as a way to improve your current living arrangements.

What about planning permission? Surprisingly, lots of kitchen extension ideas are actually achievable under permitted development rights. However, formal consent from authorities will be necessary in other cases. Your architect or builder is best placed to assist you with their expert knowledge of local policy.

Scandi modern kitchen extension
Source: Architectural Digest

Choosing between kitchen extension ideas

There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to kitchen extension ideas: extend at the rear or side, or perhaps both? If in a terraced house, convert with a side return extension? These are often permission-friendly and won’t swallow up too much of your valuable garden space. This is something to watch if planning a rear kitchen extension.

Sometimes, a loft conversion or extension is built to create a new kitchen space, but these are less common than rear or side kitchen extensions. Clever planning of the interior layout is vital too to make the most of your kitchen extension. In terms of kitchen layouts, open plan or semi-open plan are popular choices.

So, are you dreaming of a kitchen extension—or maybe even already in the exciting process of initial planning? Our collection of kitchen extension ideas–both interior and exterior looks–should inspire you on ways to transform your cramped kitchen into a welcoming open plan modern space for cooking, dining and entertaining. Let’s get into it!

Kitchen extension exterior view

I’ll begin with a showcase of kitchen extension ideas for gorgeous facades –how your extension will appear from the outside is of course going to be half of your architectural and design equation.

Whether you decide to match the materials and finishes of your existing space to the new addition or go for a bold contrast, it’s always good to establish a connection between old and new in some way, to ensure a pleasing transition. For example, contemporary ‘glass box’ extensions to period homes often feature pitched roofs to mimic the traditional home silhouette.

1. Zig-zig zinc extension

Let’s start with this single-storey rear extension in London, where a new kitchen living area has been added to an 1840s Victorian terrace. The extension features a striking zig-zag zinc-clad façade created from four narrow, pitched roof sections. Not only does this provide a unique exterior appearance and reference the original building, but it also creates what the architects call a “beautiful internal ceiling-scape”.

The mix of materials here is pleasing too. The silver zinc cladding contrasts intensely with the original brick, while gorgeous Douglas Fir window and door frames add warmth and a connection to the outdoors.

zigzag zinc facade of kitchen extension
Dezeen

2. Brick and glass

New life is breathed into another heritage-listed home in London here, with the addition of a rear and side extension creating a large ground floor open plan kitchen/living space. Doesn’t the traditional brick just blend so well with the contemporary black steel door and window frames? I think this is the perfect example of how to do a modern kitchen extension to a period home.

brick and glass side kitchen extension
Novoceram

3. Oak and ash modern kitchen extension

A contemporary revision here, replacing the existing extension to a 1970s home in London. The extension had already created a separate kitchen installation and dining rooms, but the homeowner wanted to bring in more light and add space, and foster more of a connection with the garden area.

What is clever about this façade design is that it incorporates a series of deep, vertical oak ‘fins’ set on a brick plinth, with the fins affording side-on privacy.

oak and ash kitchen extension
Yellow Trace

4. Concrete narrow extension

A typical terrace in Islington gets a brand new extended kitchen diner with this contemporary update. The extension creates a double-height social space, the height emphasised by a bespoke, polished stainless steel chandelier. Further polished stainless steel finishes in the kitchen complement the modern, polished concrete and limestone tile garden area.

concrete kitchen diner
The Spaces

5. Simple materials

When it comes to kitchen extension ideas, it’s very popular to stick to a simple material palette to keep things feeling as streamlined, uncluttered and spacious as possible. And to ensure the new area is seamlessly integrated with the old, it pays to have a continuity of materials. For instance, in this rear and side kitchen extension, the garden becomes more connected to the kitchen through the use of timber cladding indoor and out.

kitchen extension with natural colours
Not A Paper House

6. Muted colours

A muted colour palette of soft browns and greys sees this kitchen extension to a semi-detached Victorian home blend beautifully into its faded brick backdrop. Along with materials like oak and concrete, the extension façade consists of panels of glazing set into batons of untreated larch—the larch will charmingly weather over time.

kitchen diner extension
Novoceram

7. Fibre-cement panels

What an amazing transformation to this small Victorian terraced house in East Dulwich—so much extra space! The creation of new dining space on the ground floor was achieved with a rear extension clad in fibre-cement panels to match the refurbished dormer window up top. The three-metre-high pivoting door also has a hardwood frame that matches the surround of the narrow kitchen window.

contemporary kitchen extension exterior
Self Build

8. Grey brick zig-zag

The homeowners of this Victorian home were particularly conscious of creating a rear kitchen extension that feels contemporary but melds authentically with the rest of the period home. As such they chose to clad the extension in Brunel smooth blue brick, which complements the ‘dark blue iron spot’ in the London stock brick of the original home.

zigzag roof exterior of kitchen extension
Dwell

9. Pale timber

A light and bright extension to the rear and side of this home, with its clean and modern looking blonde wood façade. Natural materials always work well with vintage brick and have a pleasing homespun, rustic look. Meanwhile, steel-framed sliding doors bring a contemporary, industrial touch to the vignette. Rooflights in the kitchen extension ensure the airiest and sunniest space possible and work especially well above a dining table in a kitchen diner extension.

timber kitchen extension
Novoceram

10. Black and white kitchen extension

Lovers of monochrome might appreciate this rear extension to a period home.  The use of black wooden cladding, which extends along the fences and around the courtyard perimeter, has the effect of creating a frame around the whitewashed interior. It’s a very high contrast look that may be a little too stark for some.

high contrast kitchen extension exterior
Pinterest

11. Two storey glass box

This award-winning extension in London packs a lot into just a one-metre addition of horizontal space! “Hoxton House” features a two-storey double-glazed façade that utilises that extra metre to visually extend the lower-level dining space. The double-height space feels extravagant and has also created a tiny mezzanine level that functions as an extra living area.

2 storey glass facade
Design Boom

If you like this look, why not also look at these conservatory ideas that you can add to your home.

12. Pattern and texture

A kitchen extension presents the perfect opportunity to showcase gorgeously textured and coloured materials, whether timbers or natural stone or reclaimed brick. How lovely does this warm, pale brick look against the heritage brick and the raw timber decking?

pattern and texture of kitchen extension
Not A Paper House

13. Flat roof

This is the large rear extension to a terrace house in Australia, known as The Chimney House. The extension comprises a new kitchen, dining and living area and takes advantage of the full width of the yard space – all with a flat roof. Again, the dining area only extends a metre into the courtyard, with the large swing doors enabling full enjoyment of the homeowners’ magnolia and frangipani trees. I really like the mix of salvaged, marled bricks and the use of monochromatic, strongly contemporary materials.

flat roof kitchen extension
Architecture AU

14. Charred wood

There seems to be an increase in recent times in architects experimenting more with materials, for instance, the larch façades or charred wood (Japanese shou sugi ban) clad ones like this rear kitchen/dining extension. If you’re going to go for something intentionally different, then keep all elements simple and let the unusual material speak for itself.

charred wood
Pinterest

15. Larch cladding

An increasingly popular cladding choice is the eco-friendly timber larch, which develops a silvery, textured patina over time. Here, a two-storey extension to a 19th century London home has created numerous new living spaces. Add to that a massive swinging door, and warm timber and brick out the back , and you have a relaxed, tranquil indoor/outdoor social space.

larch cladding on kitchen extension
Grand Designs

16. Simple material palette

No matter what kind of extension you go with, sticking to a simple colour palette is a good idea to enhance a sense of spaciousness. Ideally, go for a soft, light, nature-toned, muted colour scheme. Or go for a dramatic but soft matte black, like this zinc-clad contemporary extension to a heritage home in Melbourne, Australia. A revamp of an existing extension that seamlessly integrates old and new, the new multi-gabled roof and black zinc frame have all kinds of modern farmhouse flavours., too.

simple material palette of kitchen extension
The Design Files

Interior kitchen extension view

Now let’s take a peek at some gorgeous kitchen extension ideas, looking from the inside out. For more inspo when it comes to kitchen design, you might also like to look at these kitchen renovation ideas and kitchen lighting ideas.

And as with all British extensions, you’ll always want to put in underfloor heating, new fire alarms fitted and automated home lighting for that extra wow factor.

17. White and wood

This pre-war cottage in East Brisbane, Australia, was given a complete makeover with a renovation and extension that created wonderful light-filled spaces perfect for multifunction living and strongly connected to the outdoors.

Along with a new kitchen, there’s also a new bathroom, living space and deck. The kitchen itself is well-planned, with distinct zones for cooking, dining, casual eating—all tied together with the continuity of the neutral colour palette and plentiful natural materials.

white and wood kitchen extension
The Local Project

18. Light and bright

Here’s another London Victorian terraced house side infill extension, which vastly improved the home’s small ground floor layout and lack of light. The architects added full-length roof lights, exposed the structural timber and created an open plan layout, with a material palette of birch faced plywood, stainless steel and lino flooring. All up a lovely, bright, contemporary family kitchen.

kitchen diner extension
Not A Paper House

19. Glass canopy

This picture really shows just how much extra kitchen space can be added with a side return extension. Imagine this kitchen’s ‘before’? Now, beyond the kitchen bench, it’s roomy enough for a dining table and chairs, and although the kitchen is enclosed by the glass roof, it feels open thanks to all the light.

side return dining room
Maison Travaux

20. Brick feature wall

When the owners of this terraced home found their expanding family meant they were getting short on space, they decided on a side return extension as a way of accessing open-plan living on a limited budget.

Side return extensions are fantastic for opening up small spaces. The result is an award-winning design that manages to fit in both a dining room space and a galley kitchen. The warm contemporary home retains the character of its original period home through the use of reclaimed bricks in an exposed brick feature wall.

brick feature wall of kitchen extension
Home World Design

21. Use arches

Do you love arches? Well then, this kitchen is sure to please, featuring an array of arched windows and doors. This spacious open plan kitchen extension also has a lovely pastel colour palette, and plenty of visual interest in the space—with the curved banquette seating, round bar stools, spherical statement lights and that elegant oversize faucet all harmoniously echoing the rounded forms of the arches as well.

kitchen extension with arches
Dezeen

22. Black and white

This is graphic and streamlined and the plentiful glazing enables so much light in. When it comes to kitchen extension ideas, keeping it simple is inevitably a good idea, whether we’re talking design, materials or finishes.

After all, a dwelling in use is subject to a constant interplay of colour, pattern and movement thanks to the everchanging appearance of family members–and the meals they create. In reality, life adds plenty of ornamentation—so a minimalist interior makes a great backdrop.

black and white kitchen extension interior
Pinterest

23. Playful colour and shapes

This kitchen extension and renovation of a Victorian home in London are all about the curves –from the gently curved corners in the furniture to a curved ceiling to a series of cute arched windows and, on the home’s exterior, scalloped shingles (or upside-down arches as the homeowner calls them).

It’s also a fun, colourful space, with the eggplant-hued banquette, soft orange-tiled splashback, and those vibrant yellow-trimmed windows, all offset by a range of greys. Gorgeous!

playful colour in kitchen extension interior
Architectural Digest

24. Oak lined side return

Here’s another side return extension to a terrace home in North Kensington. Although the extension is only small, it has made a dramatic change to how the home’s ground floor is used. I love how the side return is lined with white-oiled oak lining at both thresholds, creating gorgeous passageways and beautifully framing the view through the home. The use of continuous grey limestone flooring extending into the garden is also a clever way to blur those indoor/outdoor boundaries.

oak lined side return kitchen extension
Archinect

25. Zig-zag roof interior

Love those zig-zag roofs? This South London home shows what the inside might look like. This rear extension transformed an existing small kitchen into a spacious, open plan space with different functional zones in it. The zig-zag roof structure soars above the dining zone, where it adds drama and lofty volume to the space. With the roof being a focal element, the rest of the interior is kept spare and minimal with lots of natural materials.

zigzag roof interior of kitchen extension
Dwell

26. White steel kitchen extension roof

Although black steel framing is really popular in contemporary homes, steel-framed windows and doors can be painted any colour. In this kitchen extension in Hackney, the structural glass roof is supported by steel sections that have been finished in white, which blends with the interior wall finishes and helps maintain the overall lightness of the space.

white steel kitchen extension
Pinterest

27. Tiny home extension

The kitchen of this 19th century East London rowhouse has nearly doubled in size thanks to a contemporary rear extension, which completely brightens up the space thanks to plentiful glazing, including a skylight and several picture windows.

I love how, from the inside, this now appears to be a thoroughly modern home, but from the outside, the extension blends harmoniously with neighbouring architecture through the use of black engineering brick and a pitched roof design.

small home kitchen extension
Architectural Digest

28. Tropical vibes

How tranquil and serene is this kitchen/dining set in a semi-detached London home, with a rear extension enabling a new kitchen and dining space as well as a utility room.

The homeowners have a Malay heritage and have also spent time in Australia, so they were keen to design a home that evokes tropical climates and the outdoor, alfresco lifestyle of Asian countries. Now an “all-season urban oasis”, the home features exposed grey bricks, copious natural timber and various partitions of glazing to enable light to fill the home.

grey brick and timber kitchen extension interior
Design Milk

29. Belgian flavours

Who else loves the emerging Belgian design style that’s been dubbed “the new antique” thanks to its artful balance of the old world and new? Almost like a kind of understated but luxe shabby chic, this distinctive aesthetic favours simplicity, beautiful organic materials like raw wood and linen, and strong inspiration from nature, such as the use of forest colours and greyscales. Here, a kitchen extension given the Belgian treatment—I love the colour palette here!

Belgian flavours
Nimvo

30. Blue cabinets and micro cement

Remember the first kitchen extension idea I showed you, with the zig-zag zinc façade? Well, this is a view of that home’s interior and its idiosyncratic “ceiling-scape”. So much drama and dynamism!

The rest of the new kitchen space is kept quite simple, allowing the abundance of natural light to shine. Other notable elements: the bank of blue painted kitchen cabinets adding a visual pop, and the micro cement floors (these are more eco-friendly than concrete).

blue cabinets in kitchen extension
Architectural Digest

31. Midcentury flavours

This 1950s home in Hertfordshire, named the Glass House, has been given a steel-framed box extension to create an open plan kitchen, dining, living and entertaining space. With plenty of cedar and glass panels, and a dramatic, light and dark colour palette, the extension also has a future-forward, technophilic spirit that echoes the ethos of the Modernist era.

midcentury flavours
The Modern House

32. Scandi kitchen extension ideas

Clean, minimalist Nordic style is a mainstay of contemporary interiors and the organic, streamlined and light-filled aesthetic is just perfect for kitchens, as you can see with this spacious extension.

Bright and airy, this efficient and safety-conscious layout (where traffic is routed away from the stove/hob) has a simple Scandi style monochrome colour palette. Then they have added warmth from natural materials, and contemporary industrial touches in the lighting and use of black steel.

As you can see this incorporates a number of different types of lights, so it’s worth looking into interior lighting designers and then an electrician is able to help with downlight installation.

Scandi kitchen
Pinterest

33. Timber heavy

This Edwardian cottage in the inner city in Melbourne, Australia has been given a Japanese-flavoured contemporary extension to the rear, set into a luscious garden (inspiring the name, The Garden House). A strongly organic material palette ensures the kitchen extension is warm and relaxing and engages with the landscaped wilderness behind it.

So much bespoke timber craftsmanship to admire—from the wall to wall French doors and tilt-up windows to all the custom joinery and shelving.

timber heavy interior
The Design Files

34. Elegant and timeless

This kitchen extension to the rear of a Grade II-listed, circa 1822 Regency house in London created much more living space, but the homeowners wanted to stay true to the elegance of the period home. As such, sophisticated elements like brass accent lighting and ribbed glass panels meld with contemporary touches like pale pink poured concrete floors and counters and exposed steel beams.

elegant kitchen
The Modern House

35. Soft timbers

Here’s another oak-lined kitchen extension to the rear of a home. There’s something so lovely and soft-looking about oak, and it’s also such a durable, versatile timber. I love the pale timber with the black accents in the chairs and the contemporary light fitting. And the glass sliding doors allow maximum light capacity as well as completely opening the space up to the garden.

soft looking oak lined kitchen
Dezeen

And there you have 35+ kitchen extension ideas – which of these resonate most with you? Let me know in the comments below!

Want to fast track your kitchen extension? For the best kitchen extension ideas that truly maximise the potential of your space, search now for a highly-rated local architect, builder, interior designer or an expert in kitchen design.

Looking for trades? Here’s a handy list of links that you might need for your kitchen extension – bookmark this page!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna

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