Creative Inspiration / Design Process / Interior Design / Make over

The Kitchen Make-Over: Scandi-Style Open-Plan Kitchen

Kitchen-Make over

The Valley House has finally its newly built extension. Our new open-plan kitchen is finished. It was quite a ride. I can’t believe we made it through these times of lockdowns, Covid, homeschooling, cooking in the freezing garage and the building work.

Open plan kitchen – the process

Firstly, I must give my husband most of the credit for the smooth organization of the building process. However, it wasn’t without hiccups, of course.

We started planning for the extension around January 2020 and got a building slot for June. Then Covid hit and everything stood still. This wasn’t pleasant but it gave us time to reconsider our architectural layout and positioning of the extension. We decided to go all-in and take 2 walls out to make the new space 55 sqm big. You can imagine the steelwork going in! We finally could start in October 2020 and the shell was built before December 2020. Sadly, and I knew this, my kitchen wouldn’t be installed in time for the Christmas Dinner. What I didn’t know at the time was, that we wouldn’t be allowed to invite family and friends for Christmas dinner anyway. After 2 more months of cooking with winter gloves, a hat, and a jacket in the garage, my new kitchen got installed and I was finally able to use the dishwasher. What a lifesaver, when you have two little ones.

What I’ve learned from building an extension

There are a few lessons we have learned throughout the building and design process:

  1. It costs more than you think
  2. Watch the building progress closely
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and raise your concerns
  4. It takes longer than it’s planned
  5. Designing a large space needs time and consideration
  6. A kitchen extension with an open-plan living is a family joint venture
  7. Choose the flooring wisely

The Before

The kitchen was small, dark, gloomy, and had practically no window, but a conservatory separated by glass doors. The conservatory was a lovely feature of the house. With its pitched roof a real eye-catcher. The downside of the conservatory was the temperature, and especially the loss of it. In the long English winter months, it was simply too cold to use it and very costly to heat. And in the summer it was boiling hot. This is how it looked like…

Before kitchen extension

Kitchen before 1

The After

Having an open-plan kitchen was always my dream. It is much easy with small children to cook and supervise or entertain them at the same time. I also wanted the light coming in from the garden and see the trees and mature plants. My style for the kitchen can be described as Minimalism meets beach breeze: Split oak, daylight grey, and dark brown. Like a walk on a West Sussex pebble beach.

Pebble beach West Sussex

Welcome, come in!

Kitchen entry

Kitchen barstools

Image: Valley House Kitchen supplied by Kavanagh Design. Dekton Worktop in Kayla, Rotpunkt Kitchen in daylight grey and split oak, Quooker tap, Neff Appliances, Bora hob, Barstools Sean by Elevo natural Tiles by Topps Tiles.

Extension exterior

The design concept for the living area

This is the design mood board I created for the rest of the room:


I have chosen colors you would see when taking a long walk by the beach: rust or terracotta plays a big role and as well as light blue and navy, natural white, soft grey and black. Maybe you get the idea of what I mean…

The entire floor of the new open plan living space is tiled with Elevo Natural Tile, a textured porcelain tile in wood effect. Read more about how I’ve chosen my flooring in this article here.

The set of bi-foldable doors enables to bring the garden in and makes it possible to look after the kids while being in the kitchen. To have the decking at the same level is absolutely amazing. It’s practical for small children to run in and out without a big step to take. We have mostly chosen hard-wearing and durable materials because our children, their friends, and our dog will put it to a test on a daily basis.

I hope you got inspired for your own home renovation, whether you are planning a kitchen extension or just remodel your kitchen. If you want to work with me why not take a look at my online interior design services, request a project, or book a free discovery call?

I’m happy to advise on colour schemes, find sustainable furniture and design your space for you.

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