How To: Family Kitchen Knock Through & Redesign

As a woman living in a renovation with no amenities, can you even imagine being asked to film with the three lucky winners of brand new, amazing luxury kitchens?! I resolved therefore to reign in my envy and view it as an opportunity for inspiration, which the days filming with Susan, Rudi and Norma certainly were. Three lovelier people couldn’t have won, honestly, and it was a pleasure to film with them and Team Magnet.

Susan’s family kitchen needed a LOT of work to even make it useable. If you’ve ever considered knocking through into a side utility area, take a look at this video to see what can be achieved. For years, Susan and her family had struggled in a kitchen not much more than 2m wide, with an old stand-alone cooker plonked right in the middle of the ‘space’. It was awful, truly, needing a complete re-think and a large sledgehammer….

Instead of squeezing past each other and a dangerous hot oven, there’s now a fabulous island which everyone gathers around both at meal times and throughout the day. Whether or not Susan’s kitchen design choice is to your taste – maybe you like things more Scandi, more minimalist or more industrial – knocking down the internal, single leaf brick wall made a spectacular difference to the room and to family life.IMG_3564


DIVIDING WALLS in some homes can scupper any chance of a fabulous family kitchen, so get a price for taking one out if you think that without it you can create a more unified and spacious room. When done properly, it’s likely to be a decision you’ll never regret. At Susan’s, the utility room was bigger than the kitchen which is a silly state of affairs in any house. With the room opened up, there’s no more squeezing past that hot grill!

Susan’s kitchen ‘before’

KITCHEN ISLANDS are a longed for luxury to create an entertaining station or family sitting space, but not all homes can fit them in without taking down walls or adding extensions. Measure properly, visit a showroom or two and get an expert to help if needed. Remember they can be made to pretty much any size but I think they need to be at least 1200 by 600 to be useful. Susan said hers has transformed the way they live for the better, which is just wonderful. 2016-02-09_0003.jpgWORK SURFACE rules in family kitchens so make sure you’re not losing valuable space unnecessarily. Susan’s crazy display cabinet meant a vastly reduced worktop area and once it was gone, it made a huge difference. Juggle units and appliances around to maximise linear meterage of worktop space.2016-02-09_0004.jpgCOOL CABINETS Corner cabinets and pan drawers have gone high tech with pull out mechanisms and slide out shelving. Don’t be like Susan and not use yours for five years!2016-02-09_0005.jpgUSE EVERY INCH and utilise all nooks and crannies – popping the fridge into the old larder under the stairs facing into the kitchen was a great idea. Make sure the appliances you have are sited in the best possible position to enable a smooth flow around the room and a good relationship between the areas of cooking, prep and washing. This doesn’t always necessarily have to be a triangle.

COLOUR & DESIGN Susan chose cream units which were fresh yet not too modern for her taste, and a slimline walnut laminate worktop to follow through contemporary theme. Pull colour choices together at an early stage – the very best time to ensure a comprehensive design scheme and ‘together’ look. That’s how us designers do it, it’s never too early for a swatch 😉2016-02-09_00072016-02-09_0006I’ll post the other two advice videos later this week so do pop back: Rudi’s is a small kitchen in a first floor apartment and Norma’s a working space for a busy charity-runnin lady! x

If you fancy checking out the kitchen Susan chose, it’s called Eton Cream and it’s HERE.

Also, I wrote a practical advice guide to structural walls and taking them down HERE

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