With its lofty ceilings, statement accessories and splashes of vibrant colour, Anna Rickard and Matthew Whitehead’s kitchen extension stands out from the crowd
Anna Rickard and Matthew Whitehead created a stand-out kitchen extension, and shop statement wall clocks
When inspiration for a home-improvement project strikes it can come in the most unlikely of forms.
For Anna, the starting point for her new extension was a statement light fitting she dreamed of having. ‘I’ve always loved the Random pendant light by Moooi, but I’ve never had the space to do the design justice,’ she says. ‘Once we’d decided to extend our home, I knew I wanted to create a dramatic space with high ceilings where my favourite light could take centre stage.’
Having relocated from London to Stroud back in 2011, Anna and Matthew realised they missed the buzz of city life so they decided to search for a home in nearby Cheltenham. ‘This house had lots going for it,’ explains Anna. ‘It had a good layout upstairs, and although the kitchen was small, we could see there was plenty of space to extend at the rear.’
With no desire to add what Anna describes as a ‘boring square box’ to the back of their home, the couple spent 12 months living in their new house before making any major decisions. ‘I think it’s important to see how it looks and feels in the different seasons, as the light alters so much throughout the year,’ says Anna.
‘I also looked at lots of houses in our area to see how other people had extended. I’d visit one neighbour to have a look at their house and they’d say something like “you should go to number 14 as they’ve recently extended”. I ended up knocking on quite a few of the doors in our street to ask if I could have a peek inside!’
Drawing up a wishlist
With high ceilings, increased natural light and an open-plan layout key priorities for Anna and Matthew, they approached architectural designer Vincent Marlow of VJM Design to design the extension. ‘The house has a narrow footprint, so I felt that adding plenty of height would cheat the feeling of space,’ says Anna. ‘Vincent designed a mono-pitch extension – the roof is 3.5 metres high on one side but lower on the other, which creates a striking look and ensures it doesn’t block light from our neighbour’s extension.’
Working to a tight budget, the couple focused their funds on the structure rather than the interior fixtures and fittings. ‘We knew we could update kitchen units further down the line if needed, but it’s hard to go back and change the design of the extension,’ says Anna. The combination of a fully glazed gable wall, a trio of rooflights, a high-level side window and an exposed feature wall built from reclaimed bricks gives the space the unique look Anna was hoping for. ‘I sourced the bricks on Ebay and my builder tried to talk me out of using them, but I was determined to stick to my guns as I knew they would be a real talking point .’ ➤
‘i knew i wanted to create a dramatic space where my favourite pendant light could take centre stage’
Anna and Matthew were keen to introduce a few industrial elements, mixed in with a simple palette of more natural materials. ‘I wanted it to be warm and welcoming, so I’ve included open shelving and display areas to give the kitchen plenty of personality,’ says Anna. ‘The pops of intense colour on the walls help to bring the space to life.’
Anna is particularly proud of the great-value kitchen units and worktops, which she sourced for around £6,000. ‘I was really uninspired by the choice of affordable kitchens on offer until I came across this pale wood design,’ she says. ‘It adds warmth and works really well with my colour scheme.’
Words of wisdom
Managing the six-month build was a learning curve for Anna, but if there’s one piece of advice she’d pass on, it’s the importance of putting in the hard work at the earlier stages. ‘I designed my kitchen and lighting before we employed a builder,’ she explains. ‘It meant we got really accurate quotes and the decision-making process was easier, too.’
It’s clearly paid dividends, however, as the family are enjoying the many benefits of the new, light-filled room.
‘We couldn’t swing a cat in our old kitchen, so it’s amazing to have such a big space,’ says Anna. And taking pride of place in the new layout? That statement light, of course.
three large rooflights
from the Rooflight Company bring plenty of natural light into the rear of the kitchen space. the Stone ash embossed woodgrain units and Bone white composite worktops
by Capsule are all from the Kitchen workshop new layout
Left the oversized Random pendant
light by Moooi from Utility Design and the Meadow metal industrial
wall clock from Maisons Du
Monde are fun focal points in the new space. the display area is painted in hague Blue by Farrow & Ball
Right the new extension has a mono-pitch roof, which slopes down from a maximum height of 3.5 metres. Fully glazing the end wall brings plenty of light into the north-facing space. the aluk aluminium bi-fold doors are from Clearway Doors & windows Child friendly
Right anna included space in the layout for a stylish desk area for daughter Mia so she can sit and enjoy doing creative activities. the bespoke desk was made by a carpenter and the
chair is from great little trading Company. a large
storage unit from habitat keeps the room clutter free angled design