Great heights

With its lofty ceil­ings, state­ment ac­ces­sories and splashes of vi­brant colour, Anna Rickard and Matthew White­head’s kitchen ex­ten­sion stands out from the crowd

Real Homes - - CONTENTS -

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.’

Neigh­bour­hood watch

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’

Style choices

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

max­i­mum im­pact

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

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