Elle’s Kitchen Extension Of Dreams

Author: Lauren Coleman

With Lolly kicking off the week with her renovation updates, we say hello to the weekend with an interiors feature from the wonderfully eloquent Elle from Feathering The Empty Nest . You may remember Elle recently shared her story on how homemaking was helping heal devastating heartbreak. Today we’re in the kitchen chatting architects, AGAs and planning permission.

We are now a year on from Teddy arriving and leaving us all too soon; well almost, next week to be precise. The last year has flown by in many ways; I have immersed myself in this house, wished the time away, wished that I would feel better; more like “me”. Obviously, it’s never going to be that simple, I can’t just throw myself into house projects and hope it doesn’t feel like our son has died; but focusing on the house, as I have said many times before, always saves me.

In this latest burst of home renovation planning, I’ve focused my mind very much on the future and how I do see things (eventually) working out for us; and I think it’s saved me from time itself. I’ve stopped wishing it away now, and I’m just appreciating each day as it comes. I have learned to fill my days with new projects and ideas, and find myself worrying less and not stressing over the things have no control over.

So, what’s my latest obsession I hear you ask? The long-awaited Kitchen Extension of Dreams; let’s call it KOD from here on in, shall we? Well, I always thought that said KOD would happen at some point in this house, but I suppose I had imagined this year would be far too filled with “firsts” for us to have time for this; whether that be steps, birthday parties or family holidays. Of course, we’ve had none. So instead I am filling my head and days with planning a beautiful KOD we can all enjoy, especially when we do have a family in this home.

The Before Shots

We’ve had two visits from an architect, and a first round of drawings already. We were lucky in finding him as fortunately one of my husband’s commuting “train friends” who has also recently moved to our street, just happens to be a fabulous one! However, he was incredibly busy; but he passed us on to a colleague of his who had time to take our project on. Architect and husband have already tried to quash my dreams and stifle my “creative flow” (Although I think they called it realism?). Joking aside, it’s been fun, and it’s been quite wonderful to imagine what this house could be like with a space we can use all day, every day. A space that will be functional and fun for our current home life, but (let’s face it) is being created with the bigger picture in mind. The end goal, family life. We have a Victorian semi, so a house that really lends itself to being extending on the ground floor and turning the current dining room and kitchen into one space. Lots of houses on our street have done similar already, so we are hoping planning permission will be a breeze (positive thoughts on that one would be greatly appreciated!).

The Plans

Extending the house at the side and the back (single story) is a huge project for us to embark on (especially for me, as someone who cannot stand the house being in total disarray!); but I am keeping the end goal in mind. Why are we doing this? We want this house to be a family home. So, I am pinning like a woman possessed on my Pinterest “KOD” board and spending hours of my life frantically googling “tumbled limestone tiles” and “copper taps”. It’s such a big project, but typically, I am already focusing on the details. For me it’s always the smallest touches that make it feel like something we’ve created; not the enormity of the structure, but the handles I have chosen for the cupboards, or the pictures hanging on the walls.

The Inspiration

The vision for the space is simple; like most modern kitchen extensions, we want a room we can cook, eat and relax in one place. There will be an island, hopefully and AGA (please husband….pleeeease!) and lots of storage to hide all of the clutter away. I’m hoping for a neutral tone to the cabinets (Farrow and Ball “Hardwick White”, I’m looking at you) and a darker colour for the island. We are currently torn between wooden or granite work surfaces; jury is well and truly out on that one. Whatever we settle on for all of these things, I am certain that the additional ceiling windows and possible roof lantern will flood the space with light and make it a happy room that we all want to spend time in. I am envisioning myself enjoying drinks with friends, dinners with family and of course looking after a family of my own in that very space.

We are, as you can imagine, working to a budget; which is why I am googling so often. Pinterest and Instagram seem only to show me a world of fittings sand fixtures that could see me in financial ruin in next-to-no time. So, I am trying my hardest to find everything at the most reasonable price I can. As plans are finalised and planning permission (hopefully) granted, we embark on this latest project with optimism and much hope for the future of this family home. I also wonder; would I have had time to do this if Teddy had been here? Am I just paying this attention to detail because I can, because the time is there; because it saves my mind from wandering? The answer is, I’m not sure. All I can hope is that one day, when this project is complete, it will be filled with all of those firsts, and I will be too busy to care…..

Elle x


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Header image via Westbury Garden Rooms

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32 thoughts on “Elle’s Kitchen Extension Of Dreams

  1. I’m sure your KOD will just be so beautiful going off those pictures …my idea of a KOD too same taste xx Your family will come along Elle one day and you will be able to live happily in your gorgeous home xxxxx

  2. Don’t do wooden worktops! It seems a really good idea and they look beautiful to start with but take so much upkeep to ensure they stay looking that good.

    1. Agree with this statement whole heartedly! My wooden worktop has been in for 6 months and I already hate it 😕

      1. But, you can get wood effect laminate that looks brilliant and is virtually upkeep free. Plus it’s so much cheaper. That’s what we did and I love it!

        1. That’s what I wish we had gone for, but hubby ordered kitchen on his own and if I’d have seen the samples I wouldn’t have chosen solid wood.

  3. Love the inspiration, I’m sure it will be gorgeous! What tiles have you gone for? We’re in a slate vs limestone tizz here…

    Re: Agas, budgets and husband persuasion, a preloved one might help your cause? My cousin got her beautiful huge AGA from the London Cooker Company, it looks brand new and she saved a packet. We are definitely heading there too for ours- it’s nearly time to order it I think which is super exciting!

    You will be very much in my thoughts over the next week xx

    1. Thank you for reading. I am looking at pre-loved AGAs, I think they might be the key for getting that one through the door and past the husband. Xx

      1. In my last house I inherited a 6 month old Aga that cost around £15 000, I loved it so much but I would never pay that, reconditioned ones are just as good as they clean up beautifully and there is nothing much to go wrong with them. Aga insurance is brilliant as you have an annual service and repairs are all covered but they are not keen to tell you this xx

  4. When we were planning our kitchen extension I pinned so many of your inspiration pictures!
    I was also planning to have Hardwick White cupboards but had a last-minute panic that it would look too dark so went for Shaded White instead. They look great but I do wonder if I should have stuck to my first thought as I love Hardwick White.
    We have tumbled limestone floors from Mandarin Stone, which I really recommend – compared to a number of other providers they are really reasonably priced and great to work with. We went for Campione limestone, partly because they do patio tiles in the same stone which helps to unify the inside and outside spaces, but also because the colour is great – a greyish creamy peachy colour that goes with everything, hides a multitude of sins and is easy to clean (black permanent marker came right off). Can you tell I love the floor??
    I love the look of wood work tips but was worried about the upkeep so in the end we went for Colonial White granite. I’m so glad we did as again the colours are perfect and they are easy to clean and maintain.
    Good luck with planning permission, I hope it all goes smoothly and that the build isn’t too disruptive! Once the work is over it’s amazing how quickly you forget and it is all worth it. Sounds as though you will have a wonderful family kitchen x

    1. Thank you so much for all of the info Pips, it sounds as though you’ve done a wonderful job and had a great time doing it all. I do hope your KOD is bringing you many joyous days! Xx

  5. Morning Elle…just a thought have you considered Silestone for the worktops? We’ve chosen this for our own kitchen extension and they look very much like granite but aren’t as pricey. Just thought it might be worth mentioning…

  6. Great post, thank you Elle! Really helpful to include the architect plans too. I now need to track you down on Pinterest as I love your inspiration pictures. Your plans are gorgeous, and I love how light filled the space will be.

    Thinking of you all, and especially Teddy, over the coming days. X

    1. Thank you for reading Sian. Thank you for thinking of us this coming week, that’s really kind of you. Xx

  7. Looks amazing!

    We have wooden worktops & I love them. I don’t find the upkeep much at all. We have been in this house for over 2 years & I’ve had to sand back & re-polish just once. I do make sure I wipe up & dry the worktops properly so there are no spills left to mark it but I think I’d do that anyway!

    Looking forward to seeing the progress.

    1. Fleur maybe I’m not as house proud but my wooden worktops don’t need much upkeep either! We oil them every few months but it’s so quick it’s just like wiping them down. I also have a few chopping boards and trays in place so don’t put too much actually on the surface. I suppose that sounds like hard work but it’s not really!

      1. Oh I am so glad to have read some positive comments about wooden worktops! We have just ordered oak for our new kitchen. I will be sure to look after them! Loved this post and Elle you really do have the most perfect taste. Good luck with everything! Xx

    2. Thank you for the tips Fleur. I love the look of them, but you are right, I guess keeping them nice is key to them looking lovely! Thank you. Xx

  8. Don’t do wooden work tops!! Such a pain to keep looking tidy.
    How about silestone? We’re looking at that for our project Dutch barn conversion as cheaper than granite and a million colours!
    Your inspiration looks lovely – it will be fab!
    Thinking of you over this next week with Teddys first birthday

    1. Thank you Victoria. I’ll look into that.
      Thank you for thinking of us over Teddy’s Birthday, that’s really lovely of you to say. Xx

  9. Hi Elle, ahhh to have a KOD! I am dreaming of it too one day but finances just won’t allow it for another few years (and there is a lot of husband persuading to do!)
    We’ve got granite worktops currently and the original Victorian red flagstones. All I would say is that our kitchen has a lot of hard surfaces at the moment, with stone flooring and granite worktops and can look and feel a bit cold. From that respect I kind of regret not getting the oak worktops we considered. Having said that, as hubby and I both have demanding full time jobs, don’t (yet) have a cleaner and spend our weekends still renovating other parts of the house or otherwise busy, the kitchen worktops don’t get cleaned thoroughly everyday and granite can take it very well. Its hardwearing, doesn’t stain and is easy to clean with no upkeep (I occasionally polish it once in a blue moon). The downside is, if any crockery is dropped it will be guaranteed to smash either on the worktop or the floor, which my mother-in-law seems to do on a far too regular basis!

    1. Thank you for all of the info Natalie. Your renovations sound much like ours…..never ending! Thank you for reading and I’ll pray you get your KOD soon!😂🙌🏼Xx

  10. Hi Elle, I enjoyed reading this, thank you! We’re in the middle of our very own KOD extension. I hear you re. excessive pinning! After lllloooonnnnnnggggg research I am going for silestone worktops, bamboo flooring, neutral shaker style cabinets (recommend looking at diy kitchens) and beautiful shimmery sea green/ blue tiles. Exciting and scary all at once.

    Love your instagram!

  11. I think your KOD sounds just like Mir even down to the Aga! I’ve purchased an amazing kitchen and conservatory both from EBay which have been in storage for 6 years ( I’ve been a patient woman!)and will be building the extension in the next few months. Ty were both 4 years old when I bought them ( so now10) but still very much in style. A mere saving of 90k I’m also going for a prelived Aga. Will be looking at your Pinterest.I believe good things come to those who wait and your KOD filled with family will become a reality sooner than you think. Cx

  12. Wishing you every future happiness Elle. These are absolutely gorgeous pins, it’s sure to be an amazing space – and you really do forget all the mess quickly once it’s complete! I would also vote silestone – we went for this in our new kitchen – it’s more durable than granite against water stains etc but similar look. I avoided wood for maintenance reasons but had we had an island would’ve definiately considered wood surfaces on the island and silestone on the others. If a painted wooden kitchen is what you’re after whilst I coveted Tom Howley, Devol and Neptune from afar, our budget sadly wouldn’t stretch – however we managed a bespoke solid wood kitchen for not much more than the high street suppliers, from a local manufacturer. I know Fairylight instragrammed her friends gorgeous kitchen. We had Kevin Roper Interiors in Lancashire – it felt lovely supporting a local business whilst achieving something completely bespoke – and within budget! Final tip – you can buy your granite/ silestone direct from the stone masons which can save thousands. All the best x

  13. I can really imagine your KOD! And according to the pics of your home so far, it is going to be so beautiful and ful of light. I’m glad I already follow you on IG, so I can see the Progress once you really get started!

  14. Hi Elle, very exciting project ahead of you. Hope everything goes smoothly.
    We’ve just about finished our kitchen renovation – we did the majority of work ourself which was rewarding but equally frustrating at times. Worktop wise we went for quartz which now in place I really love and it gives a really premium, magazine kitchen feel! Silestone also a good shout. Perfect also if you’re having an island as laminates are standard depths. Where I’ve had wood it wasn’t great and we were looking for the least maintenance kitchen. I love modern shaker but again we were trying to avoid any groove or indent that would catch dirt and dust. All about the low maintenance!
    You can see our project in the making #oldmanseproject on Instagram
    Handle wise we bought from superfront who design doors and handles for ikea kitchen carcasses. We went with the copper holy wafer and pharmacy handles.
    I’d really recommend spending time over the design of your kitchen, and working out where everything will ok and how you can see yourself working in the kitchen. I’d really recommend hob on the island versus sink. Good luck x
    Enjoy the project I hope the team will you let blog the finished project!

  15. Your pins are absolutely lovely. I really can’t wait to see the final outcome of your KOD. I am very much sure that it’s going to be beautiful.

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