A Guide to Open Plan Kitchen Diner Extensions

Building a new kitchen extension can be of great benefit to you both financially and practically speaking. If done properly it can add to the resale value of your home, not to mention give you great pleasure through its utility.

This guide is intended to give you a quick and straight forward run down of all the things that you might want to consider either before you start or during the build.

How will you use the space?

  • Will it only be used for preparing meals or shared with an open plan dining area?
  • Should the kitchen area be visible or a more privately enclosed space?
  • Would you like to incorporate a casual area dining area within the kitchen itself, such as a breakfast bar?
  • Do you require a larder or store room?
  • Is it possible to create an open and natural space which can leads seemlessly through into the garden?
  • Would the adjoining living room or dining room be used as the main eating area or just become a more casual place to dine?
One of the Apropos projects below....

kitchen diner extension
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side return kitchen extension ideas
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side return kitchen extension with large kitchen island
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open plan kitchen and dining room extension ideas
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Some of the bigger Layout and Design Considerations

  • Will the kitchen remain in the same area or move to a different location within the house?
  • Will the extension require major structural changes (i.e. extending the existing building) or more minor ones (re-modelling the existing layout with the possibility of removing internal walls)
  • Will the kitchen extension incorporate one or more of the following features: Rooflights, Sliding and Folding Doors, a glazed extension of some description such as a conservatory or orangery
  • If you decide that you are going to extend will you build onto the back of your home or onto the side of the existing structure?
Bespoke RooflightsBespoke Rooflights
See more of our designs in our full colour brochure
See more of our designs in our full colour brochure
large modern kitchen extensions large modern kitchen extensions
See more of our designs in our full colour brochure
inside modern white glass kitchen extension inside modern white glass kitchen extension
See more of our designs in our full colour brochure

Some of the Smaller Details

  • Colour schemes can have a huge impact with darker colours looking moodier which become be very inviting and cosy in the evening, whilst lighter coloured rooms help open up rooms giving the appearance of space and freshness.
  • One of the major character aspects of the room is the walls and floors. Floor covered with tiles or wood can change the feel of the room dramatically. Tiles, wall paper, wall panels or wall stickers are huge contributing factors to setting the overall mood and feel of the room.
  • Consider what would be the overall style that you would like to achieve? (i.e. country kitchen, open plan contemporary or more a classical look)
  • The inclusion of an island in the kitchen can become a truly multipurpose place to prepare your food and help divide up your room. Its also possible to double up this feature as a dinning area.
  • Try to think about your room having an overall focal point which can help bring it together. The use of texture and colours can help greatly with achieving this effect as the room seems to flow rather change abruptly or sporadically.

Types of Flooring

The kitchen is probably one of the most punished rooms of any home. With this in mind its worth thinking how to make the space as hard wearing and durable as possible. Cheap tiles and laminate flooring are only good as a make do option as they often prove to be a false economy in the long run. This is because they tend to need replacing quickly and also often fail to achieve the wow factor that many look for in a room. Consider under heated tiles or real wood flooring to add that touch of class.

Extra Storage

Think about how you can utilise the walls in the kitchen to create much needed storage space. Cupboards, shelves and kitchen islands can help keep the place looking neat and tidy as everything can be tucked away neatly out of sight.


Spending a little bit extra on work tops in the kitchen can help hugely with the overall look and feel of a space. Not only does this provide a completely practical feature but also helping to tie in the rest of the home. Colour, thickness, material and finish are vital considerations choosing from the plethora of work tops. Remember that you can sometimes use off cut pieces of work surfaces to create matching shelving for other parts of the home.

Should Appliances Stay in the Closet?

Normally in an open plan kitchen you are trying to create an eye pleasing and fairly unassuming space in the home. In short this means hiding away your appliances which often look out of place and cumbersome as they interrupt the flow of the room. If the design and budget allows, we definitely recommend hiding everything from the waste bin to the noisy washing machine that can end up becoming a perpetual din in the corner.

Getting Permissions

Depending on the amount of work that needs to take place, it might be necessary to seek planning permission. If you know that your about to embark on making significant structural changes then its definitely worth finding out the implications of a new build. Many people have deliberately chosen to bury their heads in the sand only to find out later that what they've built does not comply with building and property regulations. They are then forced to make significant changes, pay fines or remove the offending structure completely. This is both costly and heart breaking, therefore its imperative to avoid this outcome at all costs!

Naturally, listed building require extra special consideration and are usually restricted in terms of what changes can be made to the outside structure of the building.

Remember that if you choose to work with Apropos then when it comes to getting advice, Apropos' architects can help steer you in the right direction and give advice as to how to go about building your extension without all the stress.

The benefits of Open Plan Kitchen Extensions....

  • Value - Most estate agents would agree that the demand for open plan living has never been higher. Houses with such arrangements are more sought after and generally fetch a much a higher asking price overall.
  • Spacious - Large open kitchens with adjoining dining rooms and/or living room areas are often highly suitable for those with families as the house doesn't feel so cramped or cluttered.
  • Flexible - Open plan layouts tend to be more flexible due to the ability of being able to arrange the living space. A dining room can easily become a chill out area or study if the want or need arises.
  • Social able - In terms of sociability, it doesn't get more social than everyone being able to spend time together despite being in different areas of he house.

...And Remember

  • Heating - The bigger your room, the larger the heating bill to keep the place warm during winter. Small electric heaters can prove to be woefully inefficient and therefore costly. Under floor heating might just prove to be the solution in some cases or alternatively consider extending your central heating system.
  • Garden - Reducing your garden down a thin strip might not be the best idea even if it doesn't seem that important to you at the time. Many people see a decent size garden as essential so bear this in mind whenever your looking to extend.
If your looking for tips, idea and inspiration then why not get the Apropos brochure today. It is a completely free by post or email comes without obligation.