Building your dream kitchen means having an eye for the best use of space and style


Welcome to Episode 2 of the Hearne House blog. This month we will be discussing how to you can transform your house with a new kitchen and some of the important considerations including current trends and maximising space. 

The kitchen is the heart of the home for millions of people in the UK. It is where families meet, decisions are made and love is shared around a meal. When searching for ideas that will bring your kitchen up-to-date, often the place to start is at your current kitchen table with a pad of paper and pencil. A new kitchen or kitchen extension requires careful planning, considering both design and budget. Nothing should be purchased until you have considered your options and laid out a final plan.

The first step is planning

The standard philosophy for the perfect kitchen layout is a triangle. The sink, hob and fridge freezer should be located so that all can be easily reached without taking too many steps. As a general rule, the sum of the three distances should be no more than 8 metres, and each stretch of the triangle should measure between 1.5 and 2.5 metres.

How does traffic flow through the kitchen now? Ideal passageways in a kitchen should be 90cm-110cm in working areas. Do you need to make adjustments here? It can be tempting to try and cram in as much as possible but this can make a kitchen feel too busy.

kitchen installation with space

Are you considering removing some walls to open up space?  Many older kitchens were built in whatever space could be dedicated to it and that meant there were two and sometimes three walls defining the kitchen area. Open plan style kitchens and living areas are extremely popular at the moment so removing walls is often a primary consideration. If walls are to be removed then consider the structural aspect of the redesign and expect to appoint a structural engineer.

The latest trends or timeless features

Do you want the latest trend in kitchen designs? Then consider the following list of possibilities:

  • Bespoke pantries – there is often a need for additional storage in a kitchen, and a custom-designed pantry or larder area is a great way to achieve that. It’s also helpful to have a workspace with sockets in so that your toaster, kettle or other appliances can be hidden away.
  • Adding an island – a central island can serve several purposes in the kitchen.  The most obvious is additional prep space and eating area, but it can also contain a sink or hob. 
  • The technology in modern appliances has advanced greatly in recent years. Brands have focused on improving the aesthetics of kitchen appliances and put a real focus on features that add convenience. We install boiling water taps in most kitchens now meaning you can get rid of your kettle and free up space.

If you’re planning a new kitchen, but you would prefer a classic design that ages well then here are some ideas:

  • Custom-designed cabinets with Shaker doors offer a timeless design that will never go out of style
  • Use a Belfast sink with bridge taps
  • Choose colours that are more subdued or muted
  • Companies like Smeg and Rangemaster manufacture new appliances that have kept the classic lines of yesteryear
  • Keep the design simple

Working with a professional

While the prospect of starting to plan for a new kitchen may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be if you are working with experienced professionals. The team at Hearne House has years of experience building in Central, West and South West London areas, and we have a portfolio of finished projects that you can view here. Our high standards and commitment to excellence will ensure that you will be delighted with your new extension and it will be delivered on time and on budget. Please call us on 020 8769 6816 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your building project.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

A well planned house extension will add space and beauty to your home while increasing the value of your property


Welcome to Hearne House’s first blog entry. Going forward these entries will be known as ‘Episodes’ with each Episode focusing on an area of home improvement, the latest interior trends, advice on planning and regulations, smart home integration plus many other practical topics to inspire you and help you get the most of your home.  In our first entry we will be discussing house extensions. 

home extension west London

Renovate or move

The first question to ask is if you should move or renovate.  In the past, moving was the first choice for many homeowners but the market has changed. While housing stock in the UK is growing, recent assessments show that, on average, people move about every fourteen years. This could be be attributed to the rising costs of moving house such as increases in stamp duty. In the UK we are seeing more homeowners extending their homes to avoid the high cost and inconvenience of moving to a new location. If you love your current home but you need a bit more space to grow into and/or make everyone comfortable, then extending makes the most sense.

Types of extension

The most common types of extension are:

  • Single or double storey side or rear extensions – including conservatories and orangeries
  • Loft conversions
  • Garage conversions
  • Basement conversions

While there are many things to be considered when planning a home extension, the most important are design and budget. Do you want to add a living area, sleeping area, a new bathroom, storage space or kitchen/dining area? Do have the available space to build on the side of the home or does it make more sense to add another floor, such as a mansard, or convert a loft?

With the cost of the average extension in southwest London running between £1,500-£2,000 per m² (higher for bath and kitchen extensions), you need to have a design plan that matches your budget. For the initial planning stage, don’t worry about the final finishes and exact dimensions.  Your main goal should be to nail down exactly why you want to add the additional space and how it will be used.

Additional considerations

Adding space to your home will usually mean that you are losing space in another area of your property. Your garden may have to be redesigned as well as access to and from the house. Will sunlight gain or loss be a consideration with the new addition?

Planning permission and building regulations will determine the design and feasability of your extension in many areas, dictating what you can and cannot do. If you live in a conservation area then you maybe limited by what you can do without obtaining planning permission. It’s crucial to appoint an experienced specialist at the early stage of design to ensure any alterations are going to satisfy building control.

Converting an existing space can often be a means to satisfying planning regulations. For example, if your reason for extending the house is mostly for living space or storage area, then renovating an existing garage may be the most effective way to add this space. 

Working with a professional

While the prospect of starting a home extension may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be if you are working with experienced professionals. The team at Hearne House has years of experience building in Central, West and South West London areas, and we have a portfolio of finished projects that you can view here. Our high standards and commitment to excellence will ensure that your new extension will be delivered on time and on budget. Please call us on 020 8769 6816 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your building project.

We look forward to meeting you soon.