Written by Becca Green

Kitchen makeover: ‘We wanted an original and dramatic scheme’

Discover this dark and dramatic kitchen makeover that was extended to offer more space.

dark green moody kitchen

Image: Paul Craig

Extending their old kitchen gave Dan and Portia Barford the scope to fit dramatic deep-green cabinets, enhanced by dark and sophisticated worktops.

Why didn’t you like the existing kitchen?

We bought this four-bedroom 1960s property as a renovation project and as with so many houses of that era, the kitchen felt too small for the house – it was like cooking in a caravan! Since extending it, it’s now about four times the size of the old room.

How did you want to change the space?

We knew we didn’t want a grey kitchen and had originally decided on a deep purple colour for the units. Then, Masterclass Kitchens launched their new Hunter Green shade and we were completely sold. With an L-shaped layout for the wall units, it made sense to have an island in the centre, and Portia and I both agreed that dark worktops would really enhance the deep-green doors.

bifold kitchen doors large island

Image: Paul Craig

What were your must-have features for the room?

A full-height fridge-freezer was at the top of the list, along with some tall larder cupboards with pull-out drawers. We also chose a glass splashback with an antique bronze mirrored finish, which not only makes the room feel larger, but is surprisingly easy to clean – plus, it’s something a little different from usual tiles.

Did you have a set budget for the project?

We didn’t have an exact figure in mind as the kitchen extension was part of a whole-house refurb. We have our own home improvement business so we did most of the work ourselves: my dad Andy is a local builder, so he did the extension for us. Thanks to trade discounts, we have been lucky enough to include a few features that we may not have been able to afford otherwise, so that’s been a great advantage.

integrated appliances dark green

Image: Paul Craig

Were there any disasters along the way?

No, it all ran very smoothly. My biggest advice to anyone looking to take on a project is to find good tradespeople who you trust and feel comfortable with. Always ask friends, family or even your neighbours for recommendations.

Read more: Explore this Victorian barn conversion with a love for leopard-print

What was the best bargain you found?

The flooring came in at a good price, at under £2,000 for the whole of the downstairs. It’s a luxury vinyl laminate and with underfloor heating, it feels lovely to talk on. It’s also practical with two children and a dog. Our fitter suggested adding coffee-colour grout lines, which has created an interesting effect, but in hindsight I wish we’d had it laid in a herringbone pattern.

open plan kitchen diner

Image: Paul Craig

Did anything cost more than expected?

One of our suppliers recommended Lapitec sintered stone worksurfaces, and although they are more expensive than most other quartz or solid surface materials, they’ve virtually indestructible! They don’t stain or scratch, and we even chop directly on top. We’re so pleased with them and love the matt look.

What have you learned from the project?

To let people do their job and not to interfere too much, as this can end up delaying things. I’ve also discovered that silk emulsion is so much better than matt for when you need to remove dirty marks and children’s sticky handprints!

How do you feel now it’s all finished?

It’s exactly what we wanted. We love being in here so much that we rarely use any of the other downstairs spaces these days.

Project costs

  • Units – £15,000
  • Worktops – £6,000
  • Splashback – £1,500
  • Appliances – £5,964
  • Sink & tap – £418
  • Flooring – £1,500

Total spend £30,382 

 

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