Miriam Glendinning combined bespoke units with a simple design for a sophisticated kitchen-diner.

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Just a few months before the birth of their first child, Miriam and Paul Glendinning moved into their new home. Originally the coach house on a large estate, they had snapped up the property as soon as it came on the market as they saw its potential for expanding and loved its quirky character. ‘It needed an awful lot of work, so we just got stuck in,’ says Miriam. ‘We removed all the laminate flooring throughout and concentrated on the bathroom and nursery first.’

At the back of the property, the kitchen felt cold and uninviting, so once daughter Millie was born, Paul ripped everything out and replaced the units with low-cost ones, to serve the family until they had the budget to start work on the extension.

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Four years later, and now with two children, the Glendinnings decided that the time was right to make the project happen. They hired a local builder to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and then brought in Anglian Home Improvements to build the extension. They opted for a pitched glass roof to allow maximum light to flow into the space and, having fallen in love with a bespoke kitchen they spotted in a newspaper, they went as far as having plans drawn up. Once it was costed, however, the couple realised it was way over their budget.

On the recommendation of a neighbour, they asked Twickenham-based Bespoke Kitchens to replicate the design from the sketches, and were delighted when the quote came in at the same price as a mid-range high-street one, but not a bit of MDF in sight. ‘We love the quality,’ says Miriam. ‘The units even look good on the inside. And I get to have something my grandmother had that I’d always wanted – a larder.’

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Wanting to buy the best appliances they could afford, Miriam and Paul purchased them online, including the top-notch Liebherr fridge-freezer, which they got for the bargain price of £210 from a local eBay seller.

Once the plans had been finalised, it took roughly four weeks for the units to be made in a workshop, plus a week for installation and another three to paint them. ‘They have a pinky tone, which reacts in the light,’ explains Miriam, ‘so the colour changes throughout the day, which works well alongside the grey and off-white scheme, especially against the granite worktops and upstands.’ Cleverly, the large island, with its striking tongue-and-groove panelling, conceals a gas meter that would have cost £3,000 to move.

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Possibly the hardest decision the couple had to make was the flooring. They both agreed on wood – because they liked its natural warming properties – rather than tiles, and eventually, after looking at what seemed like a never-ending number of samples, they settled on a richly hued engineered oak that complements the furnishings and the paler shades of paint.

The Glendinnings are so pleased that the design is sympathetic to the period of the house and leaves room for further expansion – and plans have already been drawn up to create an upper level in the future. ‘The lovely thing about this space is that it will look great for many more years to come,’ says Miriam.

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Images: Jamie Mason

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