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“Edwardian extension” Dorset

May 30, 2024

Kitchen extension to detached Edwardian villa in Boscombe East

Architect: Laura Simpkins, Pride Road New Forest and Bournemouth

This project was for a Detached Edwardian 6 Bedroom house. It had a great location 10 minutes walk to the sea, a large garden and lots of original features. Boscombe East is an up and coming area of Dorset and has recently received a regeneration grant.


My client has 3 young children and they loved being outside, going to the beach and enjoying the garden. The house was beautiful with lots of character, many of the rooms worked well but the kitchen was dark, you couldn’t see the garden from it and there was no view to the front of the house.

The actual kitchen units were new, my client felt bad about taking it out as people said it was a dream kitchen. However she had an idea that these units could be raised in a new utility room.

Other issues with the existing kitchen was no island seating and the oven had a false mantle around it which meant there was nowhere to put anything either side. She felt that the layout had not been thought through and didn’t work for a young family.

Originally they hadn’t seen it as a renovation project. It was only having lived in it that they realised they needed the lights on all year round, even in august.

There was no flow, the kitchen was hard to use, the dining table was in front of the window and the kitchen wasn’t in proportion to the rest of the house. It didn’t make the most of the garden.

My client had spent a year thinking about this. She did all the cooking and has a pilot husband who is away a lot, so the kitchen really needed to work.

The process

The initial idea was to put sliding doors on the end of the existing kitchen space and build a utility room on the side. We drew this idea out at our design workshop.

I said they would spend all their money on a Utility room that no-one ever sees, and would spend all their time in the kitchen. It still wouldn’t solve the problem of light.

I suggested they go out to the side with a new kitchen extension, which they hadn’t thought about at all.

We drew this idea out and the client realised that the new kitchen would have views to the front and back of the house. Importantly it would get sunlight from the front and open up views to a small roses garden that they couldn’t see before.

The result

The finished project is a flat roof parapet brick extension, with a large lantern rooflight and oriel window seat giving lovely views to the garden. My clients husband’s loves sitting on the window seat with the larder door hiding him!

The dining room has a thin line sliding door

Having these two separate openings still gives an impression of the width of the garden but feels more interesting than one big opening.

The fabulous Tom Howley kitchen includes a pantry unit and large island. Now there is protected cooking space, the children can be in and out of the garden and not get in the way. The sink is out of the way so you don’t see it.

How has the project changed family life

They love that they have a linked kitchen and dining area – it feels like a dining room but linked, they can do drinks on the island when entertaining.

‘We are really proud of it – we have invited people that we have only known a week back for dinner! It feels really natural – it feels part of the house, it feels like it’s always been here. People don’t expect us to have gone to the side. The use of the garden will be a game changer in the summer, the kids can go in and out.’

They were up against a bad orientation but the new kitchen window brings the sun in, so the whole space feels light.

‘I’m really pleased with it. I would definitely recommend using an architect. It would have been a utility room on the side, had you not suggested doing things differently. I can imagine the interior but I can’t work out the bones of it – so employ an architect for sure. ‘- Client

‘This project was wonderful because the client has a passion for good design. They bought in to the vision and put in many hours sourcing fixtures and fittings. I am particular delighted with the oriel window seat and how the rear elevation turned out with extra detailing around the window of slightly protruding glazed engineering bricks – architects comment.

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