New Kitchen Extension

kitchen extension KendalGordon’s kitchen extension clients have recently moved to Cumbria and  bought a house in an attractive hamlet in the South Lakes, in between Kendal and Grange-over-Sands. The house has a beautiful garden with a mill pond, but internally the living rooms weren’t designed to make the best use of the garden and the natural daylight.

Before Gordon altered the house the front door opened straight into the dining room and the kitchen was a small, dark room to the side of the house. The view of the garden was blocked by an elderly conservatory that had been added to the house some decades ago. Instead of this impractical arrangement, which had been designed in the 1980’s, the clients wanted a large airy kitchen / dining room in the 21st century style that caught the sun and connected with the outside world. In particular they wanted to feel as if one wall of the kitchen was mainly glass and that the feeling of glass was reflected in the ceiling, but at the same time making sure that the kitchen was a room, not a conservatory.

This is how the back of the house looked before Gordon started work:

Exterior before.

Before kitchen extension

Gordon and his clients started by turning the dining room into a hallway and improving and upgrading the downstairs cloakroom, which is accessed from the hall. They then moved on to the major part of the project – creating the best possible kitchen.

This is the exterior of the new kitchen:

Kitchen extension


Lets have a look inside:

kitchen extension Cumbria

Above is the island unit. The door into the kitchen from the hall is behind the photographer and the door into the sitting room is to the left, just out of sight.

A closer view of the floor to ceiling windows:

kitchen extension windows


kitchen extension South Lakes

And finally, Gordon enjoying a cup of tea in the new kitchen:

Gordon in kitchen extension

This is what the clients have to say about their new kitchen extension:

Nine months ago we asked you to take on the project to design a small extension at the rear of our property. Our ‘wish list’ was demanding but the resulting space has exceeded all our expectations – it’s fantastic!!! Every aspect of the job ran smoothly thanks to your guiding hand.

We owe you a huge thank you for your creativity, technical expertise, support and above all your patience. J and J Pruce, Cumbria.

Bolton-le-Sands Bungalow Extension

Bolton-le-Sands is a large village to the north of Lancaster, just south of the Cumbria and North Lancashire border. As well as it’s historic centre to the east of the A6 it has a large residential area to the west. Gordon was invited to be the architect for the extension and refurbishment of a 1960’s bungalow in Bolton-le-Sands.

Older bungalows in Bolton-le-Sands tend to have much larger gardens than newer, estate houses. This provides lots of opportunity to develop a house without it becoming too large for the plot or overshadowing surrounding properties.

The brief for this project was to turn a two bedroom bungalow into a three / four bedroom house. Because of the lack of new building land in the Lancaster and south Cumbria areas, creating a completely new house from an old one, rather than starting from scratch, is the type of project that Gordon is often the architect for.

The original house was a true bungalow, all on one level. The kitchen was a typical 60’s kitchen, big enough for one person to cook in with no space for a table. The single bathroom was also very small. The new, two storey house has two en-suite bedrooms upstairs, a bedroom, family bathroom  and study downstairs as well as a large kitchen / diner and a separate sitting room.

Gordon and the client added a number of architectural features to update the house. In particular they used full length French doors and windows wherever possible. As an architect, Gordon is particularly interested in making use of natural light and because Bolton-le-Sands is on the coast of Morecambe Bay, sunlight is there to be made the most of. Also, having added a storey to the house, new views have opened up across the bay. across

Why not explore the new house in Bolton-le-Sands pictures rather than in words. Click on the photos to enlarge: –



Orangeries and Greenhouses in Silverdale

You may think that some building projects are too small to use an architect. But, if you want to ensure that you get right the building for you, you can even use an architect to design your greenhouse or orangery.Gordon’s client’s for this project have a very long, narrow garden set out on two levels. Their old greenhouse was reaching the end of its lifespan and needed a replacement. This was an opportunity to build a multi-purpose garden building.

The top level of the clients’ garden is formal with lawns and herbaceous borders. The lower level has a pond, vegetable beds with informal grass areas and trees. At the bottom of the garden is a patio next to a stream and across the stream is their allotment. So, it’s a long journey from the house to the allotment.

Greenhouse in Victorian garden

The brief was to design a multi-function greenhouse/orangery/garden room that complimented the Victorian terraced house. Half of the orangery would be used as a greenhouse and the other half as a detached  garden room where the owners could sit and relax and enjoy the garden on cooler evenings.

The house and garden are traditional and it is important that the new building is traditional too.  The house is four storeys tall, so the greenhouse can be seen from most windows at the back of the house. It was important that it blends into the established garden and looks as if it has always been there.

Greenhouse from sitting room window

Because the garden is narrow the obvious shape for the building is rectangular. The greenhouse section has a glass wall dividing it from the garden room section with a door to join the two sections together. both rooms can also be accessed by their own doors from outside.

Though a small and relatively simple project, using an architect ensured that the clients got exactly what they wanted without having to compromise.


This is what they have to say about their orangery:

‘We have been enjoying our greenhouse for a number of years now.

While it provides us with the means of propagating beautiful flowers and plants for our garden and vegetables for our table, it is also a brilliant space away from the house to chill out on cool summer evenings.  When we planned the project we wanted a traditional design and Gordon gave us exactly that, utilising space and environment to the full.

It looks beautiful, and as well as being functional provides us with a place to relax and enjoy the garden whatever the weather.  Gordon was a delight to work with, his advice, invention and skill were invaluable in transforming ideas into reality and he helped to make the whole process into a adventure.’

Mr and Mrs Mitchell, Preston, Lancashire.



Basement Excavation In Silverdale and Arnside

People think of creating extra living space by basement excavation as something that only happens in central London, but it can be an appropriate solution in other areas and is worth discussing with your architect. To the south of Cumbria in Silverdale and Arnside a lot of rural homes are built on limestone. This means lots of quarrying and chipping if you want to excavate a basement, which is exactly what happened during the following project.

Gordon’s clients bought a barn conversion in the south of Cumbria that they wanted to put their mark on and make their own. Their intention was to redevelop the barn at their own pace; slowly and carefully, to fit in with their work and young family.

The barn is built on a limestone hillside and has three storeys; bedrooms on the first floor, bedrooms on the lower ground floor and living room and kitchen in the middle.

Stage one:

Basement Excavation

The first problem to solve was re-arranging the house to create three bedrooms and two bath/shower rooms on the same level so that parents and two young children could all sleep in the same part of the house.

When Gordon’s clients bought the barn there was no direct access from the kitchen to the garden and no w.c. at ground floor level. The ground floor needed more daytime space and a kitchen door that opened to the outside world.

Cumbrian barn before extension work

The solution to these two problems was to perform a basement excavation into the hill to add an extra bedroom at the lower level with a newly built kitchen on top. The kitchen extension also provides space for a cloakroom and an additional stairway to the lower ground floor. The new kitchen allows part of the original kitchen to become a ground floor level, en-suite bedroom; ideal for older visitors who might find stairs a challenge.

The basement excavation and new kitchen are now complete and the photographs illustrate before and after.

Kitchen extension with bedroom extension beneath

Side of the barn, before and after basement excavation:

Barn before excavation work


Basement excavation to create downstairs bedroom

Stage two:

The Garage And The Porch

Stage two has been designed by the architect. Cumbria gave it planning permission at the same time as stage one but it has not yet been built. This is intentional. The clients want to finish the interior of the house before focusing on these two peripheral extensions.

Why have a garage? So that you can fill it with stuff you never use, of course. But, seriously, a garage does add value to property.

And the porch? If you have been to Cumbria you will know why…..

Planing permission drawings  for the basement excavation / kitchen extension / garage / porch can be seen here. Cumbrian barn plans

If you are looking for an architect in Cumbria,  please get in contact. Gordon would be happy to chat to you about your project.

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