Small Kitchen Extensions: 8 Ideas to Transform Your Cooking Space

Deepblue Direct June 14, 2022

If you're wondering how to both upgrade your interior and add serious value to your home, a kitchen extension has long been a popular option. A kitchen is rightly known as the heart of the home - providing a bright and airy space in which to cook, eat and socialise. It's also one of the key things to consider for buyers, with a new kitchen adding up to 10% to the value of your home. This means that not only will it serve as a buzzing new social space for your family and friends, but it can also attract higher offers should you ever choose to sell up.

Our comprehensive guide will present a plethora of ideas when it comes to extending your kitchen, taking into account your family size and needs. Whether your current set of cupboards is bursting at their seams or you're ready to put your mark on your cooking space, this set of tips and tricks will make it easier than ever to get started. So read on for our best small kitchen extension ideas and start planning your dream cooking space today.

Considerations for your kitchen extension

When you're putting the plan together for an extension, there are a few steps to bear in mind.

Size and shape

First and foremost, you need to decide in which direction you'll be extending and how far. There are three main types:

A single-storey extension: This is the most popular type of kitchen extension and involves extending your ground floor outwards from the back or side of your property.

A multi-storey extension: If you have the space, a multi-storey extension can be a great way to create additional living space. It involves adding an extra storey onto your property, which can house a kitchen and dining area on the lower level and a living room on the upper level.

A wraparound extension: A wraparound extension is a single-storey extension that goes around the side and rear of your property. It can be a great way to create a kitchen with a more open-plan feel.

If your kitchen backs onto a garden, consider how much garden space you're willing to sacrifice for your interior. While a small kitchen extension could add value to your home, it's not the only aspect that buyers might consider - so think about its effect on the overall composition of your property.

Style & layout

Now that you've decided on the kind of extension you want, it's time for planning the fun part: the style and layout. With a small kitchen extension, putting plenty of thought into where different aspects will live is crucial to conserving space and natural light. The best route for retaining as much sun as possible is a glass box extension, which uses a glass roof - a bit like a conservatory - to prevent any light blockage. Alternatively, a pitched roof with skylights can provide the same

A small extension may allow you to create a dining space in your kitchen where previously you were unable. If your kitchen is particularly narrow, make sure there is ample room on either side of the dining table so that the space remains practical. Alternatively, a kitchen island or breakfast bar with stools could save space and add even more storage potential.

Opt for a side return

A side return makes use of the pathway that runs down the side of a detached or semi-detached home, extending the home sideways instead of up or back. This is a neat trick for preserving crucial garden space and can make a huge difference by creating additional storage or an open-plan kitchen. Making use of skylights or a 'glass box' style can allow even more natural light to flood in, too.

Create a kitchen diner

The furniture you can include in a small kitchen is often limited. If you have a large family, a kitchen diner could be the perfect way to make the most of a small extension. This will give you plenty of room for a dining table and chairs, as well as extra storage and worktop space.

Enjoy an open-plan space

Open plan living is a tried-and-tested concept that lends itself perfectly to a small kitchen. Extension ideas often focus on creating more living space - and what better way to do that than by opening up the kitchen to the rest of the house? Whether you utilise the new space with a family-sized dining table or leave it unrestricted and open, an open-plan layout will make a small space feel infinitely larger.

Head back with a rear extension

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If you have ample space behind your kitchen, extending behind the house is a route certainly worth exploring. If space is limited behind your home, extending your ground floor backwards and upwards with a multi-storey extension could make the most of a restricted blueprint. If you do extend upwards, just be aware of the impact this might have on natural light. The original kitchen area will be darker than before, so counter this by using French or Crittall-style doors that let light in from the back.

Opt for a pitched roof

A flat roof will often do small kitchens no favours. A pitched roof, on the other hand, can instantly lift a space by directing your attention upwards. Make the most of this design hack by incorporating roof lights (aka skylights) and wooden beams for a stand-out extension that prioritises natural light and makes the most of limited kitchen space.

Choose an L shape for your small kitchen extension

A wraparound (or L-shape) extension is common in homes with limited space, allowing you to extend both the depth and width of the house. It's essentially a side return and rear extension in one, and can transform a small kitchen from a galley-style room to a spacious open-plan space.

As with all kitchen extensions, glass is key for making the most of natural light in a small space. If you're set on an L shape extension, consider a glazed gable end or Crittall-style doors to brighten up the room.

Prioritise function in your cooking space

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Your kitchen sees the most use out of perhaps any room in your home. From storing your food and drink to cleaning your floors, a home is useless without a functional kitchen, so now is the perfect time to think about how your new kitchen space will work once your extension is in place. Upgrading the way you cook and clean has never been easier than with modern appliances like state-of-the-art hot water taps, dishwashers fridge-freezers.

If you're wondering about the benefits and drawbacks of our kitchen extension ideas, see what our experts have to say:


More space: This is the most apparent benefit of extending your kitchen. More space gives you room for all the features and appliances you have always wanted, helping you say goodbye to clutter.

Increased value: A well-done kitchen extension can add significant value to your home. If you plan on selling in the future, this is something to keep in mind.

Improved functionality: A small kitchen extension means more work space and storage options, making a massive impact on how your kitchen functions daily.


Cost: Kitchen extensions can be expensive, especially if you hire a professional to do the work. If you are on a tight budget, this may not be the best option.

Time: A kitchen extension will take time to complete, so you will have to deal with the inconvenience of a construction project in your home.

Disruption: Along with the noise and dust of a construction project, you also have to deal with the fact that your kitchen will be out of commission for a while. It can be challenging if you have a large family or entertain often.


Do you need planning permission for a small kitchen extension?

You may need planning permission for a kitchen extension, depending on the size and scope of the project. If you're unsure, it's always best to check with your local council. They will be able to tell you if you need permission and advise you on the next steps.

Do I need an architect for the kitchen extension?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your project’s size and scope, budget, and personal preferences. If you are planning a small kitchen extension, you may not need an architect. However, if you are planning a large or complex project, you may want to hire an architect to help you with the design and construction process.

Is it cheaper to move or extend?

It is not easy to answer without more information about your specific situation. The cost of materials, labour, the value of your house, and market conditions in your area are all factors to consider. However, it is usually cheaper to extend your home than to move.

How long do kitchen extensions take?

It really depends on the size and scope of your kitchen extension project, but generally speaking, most small kitchen extensions will take between 6-8 weeks to complete. It includes the time it takes to obtain planning permission (if required) and the actual construction work. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some kitchen extension projects may take longer or shorter to complete, but this is a general guideline. If you are working with a professional kitchen extension company, they should be able to give you a more accurate timeline for your specific project.

Can you extend existing kitchen cabinets?

It is possible to extend existing kitchen cabinets, but it is not always the best option. It can be challenging to match the new cabinets to the existing ones, and the result may not look as good as you hoped.


We hope in today's post we've provided you with plenty of small kitchen extension ideas for your home. Whether you opt for a rear extension, a glass box extension or an l-shaped extension, creating extra space with a new extension can transform your kitchen and your home.