Rachel Khoo: extension and renovation


Cook, writer and broadcaster, Rachel Khoo, has chosen Simply Extend to build her extension and reconfigure her North West London flat. This is not your typical project for Simply Extend.
Rachel, who had her own BBC show The Little Paris Kitchen, plans on using her flat as the base for her personal projects and magazine, khoollect.com. Khoollect is an online lifestyle magazine and community that has travel and food at its core.
The extension will add 18sqm of space, which Rachel plans on using as an office and a studio to shoot footage and photographs for her website, blog and shows. However, this is not a commercial building, the refurbishment and renovation of the ground floor Victorian flat also aims to provide a relaxing home for her family and a place to entertain.
Rachel’s flat, which is part of a typical Victorian terrace, will be transformed from this:



Into this:



Rachel’s home will be made over into a multi-functional space with a cost-effective side return extension and the chimney breasts, with the ornamental fireplaces, will also be taken out. While this may sound sacrilege to some, Rachel, a busy working mum, needs the extra space this will provide for both her family and the business. The TV cook needs her flat to have:
• Desk space for five people
• A quiet space for meetings
• A kitchen that can be used for recipe development and filming
• White studio space for photography and filming
• Function as a family home with two bedrooms and storage space for the family’s belongings

For a flat that is only 52sqm it may sound like a tall order, but the team at Simply Extend have done this before. With some clever design ideas and reconfiguration it can be possible to transform a ground floor Victorian flat with a small garden, to a modern multifunctional space that meets the needs of a modern working family and business.
Keep up with the development of Khoo’s project here.
This is not the first London flat we have redesigned and added an extension to; take a look at our case studies from across the capital for inspiration. If you are thinking about adding an extension and reconfiguring your flat or apartment then contact Simply Extend for a no obligation free site survey.

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2017 London house extension inspiration

The trend for ‘improve not move’ looks set to carry on into 2017. With the cost of moving and house prices continuing to rise, it makes sense for London families to expand their current properties rather than move to a new one. If you’re thinking of getting an extension on your house take a look at our videos for some extension inspiration.

Highbury, North London – Rear Kitchen Extension

This Victorian home in Highbury, North London, underwent an extensive renovation; it included a rear kitchen extension and a loft conversion, with the latter constructed by our sister company, Simply Loft. The owners of this extension have created a beautiful kitchen diner with exposed brick and bi-folding doors, which bring the outside in. The design also features a strategic light well over the sink and the kitchen uses sleek lines and a contrasting colour palette to maximise space.

Balham, South West London, Side Return Extension

Bright and airy, this side return extension, in the South West London enclave of Balham, is a great example of what can be done in a normal period terrace. Light was important to this family, and the combination of bi-folding doors, floor to ceiling windows and skylights above the dining table ensures plenty of natural light flows into this family orientated room. The traditional kitchen and large warm-coloured wooden table give this modern extension a homely feel.

Queens Park – Rear Extension and Refurbishment

This pretty rear extension on a ground floor garden flat in Queens Park near Kilburn in North West London, just goes to prove that you don’t need to own a house to extend your home. This project saw a complete renovation of the flat that included a reconfiguration of the bedrooms, bathroom and living room. A light well and wall-to-wall bi-folding doors let in plenty of light into what was once a dark space. The reconfiguration has enhanced the property’s period features and gives the family a workable space to live, work and play.

East Sheen London – Rear Kitchen Extension

A modern extension can transform a home no matter when it was built. This early 20th-century family home opted for a rear pitched roof kitchen extension, which gives the room a lofty feel. Skylights are fitted into the slope of the roof and let in plenty of natural light, as does the triangular window above the door. This family have also opted for bi-folding doors which connects with the garden, offering indoor-outdoor living all year round. The stylish kitchen is sociable and has been designed with entertaining in mind.

If you want to improve your London home in 2017, then contact us today for a free site survey.

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Kitchens to Entertain In

As Christmas approaches we all start thinking about how we can transform our London homes into fantastic spaces for entertaining with plenty of room for that dream kitchen, perhaps in an open plan layout with a beautiful dining area where guests can mingle and chat before sitting down to dinner.

That being said, not everyone has the luxury of space to create a kitchen for entertaining, which is where a London home extension from Simply Extend can come in useful. With a rear extension, side return extension or wrap around extension, it’s possible to create a luxurious space with a kitchen island or breakfast bar and an open plan dining or living area with seamless access to your garden or patio.

At Simply Extend, we can even manage and source your new kitchen with our partners at Tineo Designs so that you can have your new kitchen as a part of the overall home extension project. For inspiration on your fabulous kitchen for entertaining, take a look at some of our past projects below.

If you’re planning on creating a home extension in London to encompass your dream kitchen, contact the team at Simply Extend today to see how we can help you.


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Home extension door choices

Simply Extend London home extension blog french doors

When you’re planning your home extension in London, you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about what you’ll be able to do inside that new space. Whether it’s deciding on the fixtures and fittings for your new kitchen or the soft furnishings for your new lounge area, you’re bound to devote a lot of time to cutting pictures out of magazines, collecting swatches and browsing shops.

You may not spend quite as much time, however, thinking about how you’ll connect that inside to the outside, but this can be just as exciting. The exterior door choices that you make can define the whole room, connecting it to your garden, patio or yard in dynamic ways, as well as bringing additional natural light into the space. We take you through some of the most popular door choices you have when planning your extension.

Bi-fold doors

Simply Extend London home extension blog bi-fold doors

Bi-folds are one of the most popular doors we are asked to install at Simply Extend, and it’s easy to see why. Available in a wide array of colours and materials, they can work with many different London home extension décors and they are amazing when it comes to connecting your home to your garden.

As they fold, they can open right out in order to create seamless movement between your garden and extension – perfect for creating an inside-outside dining experience with a kitchen extension. Plus, the expanse of glazing fills your home extension with natural light and provides beautiful views across your garden.

Sliding doors

Simply Extend London home extension blog sliding doors

Sliding doors offer a similar look and feel to bi-fold doors in that they seamlessly connect your home extension to your garden or yard. However, they are better suited to larger extensions as one panel has to remain static. The large glass panels are less broken up by frames than bi-folds, creating a beautiful effect even when closed.

French doors

Simply Extend London home extension blog French doors

French doors are a much more traditional style and so are popular with those who want to retain a much more traditional feel for their home. The glazed panels allow for lots of natural light to filter into the space and the double doors help to create a connection between inside and out while still retaining the original style of the property.

No doors

Sometimes your extension will not require a door and it’s important to bear this in mind. If, for instance, you are building a side return extension on to an open plan kitchen dining area which already has an exterior door, you may just need windows to bring in additional light. Similarly, a very small extension may not require an exterior door at all.

Whatever style you’re looking at, our team of London home extension experts can help you plan your new space perfectly. Contact us today to discuss your project.

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Flat vs. Pitched Roof for Your Extension

When you’re planning your home extension, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the ‘fun’ elements such as picking out your furniture and décor, or perhaps designing your new kitchen. It’s less easy to get excited about the more structural elements, such as the type of roof you’re going to have, but the roof will really define the overall look of your extension.

Here we look at your two main choices when deciding on a roof type are flat and pitched, but what are the pros and cons of each?

Flat roof

Simply Extend London home extension flat roof

The obvious benefit of a flat roof is cost as it is generally cheaper than a pitched roof. This is because there is less structural engineering involved and they are for the most part constructed from cheaper materials. They can also have a great modern look for more contemporary buildings – although some more contemporary materials such as zinc can bring the costs up.

However, your ceiling inside will be lower, making the space appear smaller and a flat roof can require a lot of maintenance over time, depending on the materials used. It’s also not a great design for lots of insulation, making it less energy efficient.

Pitched roof

Simply Extend London home extension pitched roof

The design of a pitched roof will usually blend in better with the style of more traditional houses, making it a favourite with planning departments. It also has a definite benefit of space. You can create a higher ceiling beneath it, or even use it for loft space in some instances. It will also have a longer lifespan than a flat roof thanks to more weather resistant, durable materials and a design that allows water to run off more efficiently. A pitched roof will also allow for more insulation than a flat roof – keeping your energy bills down.

However, a pitched roof is more expensive due to more structural engineering and more building hours.

The design of your roof may be dictated to you by a variety of factors such as your local authority’s planning department, or what you want to use your extension for, but when you do have a choice, it’s wise to consider carefully what you can afford but also what will be the best long-term decision.

Our experts at Simply Extend can help you decide on the best option for you when planning your London home extension. Call us today on 0800 917 7571 or complete our online enquiry form.



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Glass home extensions

As people want to extend and maximise the light in their home, glass extensions are becoming more and more popular with Londoners. They are a striking, beautiful and contemporary way to create more space, while seamlessly linking the outdoors to the indoors.

The addition of bi folding doors can really open up your home to the garden and create a wonderful space for entertaining – just imagine summer BBQs where your guests can easily move between the garden and kitchen, or winter dinners where you can enjoy views of the garden as you dine.


However, there are some key things you need to think about before pushing ahead with a completely glazed home extension. If you’re overlooked, for instance, your neighbours will be able to see your every move, and if your home is particularly sunny it could get very hot without suitable ventilation.

At Simply Extend, we can help you work out if a glass extension is the right choice for you, or if you would be better off with a part-glazed solution. We can talk you through our range of glazing options and help you realise your ideas. Call us on 0800 917 7571 or fill in our online enquiry form.

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Living room lighting guide

Simply Extend blog London home extension living room lighting lights guide

We spend a lot of time in our living rooms, whether it’s watching TV, reading, relaxing or socialising, so getting the lighting just right is really important. If you’re thinking of creating a new living room space with a home extension, you’re in the fortunate position of being able to design the lighting exactly the way you want it.

That said, we know there are a lot of lighting designs to choose from and it’s not always easy to know exactly what effect they’ll have on the room. This is why we’ve put together a living room lighting guide with explanations of the effects particular lights have, as well as hints and tips on how to best use them.

Ceiling lights

Ceiling lights tend to give the most even light across the whole room compared to other lighting styles. However, this can have its drawbacks as, if the light is particularly bright, it can make the room feel quite cold. To counter this, fit a dimmer switch with the light – this way you can control the brightness levels as you need to.

Ceiling lights also have the advantage of being an eye-catching centrepiece for your room if you opt for stunning, aesthetically pleasing designs, such as a chandelier.

Wall lights

Wall lights are a great way to create “zones” in your room – perfect for open plan spaces – and instil a warm, welcoming look. They work best when fitted above seating and in alcoves. Picture lights are another way to make wall lights work for your room since, as they illuminate artwork or photography, they also create a feature wall, as can lighting under shelves.

Simply Extend blog London home extension living room lighting light guide

Spotlights and downlighters

Great for those seeking a more modern, minimalist feel, spotlights and downlighters create a sleek look while not drawing attention to themselves. Best for people who want functional lighting that doesn’t make a statement in itself.


Lamps can also create a sense of “zones”, but they’re more versatile as they can be moved and changed as needed. They come in different varieties such as table lamps and floor lamps, and can be focused to illuminate certain areas or tasks such as reading. Because lamps come in such a huge range of styles and colours, they can help to alter or complement the overall look of your living room.

If you’re considering a London home extension to create a new living room space, Simply Extend can put their years of experience to use, helping you design and create your ideal space. Contact us today on 0800 917 7571 to speak to our experts.

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Renovations To Add Value To Your Home

Whether you’re looking to sell your London home soon or just some time in the future, it’s important to make sure any home renovations you carry out add value and make it a more desirable purchase for potential future buyers.

There are lots of home renovations you could carry out but not all of them will necessarily add value so to give you some ideas, we’ve picked out 5 types of renovation that are definitely worth your while.

1. A new kitchen

A kitchen is often the first thing a buyer will look at replacing so a brand new, stylish, functional kitchen can really increase the desirability of your property. This kind of home improvement could range from a relatively small make over to a kitchen extension or an open plan kitchen-diner space and can add around 6% to the value of your home.

Simply Extend bathroom london home extension

2. An extra bathroom

Whether it’s an en suite, a wet room, a downstairs loo or a full bathroom, an additional bathroom is also a popular way to add value. It has the added benefit of more convenience for busy families and can give some real luxury to a home – as well as a 6% boost in value.

3. A conservatory

A conservatory can be a relatively simple way of adding extra interior space as well as up to 5% value. It can really help add some bright, airy space to your home and can mean a new reception space to allow your family to spread out.

4. A loft conversion

Perfect for adding any manner of rooms from bedrooms to home offices to studios, a loft conversion uses the often wasted space in your roof to provide useable space for you and your family. With a variety of options available, it can also make your home more desirable to future buyers, adding around 20% to the value of your home.

Simply extend kitchen extension london home extension

5. A home extension

Adding an extension can add a large amount of value – around 23% – to your home if done well, although there are so many different things you can do with a home extension that this amount can vary. Whether you’re after more space in your kitchen or you want to increase space over two storeys to completely revamp your house, a home extension is a great solution.

If you’re keen to add value to your London home with an extension, contact Simply Extend on 0800 917 7571 to talk through your ideas.

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Types of home extension – which one’s best for you?

Extending your London home is a great way to create extra space. Whether you want a bigger kitchen or bathroom, an extra bedroom with en suite, more living space, or a combination of all of them an extension can transform your home and improve your quality of life, all without having to call a removal van.

The type of London home extension you have can dictate how it can be used, so it’s worth considering exactly what you want in terms of space and then looking at how you can achieve it. To help, we’ve put together a list of the most popular types of home extension we design to help you work out what’s best for you.

1. Side return extension

Simply Extend side return London home extension

A side return extension brings your home out into an alley way or drive way at the side of your house to create additional interior space. It’s not the biggest kind of home extension available but it can make a great deal of difference and is ideal if you want to create, for instance, an open plan kitchen-diner.

2. Rear extension

Simply Extend rear London home extension

A rear extension extends from the back of your property, usually making your kitchen bigger and giving you additional space for a living or dining area. The use of bi-folding doors can really open up the extension to your garden or patio as well, giving you a bright, airy space.

3. Wrap-around extension

Simply Extend wrap around London home extension

A wrap-around extension combines a rear and side return extension to give you the biggest possible space. It can be used to create a large kitchen-diner, perhaps with living area, making a fantastic space for entertaining guests.

4. Double storey extension

Simply Extend double storey London home extension

A double storey extension really maximises your home’s space. It costs more than other London home extensions as it uses twice the space, but it means that as well as extended rooms downstairs, you could also have an additional bedroom – maybe even with en suite.

At Simply Extend, we’ll consult with you on your home extension in London and talk you through what’s possible with your property. To get some inspiration, be sure to take a look at our case studies to get an idea of what you could have in your home.

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Kitchen Extension Lighting Guide – Types of Kitchen Light and Their Uses

web-1000When it comes to designing a bespoke kitchen extension in London, there are a number of things that we need to take into account. One of the most important factors we have to think about is lighting.

Lighting has to be considered as early as possible, since electrical fittings need to be installed in the very first stages of the home extension build.

Here, we’ll take a look at the benefits of kitchen lighting and the different kinds available.

The Benefits of Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lights are important — not least because it’s in the kitchen that we tackle all of our food preparation and cooking. Still, the modern kitchen is much more than just a cooking station.

Our kitchens are often at the heart of a party and, in a kitchen/diner, they’re where the family eats breakfast or spends most of their time. With the right kitchen lighting, we create the right atmosphere in these spaces for whatever occasion.

The 3 Main Kinds of Kitchen Lighting

Your kitchen extension will likely serve a number of functions and your lighting options should illustrate this. There are 3 kinds of kitchen lighting to consider:

•    Working light

•    Mood light

•    Feature light

Working Light

Working light, or task lighting, serves a function — namely to allow you to perform kitchen tasks; and do so in safety. Wherever food preparation is going to take place, we look to install a direct light source; illuminating worktops, sinks and hobs.

Undermounted lights can be installed under storage areas, while extractors are popular for lighting the hob area. If your kitchen extension is going to feature an island worktop, we will look to install an adequate light source directly above.

The hot new thing in kitchen design is the sensor operated light which can be illuminated with the wave of a hand. This means you won’t have to wash your hands of food every time you want to operate the light. Another idea which is growing in popularity is kitchen drawer lighting which, like the fridge, comes on when the drawer is opened.

You might not have realised you needed this light, but you’ll undoubtedly have changed your mind whilst rummaging around in half light for a corkscrew or pizza cutter.

Mood Light (also known as Ambient Light or Dining Light)

Once the hard work has been completed, task lighting can be seen as too hard or bright and this is where mood light comes in.

Enough light is still needed for safe and comfortable eating. If we’re installing a kitchen diner, we ensure that an adequate light source is available in the dining area for dining light.

After dinner lighting, however, is traditionally best served low. Dimmer switches allow the homeowner to set their own tone throughout a dinner party. Other dining light options include LED down-lights. Surface mounted spotlights in warm white light can contribute to an after-dinner tone.

The language of light means that subtle changes in light source can transform the kitchen from a place to get things done to a place to kick back and relax with family and friends.

Feature Light

Not all light sources have to do the job of illuminating the room, they can be used to highlight particular design features or give a new kitchen the “WOW” factor.

Spotlights are extremely handy for picking out a particular feature, while strip lights can be used to create an ethereal, magical feel. These lights can be placed around the base of a breakfast bar, dining table or seating area. They won’t help you get very far chopping vegetables but they’ll leave a lasting impression on guests and make your brand new kitchen a place that you long to spend time.

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