We recently teamed up with the wonderful people at My Bespoke Room so we asked them for their top interior design tips for our Extension clients.

 

What to consider when designing an extension

Sometimes a blank canvas can be the most daunting! It’s very common to feel a bit overwhelmed with ideas and the pressure to get the most from a new extension. In this guide we’ll take you through the most important factors to consider when designing your dream extension and the most common mistakes to avoid! 

Our biggest piece of advice is to get the design and layout perfected as early as possible. Thinking through the points below or spending a couple of hours sharing your plans with an experienced interior designer will take your extension from a box at the back of your house to a truly functional and transformative space!

At My Bespoke Room, it’s our job to bridge the gap between architect’s drawings and planning an interior space that works for you: room and furniture layouts, light placements, socket locations, we cover it all! Our consultancy service starts from just £65 – find out how it works or to book your free, no-obligation consultation:

 

Book a call with a designer now

 

 

Decide on your layout


Image credit:
My Bespoke Room

 

Your initial plans often focus mainly on the exterior of the extension and how it flows with the rest of the building but we can’t stress enough that the true success of the build will be how usable the space is day-to-day!

Before buying any new furniture or picking out colour schemes the absolute first step when designing a new space is to decide on a layout that works best for you and your family.

First, draw out or trace over the plans of your new space onto a fresh sheet. Make sure you have all the elements that can’t or won’t be changed as well as any existing furniture you’d like to include in the room. 

From there you can begin to layer in your most important pieces of furniture and the layout will begin to come to life.

 

 

Think about natural lighting


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

A little extra thought early on about how to make the most of the light in your extension will go a really long way. Watch how the light travels throughout the day and whether this works with your current layout. 

For example if you know that the light hits a certain wall throughout the day then that’s not going to be the perfect spot for your TV! Instead, how about putting a window seat there instead to make it the perfect reading or napping spot! 

Another example? Rather than installing a piddly little window above the sink in your new kitchen, why not go for a large long window that can be opened fully upwards or to the side? Add some outdoor bar stools and you have yourself a summer bar!

Speaking of windows, you might be tempted to have too much glass in your extension (yes there is such a thing!) We see it so often that people are left with a beautiful extension that turns into a sauna during hot summer days and too uncomfortable to use.

 

Think ahead of time what sort of window treatments you’ll use as this will be essential for blocking out heat and giving you privacy. Bifold and sliding doors are notoriously tricky and expensive to cover and you don’t want awkward looking curtains across a whole wall looking like an afterthought!

 

 

Bifold vs sliding doors?


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

Speaking of bifolds – they might seem like the fantasy option for your extension, and yes they are wonderful when fully opened with a seamless link into your garden. However! The times you’ll have them fully open are likely to be the minority and so you might find that sliding doors are actually a far better choice. Here’s why…

Bifold doors naturally have more panes in order for them to fold back – this means that when closed the view of your garden will be broken up by lines and so won’t be seamless.

Another factor to consider is that they can actually take up quite a bit of space when folded back, meaning that you create unusable space either side where no furniture or fitted storage can go.

Both options have their merits! But make sure you think through how you and your family will use the space rather than keeping up with the Jones’ next door! 

 

 

Create a lighting plan


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

This is a common area that gets neglected in the early stages of designing an extension but it’s incredibly important. 

Understanding the layout of your furniture early on will mean that you can start to think about where you need different types of lighting. Such as a pendant over the dining table, task lighting in the kitchen and then softer ambient lighting in the living areas. 

Are there going to be any beautiful architectural features in the room you’d like to illuminate? Or perhaps a sentimental piece of art you’d like to highlight? 

Lastly, it’s also important to think about plug sockets at this stage. Consider areas you’ll want to bring in lower level lighting which is key to a well considered lighting scheme. 

 

 

Go bespoke


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

Another benefit of thinking through your design early on is so you can squeeze in as much bespoke furniture and storage as physically possible! 

Going bespoke will help you make the most of every inch of space in your extension, turning what was once an awkward, unusable nook into some seriously sexy storage or even a dining area:

 


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

Don’t forget about heating


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

It might seem like a simpler, and more importantly cheaper option to opt for radiators in your new extension rather than underfloor heating but take a moment to look at your plans and work out how much usable wall space you’ll be left with. 

It might not seem like something to think about now, but when your extension is built and ready for furniture you might struggle to find an appropriate home for your sofa or shelving unit. 

The last thing you want is to have furniture floating in the middle of the room or blocking the heat from the radiator. 

Weigh up whether the extra cost of underfloor heating is balanced out by the longer term benefits as it can vary depending on the project. 

 

 

Create a focal point


Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

An important design element in any room, and particularly in larger spaces is a focal point. It gives the viewer a clear point to focus on rather than being overwhelmed when they enter the space. It will also form the emphasis around which you build the rest of the design so it’s important to think about what this will be early on.

Focal point examples to consider are fireplaces, log burners, fitted shelving or feature walls like brick or panelling. These are elements that can be costly to add in once the build is complete.

We hope this hasn’t been information overload! It might seem like decisions that can wait until later but trust us – working these elements out now will ensure that your extension is not only functional but a truly enjoyable space to be in and completely worth the investment.

 

Don’t forget we’re at the end of the phone if you’d like a couple of hours with one of our experienced designers to look over your plans or feedback on your ideas. Click below to find out how it works or to book your free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Book a call with a designer now