Hexagonal slate tiles cover this extension to a west London home designed by architects Christian Ducker and Tyeth Gundry to create a bright and spacious new kitchen (+ slideshow). London-based Gundry Ducker extended the rear of the Victorian property in Kensal Rise, replacing a dark and narrow kitchen and bathroom with a   large cooking   and dining space that opens out to the garden. Photography is by Hufton + Crow. To achieve this, the architects selected a palette of simple but traditional materials that they felt could be used in a contemporary way, including slate tiles and timber tongue-and-groove panelling. Related story: Studio 54 Architecture slots a small home between two London buildings”In the existing arrangement of this house, the kitchen was based in a low, narrow space at the rear,” said the architect duo, whose previous projects include a blackened larch-clad extension in south London. A “secret entrance” to a larder is also concealed within the lines of the panelling. “Our brief was to focus on this area, and to form a large, dramatic, light and open kitchen, living and entertaining space that worked all year round as the heart of the home.”

An extra strip of land along the side of the house allowed the designers to create a larger area   than   the typical London house extension, although the clients were still keen to retain “a comfortable domestic feeling”. Dark ceramic tiles frame the oven and fridge-freezer, and the cut-crystal light bulbs by London designer Lee Broom form one of three types of light fixture introduced. A skylight follows the orientation of the kitchen worktops, highlighting a sightline between   a picture window and a doorway leading   through to the rest of the house. The hexagonal tiles clad the garden-facing facade, flanking a patio   that allows residents   to dine outdoors. “A window seat with a view of a tree forms a visual focus to the end of the kitchen area and provides a pleasant place to sit, whilst the dining area opens out into the garden via a pair of french doors,” added   Gundry and Ducker.

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