An Old Victorian Rectory with Kitchen Orangery Extension

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An old Victorian Rectory, in need of a makeover; This family home was oozing with character and charm but was not ideal for modern-day living. Our clients came to us in desperate need of more living space and a brighter, more cheery environment to raise their two children.

The back of the home is North-East-facing and experiences very little direct sunlight throughout the day. Tiny windows and narrow French doors didn’t lend themselves to brightening this home very well, and only a flash of sunlight in the morning would awaken the living spaces inside. Leaving the home feeling dull and confined throughout the remainder of the day. It was notably worse over the winter months when sunlight is sparse as it is.

The rooms to the rear of the house had lower ceilings and smaller doors than any other room within the house, particularly when compared to the grand entrance hall as you entered the property. But this home was designed for an entirely different way of life. Where kitchens were seen as spaces to simply prepare food to be served in a larger dining space. They were not built in the way we use them today, to socialise and gather as a family to bake, cook and share an informal dinner. They have become the heart of the home.

When it came to designing this new space. It was important to us to first understand exactly what Jillaine wanted, and how she pictured her family’s future within their forever home. We knew she wanted more sunlight, a larger kitchen, and more space for the kids to grow up. But the puzzle of turning this dream into a reality required a great deal of planning and consideration.

To not only achieve each of these wants but do so in a way that was flawlessly executed to the best possible outcome.

Our designer began by drawing a concept that suited the style of the property, was perfectly proportioned against the back of the house and included the much-needed living space Jillaine desired. We worked closely together to perfect every detail of our design and openly discussed the realities of the project she was undertaking, as several major structural works needed to take place.

In the location where we were to install the orangery, the entire rear corner that was supporting the home needed to be removed. This was to avoid any structural obstructions within the proposed new kitchen/living space. Steel beams were required to be carefully craned into position to provide new supports to the first-floor living spaces. We provided Jillaine’s builder with detailed plans both before the build, and throughout the entire process, working with them to ensure the build was a success whilst Jillaine and her family set off on holiday.

When the whole family returned, the build was already underway and we had begun installing our joinery.

Jillaine chose a dual-colour scheme. Wash White joinery internally and Town Clay externally to work harmoniously with the red/brown tones of the house brickwork. We spray-applied the joinery with three coats of water-based microporous paint in our workshops, with no need to paint again as we install. We always use Teknos products, as their high-quality paint systems help to protect the joinery from UV exposure, weather conditions and fungal damage. All that’s required is a gentle wash down with soapy water on a biannual basis, and the paint will stay smooth and crack-free for up to 12 years before they need repainting. By combining Accoya® and Teknos paint, the timber structure will last for 50 years or more.

The orangery features two top-hung casement windows on the rear elevation of the building. Sandwiched between them is a pair of wide French doors that open outward to completely embrace the wonderfully landscaped garden beyond. Another pair of French doors are located on the side elevation. Over the summer months, this provides ample airflow into the new living space.

The addition of Automatic, thermostatic air vents in both roof lanterns also helps to maintain a comfortable room temperature, opening when the room feels warm to draw the hot air up, which is essential in a kitchen. They close as the room cools or when the rain sensors detect the first few drops from heavy clouds above. The automation of these roof vents means the family can enjoy a summer day in the park and know that when they return home, the room will feel a comfortable temperature to prepare and enjoy their tea.


External Joinery Colour: Saxifrage

Internal Joinery Colour: Wash White



  • Being able to sit and relax, looking across the island and out to the garden is a pleasure that never fails to please. We sometimes forget how lucky we are.

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