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How we created the bigger kitchen of my dreams

When transforming our bungalow into a three-storey home, we kept the kitchen in the same location to save on costs. To open it up, we took down a wall and extended the room to the very front of the house. The new kitchen had much more space and offered the chance to put the sink under a window, for daydreaming.

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The dream

In our prerenovation home, my husband, Dan, and I made the most of our small, dated kitchen by painting the oak strip cabinetry, adding modern hardware and installing black-and-white vinyl tiles in a snazzy striped pattern. Although it had some charm, I was forever dreaming of a bigger kitchen with a better layout, more storage space, stone countertops and somewhere for guests to gather.

The snag

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When transforming our bungalow into a three-storey home, we kept the kitchen in the same location to save on costs. To open it up, we took down a wall and extended the room to the very front of the house. The new kitchen had much more space and offered the chance to put the sink under a window, for daydreaming.

Still, there were a few things to work around: a corner that stuck out because of the staircase to the basement, duct work above the stove that needed to be hidden, and our desire for a bit of separation from the new entryway.

We used IKEA's kitchen planning software to fiddle around with different layouts, ending up with a peninsula rather than an island, the classic "work triangle" of stove-fridge-sink, and plenty of room to have multiple people in there at once.

The result

For countertops, we splurged on quartz with interesting, but subtle, veining that brings grey and white together. I wish I could have used the same quartz for the backsplash, but budget-mandated simplicity resulted in an elongated, textured white tile all the way up to the ceiling. Gold hardware adds a bit of glam to the space, and having some glass-fronted upper cabinets lets me display some of my favourite pieces.

I was won over by IKEA's modern design and great prices for cabinetry, and chose a shaker-style door with grey lowers and white uppers. We have yet to install the hood vent (it took a while to find one with the right dimensions), but I can see the finish line.

Having space for my husband and me to prep dinner at the same time with our daughter running around at our feet has been such a nice change. The kitchen has become the hub of our home, and we couldn't be happier.

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This is the last of a five-part series in which Gemma Bonham-Carter of the blog The Sweetest Digs  has chronicled the overhaul and transformation of her house.

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