“In general, there are two main impressions you can create with natural light. The theatre stage effect plays with the contrast between the lighter and darker areas, meaning less is more when it comes to rooflights. By reducing the amount of overhead light coming in, you
increase the focus to the garden – the stage – and bring the outside in. You are creating a gradient of light across the space: brighter near the rear doors and glazed windows, and darker further back in the room.”

George Omalianakis

Build It magazine, February 2023

We were asked to provide advice and ideas when it comes to how you should approach lighting, natural and artificial, for your kitchen diner extension project.

Some of this advice was then published in Build It magazine in February 2023, Kitchen Diner Extension Ideas by Lucy Keech. Read more…

 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Below we have included the rest of the advice we offered that includes tips, ideas and advice based on our experience of working on similar projects. Also see our Kitchen extensions London architect guide for more ideas and inspiration for your home project and  CONTACT US if you have a project in mind and you need more specific advice on your requirements.

Build It Kitchen Dinner extensions Feb 2023 221228 1 scaled Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Natural lighting for kitchen diner extensions

When it comes to natural and artificial lighting you generally use it alongside other design elements to create and define and organise spaces in the context of how these spaces are used.

For extensions to houses or flats you need to accept that there will always be parts of the kitchen and dining area with limited access to natural light and this tends to be the existing part of the house.

And this is fine.

What you need to do when you organise the kitchen, dining and living functions is to make a decision on what you would like to have in the “darker” part of the floorplan and what you would like to have in the “brighter” part of the floorplan.

Different people will make different decisions on this and they are all valid choices depending on your personal preferences and lifestyle.

For example, you might want to create a cosy seating area in the part of the floorplan with less natural light to avoid glare and the, rather common, unsettling feeling of having an opening and a rooflight right above your head.

You might also want to have the utility areas + cloakrooms + WC + full height cupboards in the “darker” part of the plan when this is possible.

A lower ceiling kitchen area also works for some people if you do not tend to spend too much time in the kitchen and you would rather have the dining and seating areas adjacent to the garden instead.

For most properties this 2-out-3 rules tends to apply: you will be able to have two out of three of the kitchen, the dining and the living functions next to the garden and you need to decide which two work best for you and for the property.

Once you have made this choice, and depending on the shape of the available space, you can place the rooflights accordingly to create the effect you want to create.

Generally speaking there are two main effects you can create when it comes to have to use natural light:

a. The theatre stage effect – in this case you play with the contrast between lighter and darker areas, and this means that less is more when it comes to rooflights.

By reducing the amount of the top light coming in the internal areas you increase the focus to the garden, the “stage”, and you bring the outside in in terms of lights, colours and textures. For the theatre stage effect you create a gradient of light across the space, brighter near the rear doors + glazed windows and darker further back in the floor plan and you accept this variance for the dramatic effect it creates as you move across the room towards the garden which becomes the focus.

b. The outdoor effect

The other way you can go is to use top natural light as a signal to the brain that you are in fact outside.

This is because the only time you get direct daylight and sunlight coming from the top is when you are outside, and this creates a strong mental association between top light and being outdoors.

In this case you end up with a pretty uniform spread of light across the internal spaces; rooflights and glazing of any shape and type are great in providing this.

Once you decide on what effect you would like to create then it becomes easy to know where to place the rooflights and glazing strategically to create this effect.

“Alternatively, the outdoor effect uses top-down natural light as a signal to the brain that you are in fact outside. Aim for a uniform spread of daylight across the internal spaces, and roof windows of any shape and type are great in providing this.”

George Omalianakis

GOAStudio London residential architecture

Artificial lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Artificial lighting can be used in a similar way.

During daytime artificial lighting can supplement the natural light and it can potentially bring balance to the darker areas of the floor plan (top tip: use the right colour / temperature of artificial light to mimic natural light in this case for spotlights, under cabinet lights, pendant lights, surface task lights, etc) if you want to create a rather uniform light environment across the space.

The same thing applies to night-time effects and occasions. In this case you can either recreate the brightness and cold-coloured light of daytime (5000K Kelvin temperature) or you might want to create a cosier, warmer feel with a light colour temperature of around 2700K Kelvin.

But where artificial lighting comes on its own is in its ability to create instant zoning and instant layering of the space as your eye and mind perceive and read your space.

For detailed design you will need the input of a lighting specialist who will discuss with you what you hope to create with the space and what opportunities the space itself offers and offer insight about options and ideas.

But given that you are likely to use the space at different times of the day, for occasions of different types from mundane to festive around the year, you will need artificial lighting that can be practical, effective, and decorative all at the same time.

You start by thinking about the background light that could create a uniform spread of light when necessary, and you will want to zone it across the floor space to reflect the use of the space. Spotlights and perimeter ceiling lighting are good for this effect.

Then you need to make sure you provide enough light in areas you use the most and you are active in. This could be directional spotlights to kitchen work surfaces, pendant lights above dining tables and island units, backlit splashbacks along worktops, or LED lighting at the underside of wall units.

Finally, there might be elements in the space you want to highlight, bring to the foreground, and to transform with a light beam on them to bring out textures, shapes and colours.

This could be a piece of art or a textured wall that changes how it looks depending on the direction and type of light on it. Gallery type and directional lights can provide this highlight function and add another dimension to how you experience a room.

Contact us

Do you live in London? Do you look to carry out home improvement works? Then the chances are that your home is of traditional construction and you need to make sure that your architect understands that.

What sets us apart from other residential architects is that we have the relevant qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience to work with older and traditional buildings like yours.
We understand the chronology, building styles, age and characteristics of traditional (pre-1919) buildings.
We also understand the condensation risks when you carry out any building work, which happens because the thermal performance and energy efficiency of traditional (pre-1919) buildings is affected by extensions, repairs and retrofit refurbishment works.
This is what we are passionate about and this is what we are experts in.

Contact us with your ideas and your requirements and we will get back to you with advice on how we can assist and the next steps.

Since 2009 we have designed for some amazing transformations of properties across London. As expert London residential architects we are often asked to help homeowners create their “forever” home or a home they simply look to grow into until they are ready to move again.

We know that home can mean many different things to different people and we also know that properties in London come with their own unique character, challenges and potential. We enjoy the journey and we enjoy finding potential in every single project we are involved with.

Holland Park Conservation architect designed house extension and renovation in Kensington Chelsea W14 by GOAStudio London architects 09 Existing elevation 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Holland Park conservation architect | Villa house extensions and renovation

Hackney N16 Kitchen extension and house renovation by GOAStudio London architects Kitchen island 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Hackney N16 Kitchen extension

Putney Wandsworth SW15 House extensions full renovation Garden kitchen light 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Putney Wandsworth SW15 House extensions full renovation

Lewisham SE13 Rear kitchen extension Through views 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Lewisham SE13 Rear kitchen extension

Residential house extension and refurbishment Finchley Road Camden NW6 Contemporary architecture 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Residential house extension and refurbishment Finchley Road Camden NW6

Architect designed rear house extension Highgate Haringey N6 – Rear elevation 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Highgate, Haringey N6 | Rear house extension

Architect designed residential extension Stoneleigh KT17 – View to the garden 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Stoneleigh KT17 | Extension and alterations to a bungalow

Architect designed roof and kitchen house extension Kingston KT2 Dining area 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Kingston KT2 | Roof and kitchen house extension

Muswell Hill Haringey N10 Side kitchen extension Breakfast bar area 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Muswell Hill Haringey N10 | Side kitchen extension

Enfield Chase EN2 Rear house extension refurbishment External view 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Enfield Chase EN2 | Rear house extension and refurbishment

Nunhead Lewisham SE15 House kitchen extension – Rear elevation 2 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Nunhead, Lewisham SE15 | House kitchen extension

Architect designed house extension Grange Park Enfield N21 View outside in 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Grange Park, Enfield N21 | House extension and alterations

Architect designed Putney Wandsworth SW6 kitchen house extension View from the garden 1 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Putney, Wandsworth SW6 | Kitchen house extension

Architect designed rear house extension Herne Hill SE24 Lambeth Kitchen and garden view2 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Herne Hill, Lambeth SE24 | House extension

Architect designed house extension Chiswick Hounslow W4 – Bathroom design photos copy 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Chiswick, Hounslow W4 | House extension

Architect designed house extension Highbury Islington N5 Ground floor kitchen area 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Highbury, Islington N5 | House extension

Architect designed Listed House extension Angel Islington EC1 Upper floor internal views 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Angel, Islington EC1 | Listed house extension

Architect designed house extension Maryland Newham E15 View to the garden 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Architect designed house extension Maryland Newham E15

Kings Cross Camden NW1 House extension External view and detail 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

King’s Cross, Camden NW1 | House extension

Warwick Avenue Westminister W9 Flat extension Kitchen design idea 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Warwick Avenue, Westminster W9 | Flat extension

Golders Green Barnet NW11 House extension Views of rear extension 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Golders Green I, Barnet NW11 | House rear extension

Architect designed house extension East Finchley Barnet N2 Inside out 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

East Finchley, Barnet N2 | House extension

Grove Park Lewisham SE12 House rear extension External copy 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Grove Park, Lewisham SE12 | House extension

Architect designed two storey house extension Brockley Lewisham SE4 – Design rear elevation 3D copy 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Brockley, Lewisham SE4 | Two storey house extension

Architect designed kitchen extension Honor Oak Park Lewisham SE23 Design section 300x266 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Honor Oak Park, Lewisham SE23 | Kitchen extension

Architect designed penthouse extension Pimlico Westminster SW1P West Elevation 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Pimlico, Westminster SW1P | Penthouse extension and alterations

Architect designed Kilburn Brent NW2 kitchen house extension External elevation 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Kilburn, Brent NW2 | Garden flat extension

Architect designed mansard roof extension Finsbury Park Islington N7 Kitchen 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Finsbury Park, Islington N7 | Mansard roof extension

Architect designed house extension Winchmore Hill Enfield N21 Floor plans 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Winchmore Hill, Enfield N21 | House extension development

Barnes Richmond SW14 – Rear house kitchen extension – 3D image copy 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Barnes, Richmond SW14 | Rear house kitchen extension

Shepherds Bush Hammersmith Fulham W14 House extension Design sections and 3D images 1 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith Fulham W14 | House extension

Architect designed kitchen and roof house extension Arsenal Islington N5 Rear garden photo 1 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Arsenal, Islington N5 | Kitchen and roof house extension

Architect designed penthouse extension Barbican Islington EC1Y West Elevation 1 1 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Barbican, Islington EC1Y | Penthouse extension

04 Highgate Haringey N8 House extension 3Ds sections and elevations 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Highgate II, Haringey N8 | House extension

Architect designed house extension West Hampstead Camden NW6 – 3D visual 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

West Hampstead, Camden NW6 | House extension

SOUTHFIELDS SW18 KITCHEN 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Southfields, Wandsworth SW18 | Kitchen house extension

ST MARGARETS RICHMOND TW1 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

St Margarets II, Richmond TW1 | House extension

SW16 STREATHAM HILL 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Streatham Hill, Lambeth SW16 | House extension

Clapham North Lambeth SW4 House extension Design floor plans 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Clapham North, Lambeth SW4 | House extension

NW5 CHALK FARM 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Chalk Farm, Camden NW5 | Rear flat extension

newham e7 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Newham, E7 | House extension

Clapham Lambeth SW9 Flat extension Floor plan 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Clapham Lambeth SW9 Flat extension

Streatham Lambeth SW16 Flat extension Ground floor plan 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Streatham Lambeth SW16 Flat extension

Leytonstone Waltham Forest E11 Rear house extension ElevR 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Leytonstone Waltham Forest E11 | Rear house extension

Walthamstow Waltham Forest E17 Rear side house extension Floor plan 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Walthamstow, Waltham Forest E17 | Rear side house extension

Leytonstone Waltham Forest E11 garden flat rear extension refurbishment Section and elevation 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Leytonstone, Waltham Forest E11 | Garden flat rear extension refurbishment

South Woodford IG8 rear house extension Design section 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

South Woodford IG8 Rear house extension

Streatham Lambeth SW2 House extension garage conversion Section BB 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Streatham Lambeth SW2 House extension garage conversion

Woodford Redbridge IG8 Architect designed house development Ground floor plan 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Woodford Redbridge IG8 Architect designed house development

Dalston Hackney N16 House side extension Section BB 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Dalston Hackney N16 | House side extension

Hoxton Hackney N1 House extensions Section AA 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Hoxton Hackney N1 House extensions

Bethnal Green Tower Hamlets E2 Rear house extension Architect floor plan 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Bethnal Green Tower Hamlets E2 Rear house extension

Upton Park Newham E7 Ground Roof house extension Architect Section AA 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Upton Park Newham E7 Ground Roof house extension

Plaistow Newham E13 Rear side house extension architect Section BB 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Plaistow Newham E13 House rear side extension

Streatham Lambeth SW16 Side extension Section BB 400x284 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

Streatham Lambeth SW16 Side extension

GOAStudio London residential architecture media opinion publications 2 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

GOAStudio London residential architecture and interior design is an award-winning practice, specialising in architectural services for residential projects across London.

As your local residential architect our team aims to provide a friendly and professional service for your home project.

Our approach is based on carefully considering the particular aspects of each scheme before coming up with a creative way for you to instil your unique stamp on what we do and how we do it. 

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB).

BOROUGH SPECIFIC ARCHITECT AND PLANNING GUIDES FOR YOUR HOME PROJECT

Your local Council will have in place design and planning requirements for your home project and you will need to obtain planning approval for a wide range of extensions and alterations to your property.

When you get in touch we will offer you detailed advice about what is likely that your Council will approve and in the meantime we have prepared the following architectural and planning guides that include extracts of the relevant planning policy and examples of our projects in our Borough.

Barnet residential architect and planning guide, Camden residential architect and planning guide, Enfield residential architect and planning guide, Hackney residential architect and planning guide, Hammersmith Fulham residential architect and planning guide, Haringey residential architect and planning guide, Hounslow residential architect and planning guide, Islington residential architect and planning guide, Kensington and Chelsea Conservation architects, residential and planning guide,  Lambeth residential architect and planning guide, Lewisham residential architect and planning guide, Newham residential architect and planning guide, Redbridge residential architect and planning guide, Richmond residential architect and planning guide, Tower Hamlets residential architect and planning guide, Waltham Forest residential architect and planning guide, Wandsworth residential architect and planning guide, Westminster residential architect and planning guide

We provide architectural services in the following London Boroughs:

Read our design, planning, and architectural guides above if you seek advice for your project.

We can help you with these home extensions and renovations:

See our guides above for ideas, inspiration and architectural advice for your home project.

GOAStudio London residential architecture limited 2024 300x300 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

We specialise in

  • Greener homes
  • Retrofit and energy efficiency for older and traditional buildings
  • Conservation areas
  • Listed Buildings
  • Homeowner architectural services
  • Developer architectural services

RIBA Chartered architect services

CONTACT US

GOAStudio London residential architecture limited, 86-90 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE, Hackney

GOAStudio London residential architecture limited, Chestnut Avenue South, E17 9EJ, Waltham Forest

t: 0203 984 3005
e: george@goastudio.co.uk
e: media@goastudio.co.uk

 

RIBA White 300x68 Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions

arb logo wl Build It magazine | Lighting for kitchen diner extensions