Kitchen Extension: Natural Light and Storage

This 1990’s Canberra house was generous and comfortable in all areas except for its kitchen. Our brief was to extend the space of both the kitchen and dining areas forward by 1.5m in order to increase storage and natural light in the space.

Since it was such a small extension, we carefully considered how the new space would be used and how the circulation would work. To do this, we consulted heavily with our clients to arrange the kitchen so it suited their needs precisely.

Due to the northern orientation, our goal was to open up as much of the space to the backyard as possible. This would maximise the amount of sunlight coming into the rooms in winter, increasing energy efficiency. We calculated the eave depth above these openings so that the rooms would also be shaded in the summertime.

Our clients were kind enough to leave a review of our work here on

Building Features

Operable doors/windows to open up or close down spaces as required – double glazed

Proposed extension seamlessly matches with existing brick 1990’s building

Stone benchtops and tiled floors

Storage space in renovated kitchen by Architecture Republic


The new kitchen has as much storage as we could fit into it. The island bench is a hardworking unit with drawers, cupboards, a sink, dishwasher and a minibar as well as plenty of benchspace.
The clever features built into both the island bench and the full-height storage on the walls are hidden within seamless timber cabinetry to give a streamlined, contemporary look.

The placement of the breakfast bar allows for comfortable circulation within the kitchen as well as in front of the bench. The bench itself seats five.

Natural Light

We used large, double-glazed bifold doors to open up the spaces to the backyard. These high-quality units seal tightly when closed during bad Canberra weather and work efficiently to keep out the cold. They can be opened like a regular swing door on one side, with the rest of the doors locked down like full-height windows if our clients aren’t entertaining.
Island bench with open plan indoor-outdoor circulation by Architecture Republic
Kitchen and Dining space in Canberra by Architecture Republic

Open Plan Kitchen and Dining

The original kitchen was a dark room which was boxed in with walls on three sides and a bench on the fourth. It was a dead-end space that was far too small for the scale of the rest of the house. The only way through to the formal dining space was a small door at the back of the kitchen (before shot taken from the same angle can be seen here). By pushing the far wall into the backyard space, we created an indoor/outdoor connectivity that completely revitalised the rooms. We were able to connect comfortably through to the formal dining room as well as open the space up to the more casual dining area. Even though the backyard is now fractionally smaller, it’s used much more as it feels like a natural extension to the kitchen and the dining room instead of feeling separate and disconnected.

Style and Structure

Our clients were happy with the exterior of their existing house and wanted the new extension to match it. Because the building was only from the 1990’s, we were able to source the same bricks and roof tiles so the transition is completely seamless. One challenge with the design was holding up the weight of the second floor above while the kitchen was extended forward. We worked carefully with our engineer in order to detail this to the builder’s satisfaction.
Extended kitchen space in an existing brick house by Architecture Republic

Like What You See?

Feel free to contact our offices in Canberra and Bowral. We also operate in Goulburn, the Southern Highlands and throughout New South Wales.

Mobile: 0404 654 225
Post: PO Box 1572 Bowral, NSW 2576 and PO Box 3062 Belconnen, ACT 2617
Architect Registration Number: 9651 (NSW) & 2525 (ACT)