Canberra Kitchen Extension

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. Our goal was to increase storage and natural light in the space.
Since it was such a small extension, we had to be careful. We considered how the new space would be used and how the circulation would work. To do this, we consulted with our clients. We wanted a kitchen that really suited their needs.
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 sun in winter, increasing energy efficiency. We calculated the eave depth above these openings so that the rooms would also have shade in summer.
We thought it appropriate having marvelled at our newly gained lifestyle to put on paper just how grateful we are. Thank you for the contribution your design has made to an outstanding home extension.
Every morning when we walk into our new kitchen we pinch ourselves. Our brief was to give light and open up a dark ground floor, extending the inside living out. The results have ticked ALL those boxes. We have now enjoyed nearly all four seasons which highlight this design will suit us all year round.
Entering into the design process it soon became very clear that you were willing to listen. You were truly capable of meeting our needs and desires. You worked alongside us and our planning sessions were always valuable and enjoyable. You left no stone un-turned and always were true to your word. Always following up with answers and additional feedback. In no time at all, we could see on paper you had meet our needs.
The design had us sold; that what we had hoped, was indeed achievable. You provided us with a Certifier and an Engineer. We know through our builder these were premium providers. We again felt blessed we were working with the best possible service providers going. Nothing was ever a problem and you both complemented each other’s skills sets.
Again, thank you for undertaking to design our extension. We are delighted to have the benefits we are enjoying with the new found functionality of our kitchen and dining areas. Working with you was a pleasure. We would have no hesitation recommending you to prospective clients.

- Gavan and Susan


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 and a sink. It also features a dishwasher and a minibar and plenty of benchspace.

The features built into the island bench and the full-height storage are hidden within seamless timber cabinetry. This gives a streamlined, contemporary look.

The placement of the breakfast bar allows for comfortable circulation within the kitchen and 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. They work efficiently to keep out the cold. They can be opened like a regular swing door on one side. The rest of the doors can be 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. A 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 connection. This completely revitalised the rooms. We were able to open the space up to the more casual dining area. Even though the new backyard is smaller, it’s used much more. It feels like a natural extension to the kitchen and the dining room. It no longer feels separate and disconnected.

Style and Structure

Our clients liked the exterior of their house and wanted the new extension to match. Because the building was only from the 1990’s, we were able to source the same bricks and roof tiles. This made the transition between new and old 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 to detail this to the builder’s satisfaction.

Extended kitchen space in an existing brick house by Architecture Republic