Architecture, Building, Final Reveal, Kitchen, kitchen design, Renovation, vintage
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The Coach House – Phase 2 – Open Plan Kitchen Diner

Hello summer 2023! (it’s raining today). You may remember a couple of years ago, I shared the completed living room at The Coach House project in Harrogate. Here it is…

The Coach House Final Reveal

Before, this room, along with the rest of the house was rather dull and uninspiring. Having been recently “flipped” by  a property developer, it was presentable enough to sell, but in order to make it feel like home for its new owner, it needed a little love and inspiration.

Before – 2020

And now in July 2023


During phase two of the project, the glazing throughout the house was upgraded to black Crittall style frames. Much more in keeping with the period of this property and newly updated interiors.


If you’d like to see more photos and read about the process behind this particular room, head over to the designated final reveal post. But to continue reading about Phase two, scroll on down…

In March 2021, Niche Design Architects began working on plans for a modest extension and remodel of the rest of the ground floor. The current set up just wasn’t working for our client, Mr O.

Existing plans – Niche Design Architects

You can see on the above plan and from the photos below how the kitchen was completely disconnected from the rest of the house, two steps down from the dining room and two steps up to the small outdoor space.

Kitchen – before

It wasn’t quite as simple as “knocking through” as those changes in levels needed addressing along with head heights, steels and quality of light. Luckily for Mr O and I, Chris and Cathy at Niche solved all – I highly recommend them!

Niche Design Architects

After looking at several different options, we all agreed the best solution was to knock through, level the floors and flip the kitchen and dining room to the opposite ends of the room. The proposed extension whilst small, it allowed space for a glass roof over what would be the new dining area – the quality of light improved ten fold.

For context, here’s a picture of the wall due to be knocked down…

March 2021

(…cue a 12 month wait to go through the process of planning, tender and waiting for a start date…)

… and in summer 2022, the wall was down!

You can see in the next few pics where the kitchen floor has been raised with the small side extension built in grey breeze block.

With the old kitchen floor raised to meet the existing level of the house, it did mean we had a reduced head height of around 2.2m in what would be the new dining area. This section of ceiling couldn’t be raised any further because of the bathroom above.

What could have felt like a slightly underwhelming space was transformed with the 1.5m wide extension packing a punch with its glass roof and full wall of Crittall style glazing.

Double doors now open onto a small, private courtyard garden, meaning now you can walk in through the front door all the way to the outdoors with not one step in sight. Lovely.

To get a better feel for everything, here’s a little walk round vid I did back last summer as the build was nearing completion…

Since the video above, we’ve been busy finishing the interiors; painting walls, fitting carpets, bespoke joinery being designed, commissioned and delivered, and sourcing furniture, lighting and artwork… which brings me onto the most exiting bit – sharing the final reveal pics!

One more reminder of the before:

Bye bye wall!

Hello sunshine!

The transformation is just incredible. You might not believe that these photos were taken from the same spot, the only give away it’s the same room at all is the bulkhead to the left of the ceiling.

Let me talk you through some of the interior design choices.

Hello – it’s me!

The dining area moved down into what was the old kitchen/new extension. A space now flooded with light; somewhere to sit and relax, holding a mug, reading a book whilst inhaling the smell of zesty oranges.

The extra deep dining bench (or sofa as I like to call it) was a bespoke commission. Based on the original mid century telephone benches, I was hankering for a super lightweight, almost invisible walnut frame.

I planned for the dining “sofa” to be much deeper than the average bench making it comfy enough for sitting back and relaxing as well as the correct seating height for dining.

The dining sofa of dreams was made real and expertly handcrafted by Tekton Interiors, and upholstered to perfection by Emily Farncombe.

To add a level of authenticity to this new space, the remaining pieces of furniture were a mix of mid century finds. When everything is new in a room, it can sometimes feel sterile, cold and a bit fake (like a showroom). Period properties NEED a collection of older treasures mixed in with the new.

The dining chairs and table were an absolutely corking find and i’ll be forever jealous of these original rosewood Model 42 chairs by Danish designer Kai Kai Kristiansen. The backs are fixed with the neatest dowel joint so they tilt gently to the movement in your back. They are probably the sexiest chairs i’ve ever seen and one day I would love to own some of my very own. #chairporn

The Gimson & Slater sideboard with its distinctive Australian walnut grain echoes the vertical lines of the fluted, walnut kitchen. The brown marble table lamp base toning with the aggregate style porcelain tiles. An excellent choice if you like the look of terrazzo but want something a little more natural/subtle.

The simply stunning kitchen brings me onto my work with Studio Nest, a kitchen design studio based in Harrogate. An absolutely faultless service and a company I would recommend to anyone, especially if you have grand plans for something unique.

Fluted walnut – Surface Studio

Studio Nest and I worked collaboratively on the finished design, taking my brief, layout, initial concept drawings and list of “must haves” (such as the Studio-Ore unlacquered brass tap and greige “cloudy” stone worktop) and absolutely nailed it. From the initial drawings to the execution and installation, they were spot on.

Caesarstone – Moorland Fog

I knew I wanted a mix of slab fronts and fluted walnut doors and for the kitchen to feel more like a piece of furniture. Something timeless.

Photography – Rob Crawshaw

Opposite the walnut cabinets is a bank of full height, handle-less units that house the fridge freezer and much coveted breakfast cupboard. They are helped to disappear into the alcove by being finished in the same colour as the walls, Little Greene Joanna.


I suggested we build the chimney breast out very slightly in order to:

  1. make sure the alcove cabinets did not project out further than the chimney breast and….

2. to create a recess for the amazing painting by south African artist Pete Pharoah. When the handleless doors are closed, it’s all about the artwork and it’s these kind of details that make a space feel truly bespoke.

This is one of my all time favourite projects where the smallest of details were considered and embraced. Mr O is a details man after my own heart and appreciates the thought that has gone into each decision. When you walk through the front door of this small two bedroom cottage, this space is completely unexpected – in the best way.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in creating this magical home and to Mr O for saying yes to so many beautiful things. If I get chance, i’ll pop back onto the blog soon with some lovely images of the bathroom. Toodlepip!


  1. Clare Hamilton says

    Absolutely outstanding work! Love ALL the details, an amazing transformation. Mr O must be beside himself – what a marvellous home.

    • Karen Knox says

      Thank you very much, Clare – that’s really kind of you to say!

  2. Roger Jervois says

    Mr O is very lucky to have the wisdom to engage Karen in this project! Stunning work – a home to be loved!

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks so much Kirsten! I hope your HUGE project is going well!!

  3. Luxury interior designers Ahmedabad says


    Just checked out the post about “The Coach House – Phase 2 – Open Plan Kitchen Diner.” The transformation is incredible! The open-plan design looks so inviting. Got some great ideas for my own space. Thanks for sharing this exciting journey!

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