Country kitchen extension transformed with Vario by VELUX bespoke natural light

We met digital content creator and charity ambassador Sally, “helped” by her cat Beryl, in her gorgeous detached house in the English countryside in Surrey.  Sally, her husband Gav, their three sons, dog and cat live in a beautiful cottage with lots of outdoor space for football. They’re an active, outdoorsy family who love embracing nature, from scuba diving to surfing Cornwall’s finest beaches.


Vario kitchen single storey extension case study
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Extending the house, and how we use it, has changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we relax.
Over the years they have built two extensions to their house. In the most recent extension project, Sally chose to illuminate the end of her gorgeous country kitchen/diner with a Vario by VELUX bespoke rectangular rooflight, so we went to visit her for a cuppa and a lovely chat about her impressions and experience on the importance of daylight. 

"We love this house; it has plenty of space and we absolutely love the country lifestyle. We bought a house 12 years ago and that time it was much smaller. The first big extension we did was 9 years ago, but we didn't quite get what we wanted as the building restrictions at the time were very strict.
Both of us work from home and we needed to change the layout to have a proper workspace and as a consequence a better work-life balance, so the options were either to move or extend the house to get the flow we wanted. 
We got a brilliant architect on board who managed to push our limits to the max, extending the kitchen so we could have our dining table in here and therefore get this extra study room which really makes the house flow. The key thing for us was to bring the light in. A wall of glass made perfect sense, but as the extension has a flat roof, we also started to think about what was above. In a room like this, I think the roof should be seen as the fifth wall.

I was a bit concerned that with the extension the kitchen would be dark, as the windows were moving even further away, but with the rooflight you get all this lovely daylight flooding in which helps the kitchen too, even though that wasn’t part of the renovation project. The rooflight lets in so much more light than a normal window, I never worry about it being dark. 

We spend so much time inside in the UK so having more day light inside gives clear health benefits and positively affects your mood. A rooflight is like a constant picture which is always moving; you’ll never get bored of it. You may see planes flying by, rain, blue sky, clouds and I can’t wait for when it snows! 
Not to mention that ordering windows could be boring but I had so much fun with the online configurator tool; it’s just brilliant! You can stretch and shrink your window and it automatically stretches and shrinks the price, so you can control your design and your budget at the same time. In our case, I measured our dining room table and ordered a slightly bigger rooflight.
Extending the house, and how we use it, has changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we relax. We wanted to build personality and I believe that with the extension and bespoke rooflight we got exactly what we wanted.  With more daylight and space, I feel more active, I feel more awake, I feel fresher, I get things done. It has definitely changed the way we live.”
By Sally Hurman, @gettingstuffdoneinheels

VELUX roof windows give a Victorian flat conversion a new lease of life

When Theresa Gromski first viewed her home in the winter of 2012 she was living in a Victorian flat conversion. Although it was a beautiful period feature filled property the kitchen was pokey and dark with only one small window looking out to a brick wall of the neighboring property. She found it a rather depressing space to be in and rarely enjoyed cooking there.


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My extension was completely transformed with VELUX roof windows.

So when I walked into the light filled extension in my present house with the wintery sunlight flooding in through the VELUX roof windows and views through the patio doors to the large sunny garden I knew it was the right place for me and my son to live, I was sold on it immediately!

Fast forward six years and with the addition of my husband and our daughter our family has grown twofold and so our need for a mood enhancing and practical living/dining space to eat, socialise and do crafts and homework is even more important. We’re all creative so love to do craft projects and drawing at the dining table under the roof windows (well me and the kids, my husband not so much!)

Also increasingly both myself and my husband work from home and with only one office space in the house one of us needs an additional workspace. It has been found that the higher the sunlight that penetrates through windows the bigger the increase in people’s concentration, satisfaction in their work and well-being. The kitchen extension which is always filled with natural daylight even on the darkest winter day is the perfect spot for all these elements of family life. 

We find working there with light flooding down from the roof as well as the double aspect doors and window a much nicer environment that a dingy office. Incidentally a roof window can bring in up to 40 per cent more daylight than traditional windows of the same size.

Our present project to totally transform the patio area directly outside from the kitchen extension is only going to (I hope!) enhance this, the brightest and most used part of our home!

By Theresa Gromski, VELUX brand ambassador and UK illustrator and stylist @theresagromski

Single storey kitchen extension creates light and space

2017 was a momentous year for 60 year-old Moira Thomson and her husband, Robert, also 60. They’ve celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary and embarked on a life-changing renovation to their home in Glenrothes, Fife.

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Their home - a two-bedroom former council house - is one of many homes on the estate that Moira described as looking "almost identical".

Adding a single-storey extension to the back of their house creating a spacious, bright kitchen has set the Thomson’s home apart from the rest. 

The couple’s house is often visited by their two daughters, their husbands and two granddaughters as well as their friends. The room where they did most of their entertaining, usually a quiz night, was a relatively dark space at the back of the house. While looking for ways to maximise the amount of daylight that entered her home, Moira came across VELUX roof windows.

 After short deliberation, the Thomson’s made the decision to extend the back of the house out into the garden and install VELUX roof windows into the new space.

 Work started on the project at the start of 2017 after waiting for the very in-demand local architect, Niall Young. Once they had agreed on the drawings, Moira recruited highly reputable local installer, Brian Mathie of BMD Contracts Ltd., and the work began.

 The building work was completed in eight weeks, with only a few minor delays due to bad weather, while Moira and Robert were on holiday. The Thomson’s opted to install bifold doors and three white-painted VELUX INTEGRA® solar roof windows as these would maximise the amount of daylight and fresh air that could enter the new extension – at the touch of a button.

Looking at her brand new kitchen, Moira says that she is she is still “blown away” by the difference they make to the way the entire home looks and feels.

Inspired by the bright, fresh atmosphere of the new space in their home, the Thomson’s turned their attention to the interiors.

The light, cream units and granite worktop Moira chose for her brand new kitchen, complement the bright natural daylight that the roof windows and bifold doors allow in.

The Thomson’s chose to install VELUX solar awning blinds to reduce the glare from the sun on particularly hot, sunny days.

 Moira said: “I am truly amazed by the difference VELUX roof windows have made, not only to our new space but to the overall look and feel of the entire house. We now have a bigger, fresher and brighter area in our home that we can enjoy on our own as well as with our visitors. We just wish we'd done it sooner!”



 Grant Sneddon, VELUX’s Daylight Expert said: “When designing a single story extension, a key detail people often forget about is the source of light and how this can drastically change the look and feel of a room. Daylight is the best way to naturally freshen up a room making it feel bright and spacious and should always be carefully considered prior to any extension project. With this in mind, the Thompson’s were clever to choose VELUX roof windows as they bring in twice the amount of daylight that normal windows do, flooding the room with natural light making it look and feel bigger.”



 By installing VELUX awning blinds on your VELUX roof windows, you can keep your indoor climate comfortable, reducing glare and overheating while still letting in plenty of daylight.

 Benefits of VELUX awning blinds:

  • Awning blinds block out the sun’s rays before they hit your window pane, reducing heat by up to 72%


  • The transparent fabric means you can enjoy the views of the sun without overheating your home


  • Made with 100% polyester net fabric, awning blinds are long lasting and weather resistant


  • Electric and solar powered awning blinds have an integrated lacquered aluminum top cover that hiders the awning blind when not in use


  • For automatically controlled heat protection, awning blinds are compatible with VELUX INTEGRA®, meaning they can be controlled through the intelligent touch screen control pad from anywhere in the room

 VELUX awning blinds can be installed onto any VELUX roof window with prices starting from £44 ex. VAT.



  • Consider the purpose of your kitchen extension and what you want to use it for before you take it into the planning stages.


  • Plan the layout, storage space and necessary appliances before considering aesthetic appearance.


  • Think about the best way to bring light into the area. Roof windows are a great way to maximise natural light in a single story kitchen extension, making the space feel light and spacious.


  • Make the most of the view, by positioning furniture in a way that it can take in the outdoor area, especially if you are extending out into your garden.


  • Kitchen extensions can involve lots of technical work including reconfiguring the property’s connections to the electrical and water mains, so make sure your contractor is experienced in the field.

VELUX helps breathe new life into home just in time for baby

There aren't many homeowners who would embark on a major home renovation project with a baby on the way, but there was no stopping Georgina and Mark Welsh from Leeds who did just that.

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They hadn't been in their new home long before they realised they needed more daylight.

They had chosen the house mainly because of the garden – a hugely important feature for the couple who enjoy spending time outside with friends. They found their new east-facing home was too dark and were already looking at the ways to allow more light into the house before they had even moved in.

Georgina explains: “When we viewed our new house, we knew that the kitchen and dining room were quite dark and lacked natural daylight but we loved the location and the garden so went ahead with the purchase. Over time, the lack of daylight began to stop us from using the dining room and we missed the bright summer evenings we’d enjoyed so much in our old house. We always knew we’d need to do something about it.”

They settled on a plan to create their dream single-storey extension with the newly launched VELUX curved glass roof windows, which was created by local builders Renov8 by knocking down the walls between the existing kitchen and dining room.

“Understandably, our friends and family thought we were mad to start a renovation project just three months before my due date, but it was the right time of year and we were told we’d be the first customers ever in the UK to receive VELUX brand new curved glass flat roof windows, so it made sense to just go for it!

“We knew the VELUX flat roof windows would bring much needed light and fresh air into our home, just in time for the arrival of our baby,” explains Georgina.

And that’s exactly what happened. On Friday 13 June, just days after the interiors were completed, baby Mason arrived safe and sound.

Georgina explained, “In the week leading up to Mason’s arrival, the room really came into its own. It's so bright and airy - Mason and I can sit at the piano for hours or in the corner under the rooflight and just look out the window. We don't even need to turn the lights on for much of the day - it's so unreal, the difference the windows have made has totally surpassed our expectations.”

Designing with daylight

Natural light is something every home needs. It makes your home inviting and a place you want to be in. It’s also good for our health, the vitamin D from sunlight boosts our mood and keeps our immune systems running well. A daylight filled room can make the smallest of spaces feel larger.

Extensions are brilliant ways of adding light-filled space to your home. With a single-storey extension, you can create the perfect room for your family and match it exactly to your home.

Get the look

Maximise daylight in homes with flat roofs with VELUX curved glass rooflights. It features CurveTech, an innovative curve-shaped glass top that lets rainwater easily drain off the surface – even on 0° pitched roofs. That means more daylight is able to shine through with less raindrops getting in the way.


  • Curved glass surface edge lets in more daylight
  • Discreet heat protection awning blind creates an ideal indoor temperature
  • Save energy with the insulating PVC frame and two-layer low-energy pane for optimal efficiency
  • Curved-shape edge-to-edge glass that allows rainwater to easily drain off
  • Available in various finishes, glazing and operation options

 Prices start from £645.00 excl. VAT.

Five reasons to extend your home

  • It will increase the worth of your property and almost guarantee a great return on your investment
  • You can tailor your home to your specific needs, allowing you to create your dream home without having to compromise
  • You can keep the same schools for your kids, local facilities and commute while changing up your home to suit your family’s needs
  • You can improve your home efficiency by introducing new, smarter technologies
  • It lets you avoid legal fees, stamp duty and removal costs associated with moving

Bright open plan living space created with roof windows

With two young children, working couple Steve and Niamh realised they needed extra space in their three bed Cork home to accommodate their growing family.
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The couple, both 35, bought their semi-detached home in 2017, realising then that it had massive potential for extending.

With Jack, three and Jessica aged one, they decided to explore their options for extending.

Creating a bright open plan living space for the family to enjoy was always the end goal, and Steve knew that daylight needed to be a key consideration when designing any new space.

No stranger to gadgets and technology thanks to his job with an IT company, Steve chose VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows, which are controllable and come with built-in rain sensors which close the windows at the first signs of rain.

The extension took 16 weeks, completing in July 2017, just in time for the family to make the most of the long summer evenings.

As a pastry chef, Niahm spends a lot of her time working in a professional kitchen. So when it came to designing the family’s new kitchen and dining space, making sure it felt relaxed, practical and bright were essential.

With a smart technology kitchen island, three bi-fold doors opening out to the back garden and three VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows in place, the new space has truly become the family’s new hub, as the mum of two explains: “we get so much extra daylight flooding into our extension because of the roof windows. Spending time together here, whether it be first thing in the morning looking after the kids or enjoying summer evening with the back doors open and a glass of wine, the extra daylight really makes the space somewhere we’re drawn to.”


Grant Sneddon, VELUX Daylight expert, said: “The best way to create a bright and airy open plan living space is to carefully consider your source of natural daylight before beginning any extension project.

“The Duffy’s were smart to include three VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows in their single story extension as they provide an excellent source of light while giving the user control over their indoor climate

“Being able to control their roof windows from a remote allows the Duffy’s to easily open and close their windows whenever they need to and the built-in sensor technology will close the windows when it starts to rain.”


Make the most of interactive smart home technology by installing VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows in your single story extension.

VELUX INTEGRA® benefits:

  • Innovative system of remote controlled windows gives you enhanced freedom to control your indoor climate
  • Wireless control pad connects to windows both in and out of reach allowing you to open and close them with just one tap
  • Built in rain sensor technology automatically closes windows when it starts to rain
  • Comes with a variety of glazing options including safety, noise reduction and energy efficiency glazing.
  • Connects to VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO, a smart home sensor that continuously monitors your indoor climate, adjusting windows accordingly

VELUX INTEGRA® can be installed on pitched roofs between 15° and 90° with prices starting from £538 ex. VAT.

If you are thinking about building an extension in your home and want inspiration you can look at our Pinterest board for ideas


  • Make a plan ahead of the build. Consider access to your kitchen, bathroom and adequate heating.
  • Think about your source to important connections - water, electricity, gas and internet.
  • There will be times where your home will have no power or won’t be weather tight so try to time this with less cold months if possible
  • Create a safe space - even if that’s just one room in your house where you can retreat to escape the noise and mess
  • Make sure you have the right insurance for the project you are taking on

VELUX roof windows create bright & airy space

It was the lovely big garden, long private drive and peaceful surrounding farmlands that attracted Elizabeth and Matthew Wickes to buy their four-bed detached house in Suffolk five years ago. But they knew they’d need a bigger family space for their two young children.

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The Wickes family decided to build a single-storey extension to the rear of the property

This extension was built to create an open plan family space with a kitchen and dining area.

They installed four VELUX INTEGRA® electric roof windows to create a room that was filled with natural daylight to help make the space feel extra spacious.

The inbuilt rain sensors in the roof windows means that there is no risk of rain coming into the space as the sensors automatically close the windows when it rains. Smart algorithms also set blinds and windows to open in the morning and close in the evening.

The new space is especially good for Emily who enjoys the views of the night’s sky through her telescope from the comfort of her sofa in a safe, enclosed environment.

Matthew said: “We’re thrilled with our finished home and the extra space and light the extension brings. Getting the kids ready for school, getting ourselves ready for work and eating breakfast as a family are all routine morning tasks, but they have been made all the more enjoyable thanks to the bright new space in our home.”

VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows can be installed in properties with a flat or 0-15 pitched roofs.

From £538.00 excl. VAT

For more information about the difference VELUX roof windows can make to your extension, visit:


Get an automated home with connected technology by adding VELUX INTEGRA® electric roof windows, blinds and shutter. For a healthier and more comfortable indoor climate, install the VELUX ACTIVE indoor climate control starter kit.

VELUX INTEGRA® benefits:

  • Automatically closes roof windows if it rains
  • Smart algorithm sets your blinds and windows to open in the morning
  • Too humid after your morning shower? Air out with the sensor-based ventilation
  • Closes all roof windows when you’re leaving home with one tap
  • Opens or closes blinds and shutters based on local weather forecasts
  • Automatically reduces CO2 levels while you’re preparing and cooking meals

Starting from £538.00 excl. VAT. VELUX ACTIVE Kit is £220.00

Get your perfect extension project right from the start. For more inspiration check out our Pinterest board. 


  • Planning permission is not something to be afraid of but ask your architect for advice.Generally, extensions of up to 40sqm to the rear of the property do not require planning permission, but certain criteria may apply.
  • When calculating the cost of your extension, consider the shape and size of your project and the day rates of local tradespeople. Most builders can give you an idea of what your extension will cost per square foot or metre.


  • Look at the whole project and break it down into manageable sections, then consider how long each will realistically take. This will allow you to plan what tradesmen and materials you will need at what stage. Our example timeline will help.


  • Speak to your neighbours or look to local online forums for recommendations for reliable contractors and builders and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions during consultations.


  • Consider your plans for when the building work is taking place. If you will be staying in the property when the project starts, be prepared for dust, periods without power and having to give up key rooms in your home like the kitchen or bathroom.


From a small house to a spacious family home

When Suzanne Andrea purchased her two up, two down semi-detached property in picturesque Knebworth, Hertsfordhire nine years ago, it was more than enough space to live comfortably on her own. 

Nine years on, Suzanne is married with two children, and like many homeowners, she has needed that home to grow with her family.

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I used to live in this property myself, but when I got married, my husband Av moved in.

Today, we also have two children and we’ve outgrown the original space.  We were beginning to feel too cramped.  With a serious lack of storage, it felt like the house was really cluttered, with little space to enjoy together as a family,” said Suzanne.

Not only did the Andrea family feel short of living space, they also needed their home to function as an office too with Suzanne, an accountant and Av, her electrician husband, both running their businesses from home. The garage at the back of the house served as Suzanne’s office, while Av worked from the family room, which was also the hub of the house. A truly multifunctional space, this is where most activity took place from family meals to playtime, to rest time and socialising. Every time the family ate a meal, the dinner table and chairs had to be set up and then taken down and stored away afterwards.

With the purchase of a new, larger property too costly, the family decided to renovate by knocking down the garage in the garden and building an extension to the side and the back to create a big, open plan kitchen and dining room, utility room and separate office for Suzanne and Av to share. The extension also allowed the family to create one further bedroom upstairs so that both children could have their own room.  In addition, they added and a further bathroom, enabling Suzanne and Av to have their own en suite.

One of the main challenges occurred part of the way through the build when it was discovered that the foundations might not be strong enough to support the new extension. The Andrea family had to enlist a structural engineer to come and assess the situation. For days, they waited for the report findings, not knowing whether or not works could resume, but luckily the foundations turned out to be safe and the project continued.

The building works took a total of five months and completely transformed the property, doubling the size of the Andrea family home.

One of the biggest differences the renovation made was in changing the small, dark kitchen into an airy, open plan kitchen and dining space, which is now the heart of the home. The days of unpacking and repacking the table and chairs are a distant memory - the family now enjoys a dedicated space for eating their meals together.

Three VELUX Roof Windows were installed into the kitchen and dining room extension, flooding the entire space with natural light. The double doors, which open onto the garden, also brighten the room with daylight, bringing the outdoors in and allowing them to make the most of the views into their garden.

Suzanne explained, “We always knew that we wanted a series of VELUX windows in our family living space. The products have a great reputation and we needed a solution to open the room up and bring in more light. Having the VELUX windows really brightens the entire space and means that it benefits from the natural ventilation as well. I find that we spend a lot of time in this room, as we love the feeling of being surrounded by so much natural light, especially in summer when the days are longer.”

Upstairs, Suzanne and Av had a VELUX Sun Tunnel installed in the landing to bring natural light into the enclosed space. Suzanne explains, “The sun tunnel has made a massive difference – it’s like a completely different landing. It’s really refreshing to walk upstairs and be hit by a deluge of light.”

Although the experience of managing the project build had its challenges, the overall results have changed their lives.

Suzanne added, “Having all of this space and light has made family life so much easier and more enjoyable. Looking around, I cannot believe that it’s the same house – it looks and feels like a different home all together. We couldn’t be happier.”

From a London house to a family home

When Tania and Mike Voaden bought their stylish home in Kentish Town, North West London, 15 years ago it had everything they were looking for. The location, on a quiet cul-de-sac, the period features, persevered thanks to the street’s conservation status, and the space, two sizeable bedrooms, ticked all of the boxes for this new family.

As Tania and Mike’s family has expanded to include three children, now aged 10, seven and four, the once spacious house began to feel cramped. The Voadens were left with a difficult decision – they could either move to a bigger house, or renovate the much loved family home to suit their new needs.

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When my husband and I bought this house 15 years ago it was the perfect size and location

“Even after our first child, we had enough space. But by the time our third child arrived there just wasn’t enough room to live comfortably and we felt we needed a bigger area for our children to play and to grow. We also wanted another bedroom for the kids, so they didn’t have to share one small room. We were left with a bit of a dilemma, but we absolutely love the house, the street and the area and felt really strongly about extending rather than moving altogether.”
Not only did the Voadens feel short of living space, they also felt passionate about creating a lighter and airier home with higher ceilings and more windows, bringing aspects of the outside in.

With no real source of natural daylight, the family was shadowed in darkness and noticed the effects of living in a home lacking in brightness. Mike and Tania grew tired of the clutter and lack of ‘breathing space’ in the house. They knew what they wanted to do, but just weren’t sure how. 
Tania said: “As a family we love the outdoors and the kids have always been active and eager to get home from school to play in the garden, so it was a bit trying at times when we’d come home to a gloomy house in the winter months and they’d be stuck inside a confined space. I also love cooking and spending time in the kitchen preparing family meals, but being in a dark, cramped space meant it was becoming a mundane task rather than an enjoyable part of my day. We were desperate to seek help and advice on how to transform our home to suit our lifestyle.”

With the help of Martins Camisuli Architects Tania and Mike made the decision to create a larger, brighter, open plan kitchen / living room at the back end of their property, to remove a disused and cramped attic to allow daylight to filter throughout the home and to add a third bedroom above the newly created extension.
“Martins Camisuli Architects came highly recommended to us by family friends,” says Tania. “It was fantastic that we were able to see first-hand the quality of their work in a number of homes in the area – it really put our minds at ease that we were making the right choice. We particularly liked the way the team used simple but effective design to make the most of the space available.”

Leading on the project was MD Sebastian Camisuli and one of his first recommendations was to introduce natural light from above throughout the house. 
With Fortess Grove sitting in a conservation area, there were limits on external fenestration meaning that the Voadens were restricted from using large picture windows to allow light in. Sebastian’s solution was to add VELUX roof windows to all three of the bedrooms, the upstairs bathroom and in the newly created kitchen, giving each space a real wow factor. The use of VELUX centre-pivot roof windows in white polyurethane finish allowed for the maximum amount of daylight and fresh air to enter the home, while keeping the look clean and contemporary throughout.

Tania said, “When we enter our home now, we are struck by the sense of space and it has been lovely to come in and leave some of the chill behind while still being bathed in seasonal daylight. I can now head to the kitchen when I’m home from work and prepare food in natural light rather than in the shadowy recess of our old kitchen. The same goes for the kids when they want to play indoors on colder days. They can now enjoy playing inside the home just as much as outside as their rooms are flooded with natural daylight and are kept well ventilated so they feel fresh.”

The addition of just five VELUX roof windows in increasing natural daylight in the home has been a revelation for the family. The Voadens set out to increase their family living space, and what they got in return is a bright and airy home that perfectly integrates both old and new aspects of the building. Both Tania and Mike are now proud to welcome people into the home, with the transformation not going unnoticed by their guests either.

Tania added, “We definitely feel the benefit of increased sunshine and everyone who has been to see the house immediately comments on how light and airy it feels. We’re all feeling the benefits already with all of the rooms now full of natural daylight and fresh air – giving the home the spacious feel we’ve needed for so long. Mike and I are already planning our first party as we know that we have room for guests to move around and enjoy the surroundings and extra space!”