The clever tricks designers use to make extensions a cohesive part of the home

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons and create more space without the stress of moving home, adding an extension to your existing home might seem like the most obvious solution.

Of course, it’s going to depend on the available space and what your local council allows, but generally speaking, an extension is a perfect way to add value and usability to your home and give it a much-needed facelift too.

Perhaps you fancy a more open-plan living space downstairs? Maybe your mother is going to be moving in with you and you want to build her a little add-on nook? Or perhaps the kitchen-dining area feels a little cramped and you want to open the space up with a conservatory?

The options are endless as long as you have the money, the patience and the planning permission. But how are you going to ensure the soul of the home remains unchanged?

Extensions can often feel like wonky bionic limbs when done badly, it takes a true designer’s eye to make these extensions fit consistently with the existing aesthetic. Here are a few clever tricks you could use to help blend your old home into your new one.

Location location location

Before you go any further in the planning stages, getting the actual location of the extension right should be your most immediate concern. Of course, a lot will depend on the space available to you.

For a detached property, a side extension could be the most logical option whereas for semi-detached, extending into the garden or adding another story might be your only options.

A light touch

The use of light is crucial in helping a new extension blend into the main home. When walls are knocked down and spaces are expanded, more light is needed to help bring it into the centre of the house and fill the space from within.

This means using strategically-placed roof lights and full-height windows to help more natural light break into the new space. Your doors and windows will also play a major role here, particularly in downstairs extensions.

Trial and error

There are hundreds of incredible pieces of 3D imaging software available that will allow you to plan out your extension in a virtual space. Some might even allow you to explore it in virtual reality.

This way, you can play around with ideas the same way the professionals do without even breaking a sweat.

Go with the flow

The new rooms in the home shouldn’t be awkward little rooms tucked away at the side of the home, they should feel like natural extensions.

This means having them accessible from the hall or landing area if possible and keeping the flooring and walls consistent. It also means that linking the outdoor and indoors rooms together is of vital importance – particularly where a conservatory is concerned.

Match colour schemes and keep the carpet or flooring the same throughout to help the new rooms blend into the old and achieve a send of flow and rhythm to the space.

Don’t neglect the exterior

Finally, an extension might look like a completely natural part of the home from the inside, but could look like it doesn’t belong at-all from the exterior if you forget about it.

New walls are bound to have a fresher and cleaner look than older walls and that can’t really be helped but tiles can always be matched and there is always cladding to consider if you want a more uniform look.

Ultimately, home extension cohesion is all about making things look natural, even when they’re not.

This is never going to be easy but it is possible as long as you have the right mindset and go in with your eyes wide open knowing exactly what you want. Besides, it’s got to be less stressful than putting your house on the market!