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How To Add An Addition To Your House Without It Feeling TOO New (+ A Classic Yet Trend Forward Kitchen Island Extension You Need To See)

Things can get tricky when you add an addition to a home. I think Emily can attest to that with the farmhouse. The added space is awesome but you need to make sure that it doesn’t feel too “new build” so that it looks like it still belongs with the original structure. Well, that’s exactly what designer Rosy Alexander did for her clients with this kitchen/living room addition.

As is the case with most desired kitchens, this one needed to be practical for their large and frequent family gatherings but also have it look really well designed (I mean why else hire a talented designer like Rosy?). So they decided on an airy, Scandinavian-inspired design and that’s exactly what they got. Oh, and just wait until you see the island table extension:)

Pendants | Blue Cabinets (in Night Sky) | Limewash Wall Color | Tile (in Weathered White) | Countertop | Faucet | Skylights

Since we are BIG skylight people let’s talk about that first. We are of the opinion that if you can put in skylights, DO IT! I love how high the ceilings are in the addition and those skylights somehow make them feel even taller in the best way. Nothing compares to natural light and especially if you want an airy, Scandinavian feel to your space. These ones are from Velux which Emily used in her mountain house bedroom and is using A LOT of them in the farmhouse.

How cool are these process shots?

But let’s get back to how Rosy made sure this addition didn’t feel too “new”. First off, look at the window mouldings. While they aren’t super decorative, they still feel a bit more traditional (likely speaking to the original structure) and keep it from feeling too modern. They easily could have leaned hard into the Scandinavian look like Emily did with their windows the mountain house which only have a light wood interior frame. That same look would have completely worked with this room but probably doesn’t work with the rest of the home’s original design.

HOWEVER, look at the perfect distribution of the light wood accents. You can’t tell as easily in this photo above but those floating shelves help to keep the overall design feeling light and they visually balance and complement the dark blue cabinets on the other side. Plus according to Rosy, it was the perfect place for her client’s collectibles and everyday essentials (AKA a great place to show some extra personality). Now please notice that little white oak cubby nook on the far lower left. THEN notice that sweet white oak trim on the top of the tile and around the bottom of the hood (those you can see better in the photo below). There’s more but we’ll talk about that in a sec.

Wine Fridge

Now onto some other details like the wall paint and tile choices. I know it’s a little tough to see in these photos but that is limewash on the walls in just a pretty warm white tone. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a room with that wall treatment but it’s pretty spectacular. It’s this secret texture that doesn’t necessarily scream out at you at first but once you realize it’s there, you kind of can’t take your eyes off of it. I’m sure that’s what it feels like when you are in this room.

Then of course you have that stunning handmade zellige tile (these are the same as the one’s in Emily’s LA kitchen). If something is handmade it is nearly guaranteed that it will only add warmth and texture to your space which is exactly what this tile does and did to this kitchen. Would a classic white subway tile have been pretty? Absolutely. But would it have evoked the same visual texture? No. It just depends on the look and feel you want.

Range | Fridge | Wall Ovens | Drawer Pulls | Cabinet Knobs

See that hood white oak trim detail??

When I asked about the choice to go with a stovetop and separate wall ovens, Rosy said “The clients host and cook a lot, so they wanted versatility and multiple cook stations.” As NOT a cook myself, I’m always curious about the appliance choices people make and why. How do you all feel about this combo instead of a full range? Em did talk a bit about it in our 2022 kitchen appliance trends post if you’re curious.

I also figured they were big entertainers because of their wine fridge😉

Ok, I think it’s finally time to get into this kitchen table island extension…

design by amber interiors | photo by tessa neustadt | via all sorts of

This table is my favorite part of the kitchen. The joinery!! It is a custom piece so naturally, I asked if they had any inspiration shots and this kitchen island above was their jumping-off point. I also asked why they decided on doing an extension in the first place:

The tabletop was created out of necessity. My clients love to gather around the table and the kitchen. In Indian culture, family gatherings are very much about sharing food together, and the clients want their family and friends to have spaces to gather while they’re cooking. We commissioned Jacob Wolfe of Daswolfe from Charlotte, NC to create the table extension, and he exceeded our expectation with the island fronts and tabletop.”

Barstools | Island (custom)

While I love the Amber Interior’s Island (and everything they design), I adore what Jacob came up with. Simple but oh so special. EHD’s favorite descriptors;) That cutout and beam really have my heart fluttering. I also love that it’s the same height as the counter (the multi-level island has been popping up more on my feeds) and that it’s narrower. This way there’s room for stools without it overwhelming the space and it feeling super crowded when family is around it.

Actually, the entire island is custom which is something they were able to afford since they used Semihandmade cabinet fronts. It made their budget a bit more flexible to splurge on these custom elements.

Ah, I haven’t even talked about the cabinets yet! Well, I love that giant wall filled with different-sized compartments. I think it makes it look a bit more interesting than the simpler floor-to-ceiling single panels. They also almost went with a black color instead of this blue. Black would have been pretty but the midnight blue is so inviting. However, they still get that color drama with those beautiful black-honed countertops and black hardware.

Wanna see the other side?

I loved that she took the details of the island and put them in the cabinetry on the other side of the room. I love the subtle patterns of textures of the textiles. HOP TIP: For a large space don’t be afraid to layer rugs! Jute rugs are usually much more affordable so you can use that as your “BIG rug” and then layer a smaller (and softer) rug you love on top.

Also, I love that chair almost too much. The contrast to all the other lighter and softer tones helps to ground and have a slight edge to the space, plus balances all the dark tones in the kitchen.

So there you have it! Some addition and texture tips, beautiful kitchen island inspo, and a chair that is likely knocking your freaking socks off. Happy Tuesday!

Love you, mean it.

*Design and Photos by Rosy Alexander

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sigh! what a dream of a kitchen. i love that island + table combo! especially how the bottom isn’t like the island, but a gorgeous trestle. i love that black countertop. it makes me think of how in the last decade, everyone was ripping out all their black countertops because everything was all white all over the internet. love a good black stone countertop. the cabinet color with that is so nice. those pendant lights! it’s all so good!

1 year ago

So pretty! But i’m confused about the table. In that one shot it is on a tile floor> Is that just the inspo photo?

1 year ago
Reply to  Patricia

Agreed. Why is there a photo of another kitchen randomly in the post? I thought they had two kitchens for a minute lol.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rebecca

It says in the paragraph below the photo that it was the clients inspo for the seating attached to the island.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

The single item that I jept srolling back to and enlarging, was those pendant ,ights sbove the kitcgen island!!!
The inside texture of the milk glass!!! It really has md drooling!🤤

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

GARUMPH! @ all the typos! Sorry.

1 year ago

Note : nothing to do with this post.
Em and team, please could you do a deep dive guide into styling a coffee table as I cannot find anything on your site and other people’s sites are really rather vague. I love how you guys feature formulas and principles we can apply. I just can’t figure out what makes a good ‘vignette’.

Zoe P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

They actually do have one! (I know because I referenced it super recently!)

1 year ago
Reply to  Zoe P

brill!!! thank you and also Rusty 🙂 🙂

1 year ago

Subway tile is also 1/4 the cost of zellige tile so maybe its not just the look you want, but also what a person can afford.

1 year ago
Reply to  StephanieZ

That’s true, but there are some ceramic zellige lookalikes that are very affordable. So it’s still an attainable look, if you are willing to shop around a bit. But subway is also a lovely and affordable choice.

1 year ago

I’m having issues reading your blog lately. (On Android) Pages won’t load, will freeze, lot’s of adds. Is it just me?

1 year ago

I wonder what the heating and cooling bill is for the space?

1 year ago

Just stunning!!

1 year ago

It’s hard to judge not seeing the rest of the house. I actually love modern additions with big windows in old houses, but I think the scale of the space must match for r complement. These additions look a bit like Studio McGee’s huge barn like houses. They look nice, however too massive and too plain for old traditional homes.

1 year ago

I adore those tiles! Does anyone have Zellige in their home? Are they difficult to clean? I have tricky bathroom tiles so don’t want to land myself with another problem area!

1 year ago

Oh my goodness! I’m designing a kitchen for a cottage we are building and this is the CLOSEST reference I’ve found to what we’ll have (although a much smaller, affordable ie Ikea scale). Similar cabinet colour, countertops and the same range hood/double window layout. Saving and will reference back later 🙂