Creating an open plan kitchen offers a multitude of benefits for homeowners. By removing walls and merging dining and cooking spaces, you can create a base for a seamless and spacious living area. Open plan kitchens not only maximize the square footage of a home, but they also allow for greater connectivity between rooms, making it easier to entertain friends and family.
According to Clayton Baker, a designer at Clayton Gray Home, “The key to a successful open plan kitchen is finding the right balance between functionality and aesthetics.” One way to achieve this balance is through careful consideration of lighting. By installing dimmable lights, you can create different moods within the same space, whether you want a bright and lively room for cooking, or a more muted and relaxed atmosphere for entertaining.
Amanda Higham, Director at The Big Plan Design, suggests taking a simple approach when designing an open plan kitchen. “Keep the design elements consistent throughout the space to create a sense of unity,” she says. This can be achieved by using the same flooring, wall colors, and cabinetry in both the kitchen and living areas.
In terms of layout, there are endless ideas to choose from. Some homeowners prefer an open plan kitchen with a large central island, while others opt for a more traditional galley-style kitchen. According to Clayton Baker, “The best layout is the one that suits your needs and functions well for your lifestyle.”
When it comes to color schemes, Amanda Higham recommends using muted tones to create a cohesive and calming atmosphere. “Muted colors can make a space feel larger and more relaxed,” she says. By using a muted color palette, you can visually expand the space and create a seamless flow between the kitchen and living areas.
Another important consideration when designing an open plan kitchen is how to define different zones within the space. According to Clayton Baker, “You can use various design techniques, such as rugs or furniture placement, to create distinct areas for cooking, dining, and relaxing.” This allows you to enjoy different activities in the same space while maintaining a sense of cohesion and functionality.
For those who love to entertain, an open plan kitchen is a dream come true. With a spacious and interconnected living area, you can easily host gatherings and socialize with friends while preparing meals. “The open plan layout allows the host to be part of the conversation while still attending to their cooking duties,” says Amanda Higham.
In summary, an open plan kitchen has the potential to transform a home into a more spacious, functional, and inviting space. By maximizing square footage, creating a seamless flow between rooms, and carefully considering lighting and design elements, you can enhance your single space living experience. So, whether you are a fan of formal entertaining or simply enjoy the convenience of an open layout, open plan kitchens offer the perfect solution for modern living.
Featured image credit: ©Clayton Gray Home
Open plan kitchen ideas
When it comes to open-plan living spaces, the kitchen often becomes the main focal point of the home. With some smart design tricks and creative ideas, you can enhance the look and function of your open-plan kitchen, creating a space that everyone will enjoy.
1. Knocking down walls
One of the first steps in improving an open-plan kitchen is to knock down any unnecessary walls. By opening up the space, you will gain more natural light and create a seamless flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas.
2. Maximizing the use of space
Another important aspect to consider is the use of your kitchen space. By adding extra storage options, such as shelves or cabinets, you can effectively maximize the available space in your kitchen.
3. Creating a functional layout
When designing your open-plan kitchen, it is essential to think about the functionality of the space. Consider the position of appliances, such as the stove and refrigerator, to ensure that everything is within easy reach and that the workflow is smooth.
4. Utilizing smart lighting
Proper lighting is crucial in any kitchen, but it becomes even more important in an open-plan setting. Consider installing different types of lighting, such as recessed lights, pendant lights, or under-cabinet lighting. This will create a layered lighting effect and provide the perfect ambiance for cooking and entertaining.
5. Incorporating a kitchen island
A kitchen island can serve as a central gathering point in your open-plan kitchen. It provides additional countertop space for food preparation and can also be used as a casual dining area. Choose a large, statement island that complements the rest of your kitchen design.
6. Using glass in the design
Using glass in your open-plan kitchen can help create a sense of openness and allow natural light to flow through the space. Consider adding glass cabinet doors, a glass backsplash, or even a glass partition wall to separate the kitchen from the living area while still maintaining a visual connection.
7. Incorporating tall elements
Adding tall elements, such as floor-to-ceiling cabinets or a tall pantry, can further enhance your open-plan kitchen design. These elements not only provide ample storage space but also draw the eye upward, making the space feel larger and more expansive.
8. Introducing a skylight
If your open-plan kitchen is located on the ground floor, consider incorporating a skylight into the design. A skylight can bring in additional natural light and provide beautiful views of the sky, creating a glorious and complete kitchen experience.
9. Choosing a modern color palette
When it comes to the color scheme of your open-plan kitchen, think modern and simple. Opt for neutral tones, such as white, gray, or beige, as a base and add pops of color through accessories or a feature wall.
10. Bringing the outdoors in
If your open-plan kitchen leads to a backyard or outdoor space, consider incorporating elements that connect these two areas. Use large glass doors or windows to provide unobstructed views of the outside, and choose outdoor-inspired materials, like wood or stone, for a seamless transition.
With these open-plan kitchen ideas, you can transform your space into a functional and stylish area that the whole family will love. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and embrace the open-plan concept!
1 Create a broken plan layout
Creating a broken plan layout is a clever way to define different zones within an open plan kitchen. By strategically positioning furniture and using materials to separate spaces, you can create a sense of privacy and distinction while maintaining an open and cohesive feel.
One effective way to create a broken plan layout is by using a sofa as a zoning tool. Placing a sofa between the kitchen and living area can help define each space and provide a comfortable seating area for relaxation. You can choose a sofa in a contrasting color, such as a bold blue or a muted shade, to visually separate the two zones.
Next to the sofa, you can create a dining area with an open plan kitchen. This allows for easy access to food and drinks while still maintaining a separate space for eating. You could choose a dining table that matches the style of your kitchen, or opt for a contrasting piece to add visual interest.
If you’re looking to make the most of your open plan kitchen, it’s worth considering a smart lighting solution. Dimmable lights can be installed throughout the space, allowing you to adjust the brightness and create different atmospheres as needed. This can be particularly useful for creating a cozy and intimate feel in the evening, or for brightening up the space during the day.
Another way to create a broken plan layout is by using different paint colors or finishes on the walls. You could paint one wall in the kitchen a contrasting color, or use a textured wallpaper to create a visual divide between the two areas.
If you’re open to a more drastic change, you could even consider knocking down a wall to create a half wall or partition between the kitchen and living area. This can provide a clear separation between the two spaces while still maintaining an open concept overall.
One simple and effective way to create a broken plan layout is by using furniture and accessories to define different areas within the space. For example, you could use a tall bookshelf or a freestanding screen to create a sense of separation between the kitchen and living area.
Creating a broken plan layout can provide a more spacious and cohesive look in an open plan kitchen. It allows you to enjoy the views and natural light throughout the space while still having defined zones for different activities. With careful planning and consideration, you can create a functional and stylish open plan kitchen that meets all your needs.
2 Embrace a spectacular view
One of the main advantages of an open plan kitchen is the ability to enjoy a spectacular view. Whether you have a beautiful backyard or a breathtaking landscape, incorporating windows or glass doors in your kitchen design can allow you to take full advantage of the scenery.
By opting for large windows or floor-to-ceiling glass doors, you can create a seamless connection between the indoors and outdoors. This not only enhances the visual appeal of your kitchen but also brings in an abundance of natural light, making the space feel bright and open.
If you have a grand view that you want to highlight, consider positioning your kitchen in a way that maximizes the visual impact. For example, placing the sink or cooking area near a large window or glass door will allow you to enjoy the view while performing everyday tasks.
In addition to windows and glass doors, skylights can also be a great idea if you have a tall ceiling or want to bring in even more natural light. Skylights can be positioned above the cooking or dining area, allowing you to enjoy the views of the sky while still maintaining privacy.
When it comes to embracing a view, it’s important to think about the overall layout and design of your open plan kitchen. Sarah Higham, the design director at Nightingale Architects, suggests considering the flow of the space and creating zones within the kitchen. This can be done by using different materials or colors for the flooring, cabinetry, or countertops.
For example, you can use a darker marble countertop to delineate the cooking area, while keeping the dining or socializing area lighter in color. This creates a visual separation between the different zones and helps define the purpose of each area within the open plan kitchen.
Don’t be afraid to mix traditional and modern elements in your open plan kitchen design. Incorporating elements like exposed brick walls or steel beams can add character and charm, while still maintaining a contemporary feel. This creates a unique and eclectic look that adds interest and personality to your space.
When it comes to lighting, consider both functional and mood lighting options. Adele Lonergan, the design manager at Superkül Architects, suggests opting for dimmable lights that allow you to adjust the brightness according to your needs. This is especially important if you have a spectacular view that you want to enjoy during nighttime.
In terms of furniture and decor, choosing pieces that will complement the view is essential. Consider opting for simple and minimalistic furniture that doesn’t obstruct the view. This allows the focus to be on the scenery outside rather than the furniture within the kitchen.
Overall, embracing a spectacular view in your open plan kitchen is not just about making the space look good. It’s about creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where you can cook, dine, and socialize while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape or backyard. So if you have the opportunity to incorporate a view into your kitchen design, it’s definitely worth considering!
3 Go for a galley layout
A separate kitchen can sometimes feel restrictive, especially if you enjoy seeing and being a part of the action happening in the main living areas of your home. That’s where a galley layout can come in handy.
A galley kitchen is designed with two parallel walls, creating a narrow corridor-like space. This layout offers a focused work area, perfect for the home baker or chef. It also maximizes every inch of available space by keeping all the essential units within easy reach.
When designing a galley kitchen, consider using a muted color palette to create a seamless flow between the kitchen and the rest of the living area. Light, neutral colors like Benjamin Moore’s “Gray Owl” or “Classic Gray” can make the kitchen feel bigger and help reflect natural light.
For the countertops, consider using marble or stainless steel for a sleek and clean look. You can also install open shelving above to display your favorite kitchenware and make the space feel more open.
One of the advantages of a galley kitchen is that it allows for easy movement between the cooking and cleaning areas. With everything within arm’s reach, it’s easier to get things done efficiently. Plus, the narrow layout can create an impact by leading the eye towards the other end of the kitchen or into another room.
If you have a high ceiling, you can take advantage of the vertical space by installing tall cabinetry or adding statement lighting fixtures above the galley. This not only adds visual interest but also draws attention upwards, making the space feel bigger.
To make the galley kitchen a social hub, consider adding a seating area at one end. This can be in the form of a small breakfast bar or a cozy banquette. It offers a spot for friends and family to sit and chat while you cook, and it also allows you to enjoy a meal without having to leave the kitchen.
Nowadays, many galley kitchens are designed with an open plan concept, connecting the kitchen to the dining or living areas. However, if you prefer a separate kitchen, you can still achieve a galley layout within a confined space.
For example, if your kitchen is located next to a backyard or a garage, you can make use of these areas to expand your galley kitchen. Extend the layout by incorporating some of the functions that were previously in the separate rooms, such as a sink or additional storage.
In terms of design, you can create a visual separation between the kitchen and the other areas by using different flooring materials or a change in ceiling height. This helps define the boundaries of the kitchen while still maintaining an open and connected feel.
By embracing the galley layout, you can create a functional and efficient kitchen without compromising on style. It offers a practical solution for maximizing space while still enjoying the benefits of an open plan living area. So, why not give it a try?
4 Use color and curves to zone
If you have an open plan kitchen, it’s important to create different zones within the space to avoid the danger of it looking too chaotic or cluttered. One way to achieve this is by using color and curves to visually separate different areas.
Most commonly, the kitchen area will be separated from the dining or living area. One popular method is to use a different color scheme for each zone. This can be done by painting the walls in different shades or using different colored tiles for the kitchen backsplash and flooring.
Another approach is to use curves to define the different zones. For example, you can install a curved kitchen island to separate the cooking area from the dining area. This not only creates a clear division between the two spaces, but it also adds an interesting design feature to the room.
If you have an open plan kitchen with a high ceiling, you can use lighting to create different zones. For example, you can hang pendant lights over the kitchen island to define the cooking area, while using recessed lighting over the dining table to create a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere.
Another option is to use cabinetry to separate the different zones. For example, you can install floor-to-ceiling cabinets to create a division between the kitchen and dining area. This not only provides storage space but also acts as a visual barrier between the two zones.
When using color and curves to zone an open plan kitchen, it’s important to maintain a sense of unity throughout the space. This can be achieved by choosing colors and finishes that complement each other and by using similar shapes and materials in the different zones.
In conclusion, using color and curves to zone an open plan kitchen can help create a more organized and visually appealing space. Whether you choose to paint the walls in different shades or use cabinetry to separate the different zones, this approach can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen.
5 Pull together a vintage look
If you want to create a vintage look in your open-plan kitchen, there are several design elements you can incorporate to achieve this style. From flooring to lighting, these elements will help to create a nostalgic and charming ambiance in your space.
1. Vintage flooring
One of the most important features of a vintage-style kitchen is the flooring. Opt for a large, painted floor in a muted color. This will not only add character to your space but will also create a beautiful backdrop for the rest of your design elements.
2. Glorious back to back
Return to a more traditional heating approach with back-to-back fires. This not only adds a sense of nostalgia, but it also creates a cozy and warm atmosphere within your open-plan kitchen.
3. Crittall-style lights
Crittall-style lights are another key element in creating a vintage look. These lights have a unique design that adds character to your space. Choose lights with a vintage-inspired design to enhance the overall aesthetic of your open-plan kitchen.
4. Creating functional zones
When designing your open-plan kitchen, it’s important to create functional zones that are visually separated but still flow together. This can be achieved through the use of furniture and different textures. For example, you can create a dining area with a vintage-style table and chairs, while the kitchen area can feature modern appliances and countertops.
5. Exposed ceiling beams
To further enhance the vintage look of your open-plan kitchen, consider exposing the ceiling beams. This adds a touch of rustic charm and adds depth to the space. If you don’t have exposed beams, you can consider adding faux beams to create the same effect.
By incorporating these vintage elements into your open-plan kitchen, you can achieve a charming and nostalgic look that will make your space feel warm and inviting.
6 Make a compact space work
If you have a small kitchen, it’s important to maximize every inch of space. Here are some ideas on how to make a compact kitchen work:
Choose smart layouts: When designing a small kitchen, consider using a galley or L-shaped layout to maximize efficiency and storage.
Utilize an island: Adding a kitchen island can provide extra workspace, storage, and even seating. It can also serve as a focal point that draws the eye away from the compact size of the kitchen.
Turn wasted space into action: Look for opportunities to use unused areas for storage or functionality. For example, you could transform an empty wall into a pantry or hang pots and pans from the ceiling.
Create the illusion of a bigger space: Use light and bright colors, such as white or light blue, to make the kitchen feel more open and spacious. You can also opt for cabinetry with glass doors to create a sense of depth.
Take advantage of natural light: If possible, position the kitchen near a window or skylight to bring in natural light. This will make the space feel brighter and more open.
Combine the kitchen with another living area: Knocking down walls to create an open plan layout can make the kitchen feel larger while also allowing for easier entertaining and socializing. For example, you could combine the kitchen with a dining area or living room.
Use multi-functional furniture: Invest in furniture that can serve multiple purposes. For instance, a dining table can also double as a workspace or a sofa with built-in storage can provide both seating and additional space for belongings.
Make the most of vertical space: Install tall cabinets or open shelving to maximize storage capacity. This will help to free up counter space and keep the kitchen organized.
Add visual interest with backsplash: A tiled backsplash can add a touch of grandeur to a compact kitchen. Consider using marble or another eye-catching material to create a focal point.
Think about the flow: When planning the layout of a small kitchen, consider how you will move around the space. Make sure there is enough room to comfortably perform cooking tasks and that the most frequently used items are easily accessible.
Set up different zones: To make a small kitchen more functional, create separate areas for cooking, prepping, and cleaning. This will help to keep everything organized and ensure that multiple people can use the space at the same time.
Play with lighting: Good lighting is important in a compact kitchen. Use a mix of direct and indirect lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Install dimmable lights so you can adjust the brightness according to your needs.
7 Go unfitted with open shelving
Open shelving is a popular trend in open plan kitchens, and for good reason. It works particularly well in larger spaces where the kitchen and living areas are not separated by walls. Without the need for wall cabinets, you can enjoy a more open and airy feel in your kitchen.
Open shelving offers a practical solution for storing and displaying kitchen items, from cookbooks and dishes to decorative accessories. By keeping your shelves organized, you can create a stylish, uncluttered look.
One idea is to use crittall-style shelving to create zones within your open plan kitchen. For example, you could position a row of shelves behind a sofa to separate the living area from the cooking area. This not only adds visual interest but also provides a practical storage solution.
In terms of lighting, pendant lights can be hung above open shelving to highlight your favorite items. You can also use faded lighting to create a cozy ambiance in the evenings.
When designing your open plan kitchen, it is important to make sure that the shelving complements the other elements in the space. Choose materials and colors that work well together to create a cohesive look.
If you have windows in your kitchen, consider positioning the shelves close to them to take advantage of natural light. This can create a bright and inviting space.
Another option is to incorporate a skylight into your open plan kitchen. This not only adds value to your home but also brings in more natural light, making the space feel grand and airy.
Exposed brick can also be a great addition to open shelving. By using brick as a backdrop, you can create a rustic and industrial look that adds character to your kitchen.
When it comes to working with open shelving, it is best to choose a mix of practical and decorative items. This will ensure that your shelves not only look great but also serve a purpose.
In summary, open shelving can have a significant impact on the overall design of your open-plan kitchen. By choosing the right materials, colors, and positioning, you can create a space that is both functional and visually appealing.
8 Use layered lighting to zone an open plan kitchen
When it comes to designing an open plan kitchen, lighting plays a crucial role in creating a functional and inviting space. According to interior designer Laura Higham from Laura Jane Interiors, “Layered lighting is essential to zone an open plan kitchen and create different areas within the space.”
Before diving into the specifics of layered lighting, it is important to consider the overall layout and flow of the open plan kitchen. Alex Holloway, Director at London-based design company Holloways of Ludlow, says, “Before starting any lighting design, we always think about how the room will be used and what areas will need the most attention.”
One popular approach to zoning an open plan kitchen is to use different types of lighting to distinguish different areas. For example, Holloway suggests using pendant lights above the dining table or kitchen island, wall lights on the side walls, and recessed spotlights in the ceiling for the cooking and preparation areas. This way, each area within the open plan kitchen can have its own distinct lighting style.
Another idea for zoning an open plan kitchen is to use lighting fixtures inspired by traditional crittall-style windows. Holloway explains, “This approach offers a subtle separation between the kitchen and the rest of the open plan space while maintaining a sense of unity.”
In addition to creating separate zones, layered lighting can also enhance the overall ambiance of the open plan kitchen. Tom Howley, Design Director at luxury kitchen company Tom Howley, says, “We often use different lighting levels to add depth and drama to the space. For example, LED strip lights along the base of units and floor-level lights around a kitchen island can create a stunning visual effect.”
When it comes to entertaining in an open plan kitchen, lighting can also play a crucial role. Interior designer Emma Baker from Baker and Baker suggests, “Consider installing lights with dimmer switches, so you can adjust the lighting to suit different moods and occasions.”
Lastly, Higham advises paying attention to the natural light in the room. “Large windows and skylights can flood the open plan kitchen with natural light, making it a bright and airy space,” she says. “But it’s also important to have additional lighting options for when natural light is limited, such as during the evening or on cloudy days.”
In conclusion, layered lighting is a key element in zoning an open plan kitchen. By using different types of lighting fixtures and levels, designers can create distinct areas within the space while maintaining a sense of unity. Whether it’s separating the cooking and dining areas or adding drama to the room, a well-thought-out lighting plan can greatly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of an open plan kitchen.
9 Utilize lofty architecture
One of the advantages of open plan kitchens is their ability to take advantage of lofty architecture. If your home has high ceilings, especially with skylights or large windows, you can use this feature to enhance the overall design and functionality of your open plan kitchen.
By positioning the kitchen island or breakfast bar below a skylight or large window, you can enjoy the natural light while cooking or dining. This allows the different areas within your open plan space to feel connected and brings a sense of unity to the overall design.
A popular idea when utilizing lofty architecture is to separate the kitchen area from the rest of the living space using the base of the island or a kitchen unit. This creates a visual separation without sacrificing the open plan concept.
Designer kitchen units such as those from Baker & Moore are a great choice when it comes to utilizing lofty architecture. Their modern and sleek design can blend perfectly with the high ceilings and large windows, adding value to the overall aesthetic.
In addition to the visual separation, you can also make use of the higher position and space above the island or units. This can be achieved by adding ambient lighting fixtures above the island, such as dimmable pendant lights or spotlights. These can create a cozy and atmospheric mood during cooking or dining, as well as highlight the architectural features of your open plan kitchen.
Avoid placing the island or units in a position where they block the view from the windows or skylights. Instead, position them in a way that frames the view and allows you to enjoy the outside landscape while in the kitchen.
If you have an L-shaped open plan kitchen, you can position the island or units in a way that separates the cooking zone from the dining or living area. This way, you can enjoy both zones without them feeling too close together.
When it comes to the materials for the island or units, marble is a popular choice for its luxurious and timeless appearance. It can complement the high ceilings and enhance the overall aesthetic of the open plan kitchen.
Don’t be afraid to play with colors in your open plan kitchen. For example, you can introduce bold and vibrant colors such as teal or pink in the island or units to create a focal point within the space. This can add a modern and fun touch to the overall design.
Before opting for a separate kitchen area within your open plan space, consider how it will affect the flow and functionality of the overall space. Keep in mind that the goal of an open plan kitchen is to create a seamless and integrated living space.
10 Make a statement with an island
Adding an island to your open plan kitchen can not only enhance its functionality but also create a stunning focal point. Here are some ideas on how to make a statement with an island:
1. Choose a unique design
Instead of opting for a standard rectangular island, think outside the box and go for a unique shape or design. This will instantly draw attention and add character to your kitchen.
2. Play with materials
Experiment with different materials for your island’s countertop and base. Consider using a combination of wood, stone, or even glass to add texture and visual interest.
3. Incorporate seating
An island with built-in seating is not only functional but can also create a gathering space for family and friends. Consider adding bar stools or a bench to turn your island into a casual dining area.
4. Make it a multi-functional zone
In addition to serving as a workspace and dining area, your island can also serve multiple purposes. Add storage cabinets, a sink, or a cooktop to make it a fully functional zone for food preparation.
5. Use contrasting colors
Make your island stand out by using contrasting colors. For example, if your kitchen cabinets are white, consider painting your island a bold color such as navy blue or forest green.
6. Create a statement ceiling
If your kitchen has high ceilings, utilize this space by adding a statement ceiling above your island. Consider using exposed beams, intricate lighting fixtures, or even a dramatic paint color to draw the eye upward.
7. Knocking down walls for an open flow
If you have the opportunity, consider knocking down walls to create a more open and integrated space. Combining your kitchen, dining, and living areas will not only make your kitchen feel much larger but also improve the flow and functionality of the space.
8. Add a grand entrance
If your kitchen opens up to a backyard or outdoor space, consider installing a large glass door or sliding panels that can be fully opened. This will not only bring in natural light but also create a seamless connection between your indoor and outdoor areas.
9. Pay attention to the details
Don’t overlook the small details when designing your island. Consider adding unique hardware, decorative tiles, or a statement light fixture to enhance its overall look and feel.
10. Pull the design together
To create unity and cohesion within your open plan kitchen, ensure that the design of your island complements the rest of your space. This can be done through coordinating colors, materials, and finishes to create a harmonious overall look.
11 Let there be light
Lighting is crucial in any open plan kitchen design. It can transform a space and enhance the overall atmosphere. Before starting your design, it’s important to consider the natural light available in the space. Exposed areas that receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day can be utilized as the main source of light, allowing you to save on artificial lighting.
If you have a glorious backyard view, make sure to incorporate large windows that maximize both the natural light and the unity between the indoor and outdoor areas. Clayton Higham, Design Director at a leading kitchen design firm, suggests using tall windows or even a glass garage door to bring in an abundance of natural light. This not only brightens up the space but also creates a stunning backdrop for everyday activities.
When it comes to artificial lighting, it’s important to think about the different zones and functions within your open plan kitchen. Smartly placed pendant lights or recessed lighting can highlight specific areas, such as the dining table or the cooking zone. This not only improves functionality but also adds a stylish touch to the overall design.
Color also plays a significant role in enhancing the light within an open plan kitchen. Using light and neutral colors on the walls and cabinets can help reflect the natural and artificial light, making the space feel brighter and more open. We recommend using a combination of white, cream, and light gray tones to create a fresh and airy feel.
Another approach to improving the lighting in your open plan kitchen is to incorporate reflective surfaces. These can include glass or metallic finishes on cabinets, countertops, or backsplashes. These surfaces bounce light around the room, creating a brighter and more spacious feel.
If you have a traditional style kitchen and want to maintain the feel of separate rooms within the open plan space, consider using Crittall-style doors or partitions. These steel-framed glass doors give a timeless appeal and also allow light to flow freely between the different zones while maintaining a sense of privacy.
In summary, lighting should be a top priority when designing an open plan kitchen. By maximizing natural light, using smart artificial lighting, and incorporating light colors and reflective surfaces, you can create a bright and inviting space that is not only worth working and entertaining in but also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.
12 Incorporate original features
If you are lucky enough to have original features in your open plan kitchen, such as beautiful old windows or tall ceilings, think about how you can make the most of them. These features can add character and charm to your space, and they can also provide stunning views and natural light.
If your kitchen is next to a large window or patio doors, for example, you can position your dining table or seating area to take advantage of the views. This will create a more spacious and open feel to the room, as well as bring the outside in.
You could also consider incorporating traditional architectural elements into your open plan kitchen. For instance, if you have a fireplace or exposed brick wall, keep these features in their original form as much as possible. Add some modern touches around them, such as a sleek steel pendant light or a hand-painted teal door, to create a sense of unity between the old and the new.
Another option is to use the original features of your home to create separate zones within your open plan kitchen. For example, if you have a garage door that leads into your kitchen, you could keep it as a focal point and use it as a dividing line between the cooking and dining areas. This can create a smart and functional approach to the layout of your space.
When it comes to lighting, consider using dimmable spotlights or pendant lights to highlight the original features of your kitchen. This will make them stand out and create a focal point in the room. You can also use ambient lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, without making the space too bright or formal.
By incorporating the original features of your home into your open plan kitchen, you can create a unique and stylish space that maximizes natural light, provides stunning views, and adds character to your home.
13 Take a vertical adventure
If you’re looking to make the most of your open-plan kitchen space, don’t forget to utilize the vertical spots in the room. Family life can often lead to faded kitchens and worn-out units. This is where Higham’s spectacular garage-like space steps in, offering a traditional, yet original take on the open-plan kitchen.
The tall, teal painted cabinetry features seating high up, where all the action is. This creates a zone between the kitchen and the main open-plan family space – perfect for entertaining. As the manager at Higham, Naomi Baker, says, “It’s a very large room, so we wanted to make sure it didn’t feel too open-plan and that it had more of a living room feel to it.” To achieve this, the pendant lights were chosen to create a focal point in the seating area, while the glass ceiling features exposed beams that add an ambient touch.
But it’s not just the ceiling features that make this room so glorious. The open-plan kitchen also features a traditional island with a sink and worktop on one side, while cabinetry on the other side matches the original units. Together, they create a cohesive and stunning space that works well for both cooking and socializing.
If you’re looking to take a simpler approach, Higham’s advice is to choose one standout element, such as a painted island, and keep the rest of the kitchen more neutral. By doing this, you can create an open-plan kitchen that is both functional and stylish.
14 Go sky high
If you have the ground space for it, one approach to maximizing an open-plan kitchen is to look up and go sky high. By using the vertical space in your home, you can create the illusion of a bigger and more open area. One way to do this is to install a mezzanine floor, either in between the main ground floor and the upper floor or by creating a separate platform above the kitchen.
The key to making this feature work is the position and the type of lighting you use. Pendant lighting can be hung from the high point of the ceiling, and it works especially well when placed above an island or dining table. To enhance the bright and airy feel, consider adding crittall-style windows or a large skylight to let in plenty of natural light.
By using the space above your kitchen and creating a separate seating area or work zone, you can enjoy the glorious views and bright atmosphere from above. It’s like having a luxurious penthouse right in your own home.
15 Add more seating with an L-shaped breakfast bar
One of the key elements of an open-plan kitchen is creating a spacious and inviting seating area. Adding a breakfast bar is a great way to achieve this, and an L-shaped design can be particularly effective.
Like an island, an L-shaped breakfast bar provides additional seating that can be used for casual dining, socializing, or even as a workspace. The L-shape allows for more seating than a traditional straight bar, making it a practical and versatile solution for a larger open-plan kitchen.
In smaller open-plan kitchens, where space is at a premium, an L-shaped breakfast bar can be a smart choice. It allows you to make the most of the available space by fitting neatly into a corner or along a wall, without taking up too much room.
By incorporating tall stools or chairs, you can create a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for entertaining or enjoying a quick meal on the go.
Add style and functionality
An L-shaped breakfast bar can also be a stylish addition to your kitchen design. You can choose from a variety of materials, such as marble, glass, or wood, to create a look that complements the rest of your kitchen. Adding pendant lighting above the bar can further enhance the visual appeal and create a focal point.
In terms of functionality, an L-shaped breakfast bar offers multiple advantages. It provides extra countertop space for food preparation, serving, or even as a buffet area when entertaining guests. It can also serve as a partition between the kitchen and other living areas, helping to separate the space while maintaining an open-plan feel.
Another benefit of an L-shaped breakfast bar is that it can offer additional storage solutions. You can incorporate cabinets or drawers underneath the bar to keep kitchen essentials, like plates, glasses, or utensils, within easy reach. This not only maximizes the use of space but also helps to keep the kitchen organized and clutter-free.
By adding a breakfast bar, you can transform your open-plan kitchen into a more functional and inviting space. Whether you have a large open area or a smaller kitchen, an L-shaped design works well in creating a comfortable seating area that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the room.
16 Get the layout right first time
Creating an open plan kitchen requires careful consideration of the layout. You don’t want a faded, bright kitchen without the pendant lights that can be seen from every corner of the open space, or worse, a kitchen that is completely separated from the rest of the living area.
Before you start working on the design, think about how you want the rooms to flow into each other. Position the working areas, such as the sink, stove, and fridge, close together to create a functional triangle. This will make cooking and cleaning much easier.
Consider the placement of the kitchen cabinets. Tall wall units above the worktop can be used to create zones within the open space. This could be a breakfast bar or a separate area for entertaining friends. You could even place a door within the open plan to separate the kitchen from the rest of the living area, especially if you want to create a different mood in the kitchen.
When it comes to lighting, think about the impact it will have on the space. Pendant lights above the dining table or kitchen island can create a focal point and draw attention to that area. Spotlights can be used to highlight certain features or artwork, while under-cabinet lighting will help illuminate the work surfaces.
One idea that works well in open plan kitchens is to use materials that are repeated in other areas of the home. For example, if you have marble countertops in the kitchen, consider using marble in other areas, like the fireplace surround or bathroom countertops. This will help create a sense of continuity and make the space feel bigger.
Don’t overlook the importance of the layout. Getting it right the first time will save you time and money in the long run. So take the time to plan out the flow, consider the placement of cabinetry and lighting, and think about how the open plan kitchen will work with the rest of your home.
17 Use furnishings to create balance
When it comes to designing an open plan kitchen, it’s important to create a sense of balance within the space. One way to do this is by using furnishings strategically to add visual interest and create a harmonious atmosphere.
For example, you can use a pendant light fixture hung above a dining table or kitchen island to draw attention to that particular area and create a focal point. This helps to break up the open space and adds a touch of style to the room.
Another way to create balance is by using furniture that is proportional to the size of the room. If you have a large open plan kitchen, you may want to opt for taller or larger furnishings to fill the space and create a sense of scale. On the other hand, if you have a smaller open plan kitchen, choosing smaller and more compact pieces will help to make the space feel cozy and inviting.
When selecting furnishings, consider the overall design and style of your open plan kitchen. If you have chosen a traditional or rustic theme, opt for furniture that features warm, natural tones and materials. If you prefer a more modern and contemporary feel, look for furnishings with sleek lines and minimalist designs.
It’s also important to consider the function of the furniture within your open plan kitchen. Think about the needs of your family and how you will be using the space. For example, if you enjoy entertaining, choose furnishings that offer ample seating and storage options. If cooking is your passion, consider adding a kitchen island with a built-in stove or cooktop.
Additionally, you can use furnishings to define different zones within your open plan kitchen. For example, you can place a sofa or a large rug to create a cozy seating area. This helps to differentiate the space from the cooking and dining areas, making the room feel more organized and purposeful.
Color can also play a role in creating balance within an open plan kitchen. Consider using furnishings with pops of color to add visual interest and create a focal point. For example, you can choose a bright blue armchair or a painted accent table to add a touch of personality to the space.
When arranging furniture in an open plan kitchen, make sure to leave enough space for easy movement. Avoid overcrowding the room and knocking into furniture as you move around. It’s also a good idea to leave clear paths for natural light to enter through windows, as this helps to create a bright and inviting atmosphere.
By using furnishings strategically, you can create a sense of balance and harmony within your open plan kitchen. Whether you’re opting for a traditional or modern approach, the right furniture can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of the room.
18 Extend into a side return
A common problem in many homes is a lack of space in the kitchen. This is especially true in formal, traditional homes where the kitchen is usually separate from the main living area. However, you can maximize the available space by extending into the side return.
The side return is the narrow strip of land that is often unused and inaccessible, running alongside the main part of the house. By incorporating this area into your kitchen design, you can create a larger and more open space that seamlessly connects with the rest of the home.
One example of this is the use of a blue kitchen island that extends into the side return. This not only adds extra countertop and storage space, but also creates a focal point that draws the eye and adds visual interest to the room.
Another way to make the most of the side return is by using it as a dining area. By adding a table and chairs, you can create a separate zone for eating and entertaining. This is especially useful in open plan kitchens, where it can be tricky to separate the different areas.
Lighting is another important factor to consider when extending into a side return. By installing ceiling lights and wall sconces, you can create a well-lit space that is both functional and stylish. Pendant lights over the dining area can also add a touch of elegance and create a cozy atmosphere.
The color scheme and materials used in the side return can also help to define the space and create a cohesive look throughout the room. Using muted, faded colors such as teal or clay can create a relaxed and laid-back feel, while brighter and bolder colors such as blue or higham can add a pop of color and excitement.
If you have a garden or outdoor space adjoining the side return, consider adding large glass doors or windows to maximize natural light and offer beautiful views. This can make the space feel even more open and connected to the outdoors.
In conclusion, extending into a side return can offer a simple and effective solution to maximize space in your kitchen. By incorporating features such as a kitchen island, dining area, and proper lighting, you can create a more functional and enjoyable space for cooking, dining, and entertaining.
19 Make space for entertaining
When designing an open plan kitchen, it’s important to consider how the space will be used for entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or having friends over for a casual get-together, having a functional and inviting space is key.
One way to make space for entertaining is by creating designated zones within the open plan kitchen. For example, you could have a dining area with a large table and chairs, a seating area with comfortable sofas and armchairs, and a bar area with stools. This allows guests to move freely between different areas and encourages socializing.
To create a cohesive look, consider using the same color palette throughout the space. For example, if your kitchen cabinets are white, you could use pops of pink in the dining area and seating area to add a playful touch. Alternatively, you could use a bold blue color on the kitchen island to make it a focal point.
If you have a large open plan kitchen, you could also incorporate a baker’s island, which provides extra counter space for cooking and baking. This can be especially useful when entertaining, as it allows you to prepare food and socialize at the same time.
Another way to make space for entertaining is by using open shelves or glass front cabinets to display your favorite glassware and dishware. Not only does this create a visually appealing display, but it also makes it easier for guests to find what they need.
If your open plan kitchen has a view of the backyard, consider incorporating large windows or sliding glass doors to bring the outdoors in. This not only enhances the overall flow of the space, but it also allows guests to enjoy the view while they’re eating or socializing.
If you’re short on space, consider using tall cabinets or shelving units to maximize storage. This not only provides more storage space for dishes and utensils, but it also helps create a more organized and clutter-free environment.
When it comes to furniture, opt for pieces that are both stylish and comfortable. For example, choose a dining table with chairs that have padded seats, or invest in a comfortable sofa for the seating area. This will ensure that your guests enjoy their time in your open plan kitchen.
Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to lighting. Use a combination of overhead lighting, pendant lights, and task lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider installing dimmer switches to adjust the lighting depending on the occasion.
By following these design tricks, you can create an open plan kitchen that is not only functional for cooking and entertaining, but also stylish and inviting. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or having friends over for a casual get-together, your open plan kitchen will be the perfect backdrop for any occasion.
20 Create zones but also a sense of unity
Knocking walls down and opening up the space is a popular choice when it comes to creating an open plan kitchen. However, when you have a single living space that needs to serve multiple functions, it’s important to create zones within the space to give each area its own purpose and identity. At the same time, you want to maintain a sense of unity and flow throughout the entire open plan.
One way to achieve this balance is by using different materials and finishes to demarcate the various zones. For example, you could use a different flooring material or color to distinguish the kitchen area from the living or dining area. This visually separates the different zones and helps create a sense of boundaries without the need for physical partitions. Plus, it adds an interesting design element to the space.
Another option is to create an architectural feature that not only acts as a zone divider but also adds a focal point to the open plan area. For instance, you could have a raised ceiling above the kitchen island, or you could install a statement lighting fixture above the dining table. These elements not only define the different areas but also draw attention and create a sense of interest and drama within the space.
Using furniture and layout can also help create zones within an open plan kitchen. By strategically placing a sofa or a bookshelf, you can visually separate the living area from the kitchen or dining area. The use of different seating arrangements, such as bar stools at the kitchen island and a dining table for formal meals, also helps distinguish the different zones and cater to specific needs.
Opting for a cohesive color scheme or design style can also contribute to a sense of unity within an open plan kitchen. For example, you could use the same color palette or materials throughout the space to create a harmonious look. This helps tie the different areas together and make them feel like part of one cohesive whole.
Incorporating elements of the original architecture can also enhance the sense of unity in an open plan kitchen. For instance, if you have a beautiful exposed brick wall, you could choose to highlight it and make it a focal point of the entire space. Similarly, if there is a skylight or a large window, you can position the seating or dining area around it to maximize the natural light and create a connection with the outdoor surroundings.
21 Design a social open plan kitchen
Designing an open plan kitchen that is both functional and inviting is essential for creating a social space in your home. Whether you love to entertain or simply enjoy spending time with family and friends, these design ideas will help you make the most of your open-plan kitchen.
1. Choose a base color scheme
Start by choosing a base color scheme for your kitchen units. Keep it simple and timeless with neutral colors like white, gray, or beige. This will create a cohesive look throughout the space.
2. Add a pop of color
Add a pop of color to your kitchen by choosing a bold accent color. This could be a bright pink island or teal cabinets. It will add personality to the space and make it feel more vibrant and lively.
3. Combine different textures
Combining different textures in your kitchen design can add visual interest and depth. For example, you can pair glossy cabinets with a matte stone countertop or a rough brick wall with smooth wooden floors.
4. Use pendant lights
Install pendant lights above your kitchen island or dining area to create a focal point and provide task lighting. Choose lights that complement the style of your kitchen, whether it’s modern, rustic, or industrial.
5. Maximize natural light
If you have large windows or a skylight in your kitchen, maximize the natural light by keeping window treatments minimal or even eliminating them altogether. This will make the space feel bright and open.
6. Consider an open shelving unit
An open shelving unit in your kitchen can offer both functionality and style. It can be used to display your favorite dishes and cookbooks, creating a sense of unity and personality in the space.
7. Create a separate dining area
If space allows, create a separate dining area next to your kitchen. This will give you a formal space to entertain guests and enjoy meals together. Consider using a large dining table and comfortable chairs for a relaxing atmosphere.
8. Use a glass door
If you have an outdoor space next to your kitchen, consider installing a glass door that opens up to it. This will allow you to enjoy the view while cooking or entertaining and create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.
9. Choose lighting wisely
When selecting lighting fixtures for your open-plan kitchen, think about the different functions of the space. Use task lighting for cooking areas, ambient lighting for socializing areas, and accent lighting to highlight specific elements.
10. Create a cohesive design
To ensure a cohesive design throughout the open-plan space, use the same flooring material, wall color, and lighting fixtures. This will create a sense of unity and make the space feel organized and well-designed.
11. Designate zones for different activities
If you have a large open-plan kitchen, consider dividing it into different zones for cooking, dining, and socializing. Use furniture, rugs, or lighting to separate the areas and create a sense of purpose for each space.
12. Go for an exposed brick wall
An exposed brick wall can add a touch of rustic charm to your open-plan kitchen. It can serve as a focal point and provide a beautiful backdrop for other design elements, such as pendant lights or artwork.
13. Use a kitchen island for entertaining
A kitchen island is not only practical for cooking and food preparation but also great for entertaining. Use it as a serving station or a bar area, and provide seating around it for guests to gather and socialize.
14. Incorporate a formal dining table
If you love to host formal dinners, consider incorporating a formal dining table into your open-plan kitchen. This will create a separate area for more formal occasions and give you the opportunity to showcase a beautiful dining set.
15. Install a statement backsplash
Add a wow factor to your open-plan kitchen by installing a statement backsplash. This could be a mosaic tile pattern, a colorful design, or a unique material, like mirrored glass. It will instantly elevate the look of your kitchen.
16. Make use of vertical space
If you have high ceilings in your open-plan kitchen, make use of the vertical space by installing tall cabinets or shelving units. This will not only provide additional storage but also draw the eye upward and make the space feel larger.
17. Create a cozy seating area
If you have enough space, create a cozy seating area in your open-plan kitchen. This could be a small lounge area with comfortable chairs and a coffee table, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.
18. Add a breakfast bar
A breakfast bar is a great addition to an open-plan kitchen, providing a casual dining area and additional workspace. Install bar stools and a countertop that extends from the kitchen island or a separate unit.
19. Incorporate greenery
Add a touch of nature to your open-plan kitchen by incorporating indoor plants or a herb garden. Not only will they bring life and freshness to the space, but they can also be used for cooking and garnishing dishes.
20. Install a wine fridge
If you enjoy hosting wine and cheese nights, consider installing a wine fridge in your open-plan kitchen. This will allow you to keep your favorite bottles at the perfect temperature and create a designated area for wine tasting.
21. Consider an open-plan layout
If you’re starting from scratch, consider opting for an open-plan layout for your kitchen. This will eliminate any barriers between the kitchen and other living spaces, creating a seamless flow and making it easier to entertain.
22 Pare back materials in small open plan kitchen ideas
When it comes to designing a small open plan kitchen, it’s important to choose materials that help create a sense of space and avoid overwhelming the room. Paring back materials can make a big difference in how the kitchen looks and feels.
1. Opt for lighter colors
Lighter colors can make a small open plan kitchen look larger and more spacious. Consider using light-colored cabinets and countertops to brighten up the space.
2. Use stainless steel sparingly
While stainless steel can add a modern touch to a kitchen, using too much of it can make the space feel cold and industrial. Opt for stainless steel appliances, but avoid covering every surface in stainless steel.
3. Avoid painted cabinets
Painted cabinets can take up visual space and make a kitchen feel smaller. Instead, opt for cabinets with a natural wood finish or a light stain.
4. Keep the countertops simple
Avoid cluttering the countertops with too many decorative items or appliances. Keep the countertops clear to create a clean and open look.
5. Choose a simple backsplash
Avoid using bold and busy backsplash designs in a small open plan kitchen. Instead, opt for a simple, solid-colored backsplash that won’t overwhelm the space.
6. Consider exposed brick walls
If your kitchen is located in an older home with exposed brick walls, consider keeping them exposed. Exposed brick can add character and warmth to a small open plan kitchen.
7. Opt for pendant lighting
Using pendant lighting above the kitchen island or dining area can create a focal point and draw attention away from the size of the kitchen.
8. Keep the flooring consistent
Using the same flooring throughout the open plan space can create a sense of continuity and make the kitchen feel larger. Avoid using different flooring in each area.
9. Minimize decorative features
Avoid using too many decorative features in a small open plan kitchen. Keep the focus on functionality and use decorative items sparingly.
10. Incorporate ambient lighting
In addition to task and pendant lighting, consider incorporating ambient lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in the kitchen.
By paring back materials in a small open plan kitchen, you can create a space that feels larger, more relaxed, and modern. Keep the focus on clean lines and functionality, and avoid overwhelming the space with too many materials and decorative features.
23 Create a pleasing backdrop for diners
When designing your open plan kitchen, it’s important to consider the dining area as well. Creating a pleasing backdrop for diners can enhance the overall experience and make the space more enjoyable.
One way to accomplish this is by using dimmable lighting. Dimmable lights allow you to create a muted and relaxed atmosphere during meals, while still providing enough brightness for cooking and other activities. This can be especially useful if your dining area is located near a window or a door, as it allows you to control the amount of natural light coming in.
If you’re looking to add a splash of color to your dining area, consider opting for teal painted walls. Teal is a vibrant and refreshing color that can add a touch of elegance to your space. It pairs well with neutral furniture and accessories, creating a visually appealing backdrop for your diners.
Another option for creating a pleasing backdrop is to use glass or steel elements in your kitchen design. By incorporating glass cabinets or steel countertops, you can add a sleek and modern touch to your space. These materials also reflect light, making the room feel larger and brighter.
Consider using open shelving to display your best dinnerware and glassware. Open shelving creates a focal point in the room and allows you to showcase your favorite pieces. This can also make it easier for your guests to access these items during meals.
Don’t be afraid to pull in some color from other areas of your open plan space. For example, if your living area features a blue sofa, consider adding blue accents to your dining area as well. This will help tie the two zones together and create a cohesive look.
If you have a beautiful view from your dining area, make sure to position your seating in a way that allows diners to enjoy it. Whether it’s a grand view of the city or a serene view of nature, being able to see outside can make the dining experience more enjoyable. Consider placing your dining table near a large window or installing floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the impact of the view.
When it comes to lighting, designers suggest using a combination of task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting. Task lighting should focus on the dining table, providing adequate illumination for eating and entertaining. Ambient lighting can be used to create a relaxed and cozy atmosphere in the dining area. Accent lighting, such as wall sconces or pendant lights, can be used to highlight artwork or architectural features in the room.
Improving the flow between your kitchen and dining area is also important. This can be done by positioning your dining table in a central location, making it easily accessible from the cooking area. You can also consider using an island or a breakfast bar as a transition point between the two spaces.
When it comes to furniture, comfort is key. Choose dining chairs that are comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. Consider upholstered chairs with padded seats or chairs with ergonomic designs. This will ensure that your diners can enjoy their meals without feeling discomfort.
Lastly, don’t forget to add some personal touches to your dining area. Whether it’s a piece of artwork, a vase of fresh flowers, or a decorative centerpiece, these small details can make a big difference in the overall atmosphere of the space.
By following these design tricks, you can create a pleasing backdrop for your diners in your open plan kitchen. Whether you’re entertaining guests or enjoying a family meal, your dining area will feel inviting and comfortable.
24 Be influenced by your home’s architecture
When designing your open-plan kitchen, it’s important to consider the architecture of your home. The style and period of your house can provide valuable inspiration for the design of your kitchen.
For example, if you have a grand traditional home with ornate details, you may want to consider incorporating elements of that style into your kitchen. This could include using traditional cabinetry and molding, or even choosing colors that mimic the original features of your home.
On the other hand, if you have a modern and minimalist home, you may want to opt for sleek and contemporary kitchen units. This can create a seamless transition between the kitchen and the rest of the living space.
Architectural details can also impact the layout of your open-plan kitchen. For example, if you have a kitchen with a great view, you may want to position the cooking and preparation zones facing the view. This will not only make cooking more enjoyable, but it will also allow you to take in the beautiful scenery while you work.
When considering the architecture of your home, think about how the kitchen will flow into the other rooms. You want the transition from one space to another to be smooth and seamless. This can be achieved by using similar colors, materials, or architectural features throughout the open-plan area.
If your home has high ceilings, you may want to consider incorporating tall cabinetry or shelving to make use of the vertical space. This can create a dramatic effect and draw the eye upwards, making the room feel even more spacious.
Another way to be influenced by your home’s architecture is to incorporate the original heating spots. For example, if you have a fireplace, you may want to position your kitchen island or dining area nearby. This creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere and allows you to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of the fire while you cook or entertain.
Inspiration can also be drawn from the architectural style of your home. For example, if you have a coastal property, you may want to use colors like blue and teal in your kitchen design to reflect the surrounding environment. On the other hand, if you have a smart, modern home, you may want to opt for sleek and neutral colors to create a clean and minimalist look.
Overall, being influenced by your home’s architecture can help you create an open-plan kitchen that not only looks great but also complements the overall style and feel of your home.
25 Choose curves to improve circulation
When designing an open plan kitchen, it is smart to consider the flow and circulation within the space. One way to improve circulation is by choosing curved elements in your design. Curves can help direct the flow of movement and create a more fluid and natural pathway throughout the room.
Curved seating areas are a popular choice for maximizing space and improving circulation. Whether it’s a curved sofa or rounded cushions on bar stools, these curved seating options not only offer a smart use of space but also add a stylish and unique touch to the interior.
In addition to seating, you can also incorporate curved elements to the main features of the kitchen. For example, a curved kitchen island or a rounded countertop can create a visual focal point and enhance the flow of movement within the space.
Curved windows are another feature that can add value to your open plan kitchen. Not only do they provide a stunning view of the backyard or a beautiful landscape, but they also allow natural light to enter from different angles, creating a bright and airy ambiance in the room.
If you want to add some visual interest to your open plan kitchen, consider adding curved pendant lights above the kitchen island or dining area. These pendant lights can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the space, while also creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere for entertaining friends and family.
Clayton Baker, the Manager of Design at One Fine Stay, says that curves can help to improve the circulation in open-plan kitchens. “When you’re designing an open-plan kitchen, it’s important to create a flow between the spaces,” says Baker. “Curved elements can help to break up the straight lines and create a more natural flow between the different areas.”
So, if you’re looking for an idea to enhance the circulation and flow in your open plan kitchen, choosing curves is a simple yet smart approach. Whether it’s through curved seating, rounded countertops, or curved pendant lights, incorporating curves into your design can make a whole lot of difference in how you enjoy and entertain within your open plan kitchen.
26 Provide a place for guests to perch
When it comes to open plan kitchens, creating unity between the cooking and dining areas is key. But it’s also important to provide a place for guests to perch and enjoy the space. Whether you have a formal dining room or a more casual breakfast bar, having a designated seating area can enhance the overall look and feel of the room.
One way to create a seating area within your open plan kitchen is to pull in some tall bar stools or chairs. This not only adds a touch of elegance to the space, but it also provides a spot for friends and family to sit and chat while you cook or entertain. According to designer Joel Baker from Moore Architects, “Having seating around the kitchen island can help to improve the flow and functionality of the kitchen, as well as create a place for guests to gather.”
If you want to go for a more formal look, consider adding a separate dining table within the open plan space. This will not only provide a designated area for meals, but it will also create a sense of separation between the cooking and dining areas. You can choose a table and chairs that match the style and design of the rest of the kitchen to create a cohesive look.
Another idea is to incorporate a built-in bench along a wall or in a bay window. This can provide additional seating and create a cozy nook within the open plan kitchen. You can dress up the bench with cushions and throw pillows to make it more comfortable and inviting.
When it comes to lighting in the seating area, consider installing pendant lights or a chandelier over the dining table or kitchen island. These fixtures not only provide functional lighting, but they also add a touch of elegance and style to the space. Opt for dimmable lights so you can create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.
For a more casual seating area, you can also consider adding a comfortable sofa or lounge chairs. This can be placed against a wall or near a window to create a cozy spot for guests to relax while still being a part of the kitchen activity.
When designing your seating area, don’t forget about the view. If you have large windows or a skylight in your open plan kitchen, position the seating area to take advantage of the natural light and views. This can create a bigger sense of space and make the area feel more inviting.
When it comes to choosing colors for the seating area, consider using colors that complement the rest of the kitchen. You can use muted tones or neutral shades to create a cohesive backdrop, or you can add pops of color to make the seating area stand out. For example, you could use teal or pink chairs to add a fun and playful element to the space.
Ultimately, the goal of providing a place for guests to perch in your open plan kitchen is to create a space where everyone can enjoy each other’s company while still being able to cook and entertain. So whether it’s a formal dining table, a comfortable bench, or a cozy sofa, make sure to include a designated seating area in your open plan kitchen design.
Is an open plan kitchen a good idea?
When it comes to designing a kitchen, there are many considerations to take into account. One popular trend in kitchen design is the open plan layout, which combines the kitchen, dining area, and living space into one cohesive area. But is an open plan kitchen a good idea?
An open plan kitchen offers several advantages. First, it allows for a seamless flow between different areas of the home. The lack of walls creates a sense of openness, making the space feel larger and more spacious. This can be particularly beneficial for smaller kitchens, where every inch of space matters.
In addition, an open plan kitchen allows for easy communication and interaction with family and friends. Whether you’re cooking dinner or hosting a party, you can easily converse with guests in the dining or living area without feeling isolated. This creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for gatherings and socializing.
Another advantage of an open plan kitchen is that it offers great views and natural light. Without walls obstructing the view, you can enjoy beautiful scenery or keep an eye on children playing in the living area. Natural light from windows can also permeate throughout the space, making it feel brighter and more welcoming.
However, an open plan kitchen also has its drawbacks. One potential concern is noise and smells. Without walls to contain the noise and smells from cooking, they can easily spread to other areas of the home. This can be particularly problematic if you have a large family or enjoy cooking dishes with strong odors.
An open plan kitchen also requires careful consideration of the design and decor. Since the kitchen will be visible from other areas of the home, it needs to have a cohesive look and feel. Choosing colors, materials, and finishes that complement each other is important to create a harmonious space.
When it comes to furniture and lighting, it’s important to make sure they work together as well. Pendant lights can be a great feature and help define different zones within the open plan space. Additionally, choosing furniture that offers both functionality and style is key to maximizing the use of the space.
In conclusion, an open plan kitchen can be a good idea if you want to create a larger, more social, and light-filled space. However, it’s worth considering the potential drawbacks, such as noise and smells, and taking the time to carefully plan and design the space to ensure a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.
How do you make an open plan kitchen
Creating a stylish and functional open plan kitchen requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some design tricks to help you make the most of your space:
- Start by deciding how you want your open plan kitchen to look. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist design or a more traditional look, choose a style that reflects your personal taste.
- Good lighting is essential in an open plan kitchen. Make sure to incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
- If you’re unsure about how to design your open plan kitchen, consider consulting with interior designers who specialize in kitchen design. They can help you create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Create distinct zones within your open plan kitchen to define different areas. For example, a cooking zone, a dining zone, and a seating area for relaxation.
- Position your kitchen appliances and furniture in a way that maximizes space and flow. Consider the best layout that allows for easy movement and accessibility.
- Include plenty of seating options in your open plan kitchen so that family and guests can gather and enjoy meals together. This could include bar stools, a kitchen island with seating, or a dining table.
- If your open plan kitchen leads out to a backyard or outdoor area, consider incorporating large windows or glass doors to bring in natural light and provide a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Choose materials that create a cohesive look. For example, combining marble countertops with steel appliances can create a modern and sleek aesthetic.
- Use color strategically to create a sense of unity in your open plan kitchen. Consider a muted, neutral color palette with pops of bold colors or opt for a monochromatic scheme for a more sophisticated look.
10. Focus on the base
- Consider painting the base of your kitchen island or cabinets a different color to create a focal point in the room.
By following these tips, you can create a stunning and functional open plan kitchen that will be the heart of your home.
Does an open plan kitchen add value
When it comes to modern homes, open plan living is a popular trend. And one of the key elements of open plan living is an open plan kitchen. But does an open plan kitchen really add value to your home? Let’s explore.
Using space efficiently
An open plan kitchen allows you to utilize the available space more efficiently. By removing walls and creating one large area, you can have different zones for cooking, eating, and entertaining all in one space. This not only makes the area look more spacious, but also makes it more functional.
Creating a flow
Open plan kitchens create a seamless flow between different areas of the home. This makes it easier for the cook to interact with family or guests while preparing meals. It also creates a more social atmosphere, where everyone can be involved in the conversation and enjoy each other’s company.
Making a design statement
Open plan kitchens offer endless design possibilities. With the absence of walls, you have the freedom to choose colors, materials, and layouts that reflect your personal style. You can also make a statement with features like an exposed steel beam, which adds an industrial touch to the space.
Increasing natural light
Another advantage of an open plan kitchen is that it allows natural light to flow throughout the space. By removing walls, you can maximize the amount of sunlight that enters the kitchen, making it feel brighter and more inviting. This can have a positive impact on the overall ambiance of the home.
An open plan kitchen can make your daily tasks more efficient. With everything in one space, you can easily move between different areas, whether it’s cooking, washing dishes, or serving food. It also allows you to keep an eye on children or pets while you’re in the kitchen, making it easier to multitask.
Increasing home value
While the value added by an open plan kitchen can vary depending on factors such as location and overall market trends, many experts believe that it can increase the value of a home. Potential buyers often look for open plan layouts, as they are considered modern and desirable.
In conclusion, an open plan kitchen can add value to your home by utilizing space efficiently, creating a flow between different areas, making a design statement, increasing natural light, enhancing functionality, and appealing to potential buyers. If you’re considering a renovation or building a new home, an open plan kitchen is definitely an idea worth considering.