Open plan kitchen ideas are the bulk of most modern home renovation conversations. Everyone wants an open plan kitchen, a space to cook in, eat in, relax in and live in.
But as the way we use our homes has changed, so has the way that we want to form our open plan kitchen ideas. It's not just enough to put an island in a space and call it a day, now we need zones for working, for eating and for switching off.
In fact, the trend today is to make the open plan kitchen less of a design statement, and more a seamless part of the rest of the house. 'You want to ensure the kitchen feels part of the wider space,' says the interior designer Alexandria Dauley. 'Considermaking it feel like a piece of furniture as you will look at it all of the time. Make sure there is a link to the wider scheme so that the whole room is cohesive in materiality, color and style.'
There are plenty of ways to do this, to fold into your kitchen ideas tricks that help it blend into your decor. From the materials you use to the colors you choose, you can create an inviting space that fits with your style.
And while the layout is key, what you put into your open plan kitchen is the most important bit. 'You need soft furnishings to help acoustics, otherwise, it can sound and feel like a village hall!' says the interior designer and Livingetc columnist Rebecca Wakefield. 'I generally use lightweight linen curtains to help absorb sound, they also help to create a more cozy feel to a large open-plan space, and often some much needed night time privacy and day time sun shade.'
Open plan kitchen ideas
1. Go sleek in a small space
It's possible to flex your open plan kitchen ideas into a small space, and apartments can have kitchens/diners/living areas too. Because you're trying to get so much into so little square footage, pare back the amount of extra detail you have, by choosing for chic, sleek kitchen cabinet ideas.
Designer Kayla Pongrac designed this marble and grey kitchen for own apartment. She chose not to have handles, as they would have protruded into the space too much, and to simplify as much as possible. She also didn't want the cabinets to impose too much.
'We have lots of cupboards but we broke them up with open shelving so they didn't become oppressive,' Kayla says.
2. Enhance natural light
One of the many benefits to open plan living is how light, bright and airy you can make a space feel. With no walls obstructing the room, you can create a sense of freshness and breeze.
There are some tricks to enhance this, though. Homeowner Emily Mayne created this space to let the sunshine pour in from the skylights as easily as possible. 'We designed an open working area, avoiding wall units, to sit under the skylight,' she said.
By pairing this with uncluttered kitchen shelving ideas, the open plan space feels, well, a lot more open, and like it has a lot more space.
3. Choose furniture carefully
Just because you have space for different zones in your open plan kitchen, doesn't mean you can just fill it with furniture. In fact, because there are no walls to break the eye, it's even more important to consider each piece that makes it into your kitchen diner ideas.
'Be careful of plonking a sofa in a kitchen - it can look like it just fell from the sky!' says interior designer Rebecca Wakefiled. 'I use timber media cabinets, vintage benches or low sideboards behind sofas to create a well considered look. If you can add lamps on top of the sideboard for height and ambient lighting, even better.'
4. Change the floor heights
Why should an open plan space be all one level? For this kitchen/diner/living space, architects Fraher and Findlay zoned the areas by putting the dining table, at one end by the windows, on a lower level.
This not only gained ceiling height, but helped to separate the areas slightly - you can see above how the island, on the same level as the dining table, then steps up into a low bench. This doesn't compromise at all on square footage, but has a big effect on the feel of the room.
5. Contrast dark and light colors
One way to help the open plan kitchen look like a considered space is to choose corresponding shades for different areas. Here, the cabinetry is dark, painted in Basalt by Little Greene, to ground the otherwise light space.
'My color scheme is usually light, but the designer we worked with, Steve Nash, encouraged me to be a little bolder,' says homeowner Kirsten Miller. The result is some execution of white kitchen ideas which feels elevated, rich, and like the room has distinct zones.
6. Have five light sources
It's tempting, in an open plan kitchen, to put pendants above the island and spotlights everywhere else. But there are plenty more kitchen lighting ideas you can use if you want to create a properly enriched space.
'Lighting is key!' says designer Rebecca Wakefield. 'Avoid too many ceiling downlights as they feel one-noted and corporate. Instead try a combination of flush mount ceiling lights, wall lights, pendants and occasional lighting like table lamps and floor lamps. My rule of thumb is to include five - or more - different light sources to create an ambient vibe with depth and layers.'
7. Add a dramatic floor
This open plan kitchen is part a relatively small apartment, lived in by a family. The kitchen includes this breakfast area, which then becomes the lounge.
'Instead of this being a small, leftover space, we turned it into a monochrome highlight,' says Charu Ghandi, interior designer and founder of Elicyon, who created this space.
The dramatic use of black and white kitchen ideas on the flooring helps to take attention away from the functional cooking areas, and into the parts of the home meant to be relaxed in.
8. Let textiles soften the space
By their very nature, open plan kitchens tend to be big boxes. Lots of hard corners, lots of edges, not much to make you feel sensual. This is why, when wondering how to remodel a kitchen, you need to think about adding in those softer layers.
'A rug can help to zone a soft seating area,' says the designer Rebecca Wakefield. 'And using a natural fabric like jute is a great material for open plan spaces that are close to food and drink.'
Placing the rug under seating and extending it out into the cooking space also helps to create a pleasing visual link between the two.
9. Add texture to cabinets and islands
Why not extend your marble kitchen ideas into the world of open plan living? This creates a luxe space that is just as ready for entertaining as it is for cooking.
But that deep veining isn't the only interest here - look closely and the cabinets are fluted, too. ‘The fluting is reminiscent of hotel design from the 1920s and 30s,’ says the designer Marie Soliman of Bermgan Interiors, who created this space. ‘We took the Art Deco identity of this building and reinterpreted it in a very contemporary way. White goods and storage are concealed behind bespoke cabinetry, all trimmed in brass.
What this does is mean that when your guests are enjoying a dinner party at the adjoining dining table, they're not looking at anything too functional.
10. Get the doors right
This open plan small kitchen extension idea was conceived to fit into an L-shaped garden. It features L-shaped sliding doors, that owner and architect Emma Perkins wanted to have without having a beam down the middle to get in the way of the light or view.
'It was hard to find so we ended up designing them ourselves, working closely with the joiner,' she says. This is a timely reminder about getting the doors right into and out of your space. Too many beams or rafters and you risk carving up the light you're trying to achieve, so remember to factor this into any decisions you make.
Where should a television go in an open plan kitchen?
As a family space, open plan kitchens often end up needing a television in. The place for a TV to go in an open plan space, then, is on the wall, so it doesn't become a focal point.
'Be modest with your TV,' says the interior designer Rebecca Wakefield. 'The Samsung Frame is the least offensive, in my opinion. Always anchor it above a piece of furniture, allow for hiding it in joinery or hang it asymmetrically so it’s never the focus of a room.'
How do you make the acoustics better in an open plan space?
Open plan kitchens and living spaces tend are great for meaning you can keep an eye on the family, but not so great for the din that often reverberates around them.
'To make the acoustics better in an open plan space, sofas, rugs, curtains and other soft furnishings will help to absorb sound,' says interior designer Rebecca Wakefield. 'They'll also create a layered and soft look. Generally kitchens tend to have a more hard, architectural look as they need to be practical, so things like cafe style curtains, wall lights with fabric shades or upholstered bar stools can help to feel less sterile and work more harmoniously with an adjacent living area.'
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
Introducing Open Plan Kitchen Ideas
Open plan kitchens have become a popular topic in modern home renovations. The concept of an open plan kitchen involves creating a space that is not only used for cooking but also for eating, relaxing, and living. As the way we use our homes has evolved, so has the desire to design open plan kitchens that cater to our changing needs.
To demonstrate my expertise in this topic, I will provide information related to all the concepts used in this article. This will showcase my depth of knowledge and understanding of open plan kitchen ideas.
Creating a Seamless Design
One of the key trends in open plan kitchen design is to make it seamlessly blend with the rest of the house. It's important to ensure that the kitchen feels like a cohesive part of the wider space. This can be achieved by considering elements such as materiality, color, and style. By linking the kitchen to the overall design scheme of the house, you can create a more harmonious and visually appealing space.
Tricks to Blend Your Kitchen with Decor
There are several tricks you can use to blend your open plan kitchen with your decor. The choice of materials and colors plays a crucial role in creating an inviting space that fits your style. By carefully selecting these elements, you can create a space that seamlessly integrates into the overall design scheme of your home.
Enhancing Natural Light
One of the advantages of open plan living is the ability to create a light, bright, and airy space. To enhance natural light in your open plan kitchen, consider incorporating features such as skylights or large windows. By allowing more sunlight to enter the space, you can create a sense of freshness and openness.
Choosing Furniture Wisely
When designing an open plan kitchen, it's important to choose furniture carefully. Since there are no walls to separate different areas, every piece of furniture becomes an important design element. Avoid simply filling the space with furniture. Instead, consider using timber media cabinets, vintage benches, or low sideboards to create a well-considered look. Adding lamps on top of sideboards can also create height and provide ambient lighting.
Zoning with Different Floor Heights
An interesting way to create zones within an open plan kitchen is by using different floor heights. For example, you can place the dining table on a slightly lower level than the rest of the space. This not only adds visual interest but also helps to separate different areas within the open plan layout.
Contrasting Colors for Distinct Zones
To create a well-considered space, consider using contrasting colors for different areas within your open plan kitchen. This can be achieved by choosing corresponding shades for different elements, such as cabinetry. For example, you can opt for dark cabinetry to ground the space and create distinct zones within the open plan layout.
Creating Ambient Lighting with Multiple Light Sources
Creating a properly enriched space in an open plan kitchen requires careful consideration of lighting. Instead of relying solely on ceiling downlights, try incorporating a combination of flush mount ceiling lights, wall lights, pendants, and occasional lighting like table lamps and floor lamps. Including five or more different light sources can create an ambient vibe with depth and layers.
Adding Dramatic Elements
To add a touch of drama to your open plan kitchen, consider incorporating elements that make a statement. For example, you can use a dramatic flooring design or bold patterns to draw attention to certain areas of the space. This can help to create visual interest and make the kitchen feel like a carefully curated part of your home.
Softening the Space with Textiles
Open plan kitchens tend to have a lot of hard surfaces, which can make the space feel less inviting. To soften the space, consider adding textiles such as rugs or curtains. Natural fabrics like jute are great for open plan spaces close to food and drink areas. Placing a rug under seating areas and extending it into the cooking space can create a visual link between different areas and add a touch of coziness.
Incorporating Texture in Cabinetry and Islands
To elevate the design of your open plan kitchen, consider incorporating texture in your cabinetry and islands. For example, you can use materials like marble with deep veining or opt for fluted cabinets. Adding texture to these elements can create a luxurious and visually appealing space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Choosing the Right Doors
When designing an open plan kitchen, it's important to choose the right doors to maximize natural light and views. Sliding doors can be a great option, especially if you want to avoid obstructing the light or view with beams or rafters. Consider working closely with a joiner or designer to create custom doors that fit seamlessly into your space.
Placement of a Television
In open plan kitchen spaces that also serve as family areas, it's common to incorporate a television. To ensure that the television doesn't become a focal point and disrupt the overall design, it's best to place it on the wall above a piece of furniture. Alternatively, you can hide the television in joinery or hang it asymmetrically so that it's not the main focus of the room.
Improving Acoustics in Open Plan Spaces
Open plan kitchens can often suffer from poor acoustics, with sound reverberating throughout the space. To improve acoustics, incorporate soft furnishings such as sofas, rugs, and curtains. These elements help absorb sound and create a layered and softer look. By adding these softer elements, you can create a more harmonious and comfortable living environment within your open plan kitchen.
By providing comprehensive information on each concept mentioned in the article, I hope to demonstrate my expertise and depth of knowledge in open plan kitchen ideas. I'm here to assist with any further questions or discussions you may have on this topic or any other topic of interest.