Open-plan living spaces seem to work for all families and in all kinds of homes, but how do you decide on a layout and, more importantly, how do you divide the space so it feels manageable?
It’s all about creating flow and natural relationships within your design, which is why we have some ideas for your new open-plan kitchen.
Tee Off The Work Surface
Nobody ever walked into a sumptuous open plan space and thought that a well-placed breakfast bar looked out of place, especially when finished with quality bar stools that bring a bit of colour or contrast into the mix.
Teeing off from the main worktop allows you to dissect a large floor plan in a common-sense way and also invites a more casual form of dining into play. Great for families that like to socialise while cooking, this is a popular idea that won’t be going out of style anytime soon.
Mix And Match Your Flooring
You might not want any solid walls but that’s not to say that you don’t want to define different areas within a large open plan space. A simple, subtle and yet very clever way of doing this is to choose different flooring finishes for each ‘zone’.
In the kitchen, for example, you will more than likely prefer an easy to clean tile. You can choose something bold and textured, to make the area non-slip too. Where the sofas are, some carpet or wood flooring might be better, but the kitchen needs to be a perfect blend of style and function.
It’s Got To Be Functional
The one downside to open-plan homes is that there’s nowhere to hide, meaning that clutter can quickly take hold. You need to focus on including stylish yet understated storage furniture everywhere, to account for messes before they form.
Breakfast bars can even be built with integrated shelving for crockery and place settings. It’s all about finding those clever touches that make space work for you, not the other way around.
Maximise Natural Light
You might have noticed that a lot of open-plan homes have vast sliding doors at one end, designed to pull in as much natural light as possible; that’s because they can get quite dark without them.
Skylights and roof lanterns are a good addition, especially above the kitchen area, so that you can see every inch of your work surface. If you do have a dark corner, there are plenty of light installation ideas that can counter it, in addition to under-counter bulbs.
Think About Guests
Before you decide where to put your cooker, think about how sociable you are. Do you enjoy having people over for dinner? Are you a family that likes to spend a lot of time together? Then you might not want to plump for the normal placement of your oven, against the back wall. That will mean that you face away from your fellow diners and will find conversation hard.
Instead, consider a modern design trend that places your oven in the centre of the room, in the form of a kitchen island. It offers a good vantage point and makes for a more interesting and modern finish.
An open-plan space can be heaven for kitchen designers, but make sure that your needs and tastes are catered to. Think about how you want to spend your time at your work surface and go from there.