The Art of Designing an Open Plan Kitchen/Living Room

By Shannon Gurnee
In Home
September 7, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about the art of designing an open plan kitchen or living room.

home or house

Open plan living room and kitchen design ebbs and flows as a trend among homeowners. Every few years it falls out of style, yet it always comes back. Apart from being an aesthetic choice, it can also be incredibly practical or impractical, depending on the needs of the people who live there. If you are contemplating a kitchen remodeling project with an open plan kitchen/living room, here are some design tricks to help you pull it off.

Know Your Needs

What is it about an open plan kitchen/living room that appeals to you? Does your home suit this idea? Will it make more sense for the kind of lifestyle you lead? People who entertain guests regularly or have large families to take care of can easily find reasons why an open plan kitchen/living room makes sense for them. Being able to make food and interact with other people at the same time is one of the major benefits of this type of space. It can also be practical for people whose homes are laid out in a particular way so that having a larger open space helps to distinguish between active spaces and resting spaces.

Built-In Layout

Unless you want a completely free-standing kitchen, there will be ways of using the built-in cabinets and appliances to create barriers within the space. These will influence the flow of the room and communicate between the kitchen and living room spaces, so it’s important to get it right. A well-placed kitchen island will encourage a way of moving in the room that is natural and easy.

Practical Floors

You will need to choose a floor that makes sense both practically and visually for both the kitchen and living room sections of the open plan space. Kitchens are more restricted in the floors they require due to the higher potential for spills. There are a few options that are best for this, such as Dijon tumbled limestone tiles. These are aesthetically impressive and hardwearing, making them perfect for the needs of the kitchen without disturbing the style of your living room. Of course, you could opt for two separate flooring types to divide the space, but this can look outdated and jarring.

Use Furniture to Your Advantage

There is no point in having an open plan space in your home if you are going to push all furniture and appliances to the walls with only emptiness in the middle. Use this space to create your own layout with furniture as the framework. This makes the most sense with a dining table or sofa. Juxtapose these pieces in a way that assists the flow created by the layout of the kitchen. You can position large pieces of furniture to create distinct sections or invite more free-flowing movement, depending on your lifestyle. You might find that blocking movement with a kitchen island and large sofa helps to prevent your kids from running too fast in the space, but it might also make conversation difficult if you’re hosting a party.

There’s more to designing an open plan kitchen/living room than you might initially think. However, with the right home remodeling solutions, you can create a welcoming, comfortable space with two rooms combined into one.

About Has 2216 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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