Open-plan living spaces are increasingly fashionable as they're great for creating open, fluid homes. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a particularly large residence, the chances are you'll want to maximise the feeling of space in your home, and open-plan designs are a fantastic way to make the most of the available area while making the space feel larger.
Dividing the space with a breakfast bar is one of the most common ways to create a point of separation between the living room and kitchen, and it’s easy to see why; it creates a barrier without encroaching on the open feeling of the room.
Just because it’s a tried and tested method doesn’t mean it’s a boring option either, as there’s such a varied array of shapes and styles like to cool, curved breakfast bar pictured above.
It is important that the textures and tones throughout both spaces are part of one congruent style, as both the living room and kitchen should complement each other to create one overarching space.
A concise kitchen contained within one little nook keeps the space confined to one side of the room allowing it to be easily integrated to the dining area or living room. This is a great solution for those with smaller homes, but perhaps not ideal for avid cooks who enjoy a lot of kitchen space.
Looking at the open-plan space from the other side we can see how perfectly the petit kitchen integrates directly into the dining area.
Another means of achieving distinct, separate areas without explicitly creating two separate rooms is to use partition walls that separate part of the space.
In this example the crisp white kitchen sits in an alcove; contained and separated from the rest of the room but still part of the wider open-plan space.
If your back’s against the wall trying to decide how to integrate the kitchen and living space, then turn your back to the kitchen instead. Placing the sofa so that its back faces the kitchen creates a natural divide between the spaces.
Number four on our list is actually a two solutions for the cost of one point; in this example we find that windows enclose the kitchen space to separate it and create a room within a room.
Place a tall piece of furniture – it could be cabinets or freestanding shelving – between the kitchen and living room space to serve as a partition wall.
In this example, once again we find that the sofa faces away from the kitchen serving to further divide the spaces.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a large area to work with, you may be able to use the home’s shape to create a natural divide between the spaces. Here we have a beautiful, spacious kitchen, and below we can see how the ‘L’ shape of the room creates a divide between the kitchen and living room with the dining area in between.
The pillars between the dining area and living room work to further separate the spaces without completely enclosing them.
As with the example above, separating the kitchen and dining areas with sliding glass doors creates a division, but allows the space to feel totally open!
Moving through this stunning home we find that the architects have partially separated the dining area from the living room by a wall with a large archway entrance creating a sublime semi-open-plan space.
We hope you’ve been inspired to create your own open-plan living space. If so, there are a few more things you should know before combing your kitchen with the living room.