As the size of apartments shrinks to meet stretched demand in the property market, people are having to find new and unique approaches to layout in order to maximise space, and create comfortable and convenient homes. Perhaps the most common way to tackle this is with open plan layouts, that see all of the communal areas of the home combined in order to do away with excess walls and corridors, and create a more spacious environment.
However while a completely open plan layout is desirable to some, others still prefer to delineate the areas of their home by function, and how to do this without completely closing those areas off is what we're looking at today. The projects we'll see have used a variety of different methods to separate the kitchen from the living room, whether by using furniture, layout, or making use of the natural structure of the house, and so you're sure to find an idea that's appropriate for your home.
In this home the kitchen is marked by a partial wall one side, and a curving breakfast bar that separates it from the main living area. Breakfast bars are a great way to delineate the kitchen as they do not cut off visual contact from the rest of the home, while still clearly separating out the spaces by function.
The kitchen and living area have a shared decor of white and absolutely gorgeous varnished hardwood floors, while the floating box shelf and the television cabinet echo the white flat panel cabinets in the kitchen, unifying the space.
In this open plan space the kitchen is separated from the living room using a partial wall that contains the oven. In this way you can use the large appliances of the kitchen, especially if they are mounted in custom cabinets to mark the space. But that's not the only thing that separates the kitchen and living room; a false ceiling also creates different heights for the kitchen and living room, with unique lighting solutions for each.
While the kitchen features powerful lights, crucial for health and safety, the living room uses smaller spotlights and recessed lighting for a gentler more diffuse illumination.
This is a really unique idea whereby the kitchen is isolated using interior windows that can prevent sounds and smells from escaping the kitchen, without cutting off visual contact. This way you can keep the kitchen contained, but it never feels oppressive or claustrophobic inside, perfect if you're cooking curry!
The windows can be opened to maintain contact, ideal if you have guests and you want to be part of the proceedings, or if you have arguing kids in the next room!
This approach is common, due to the fact that it's effective and easy; using tall cabinets to separate the rooms just like a wall. Without a door the areas are still visually connected, and as you can see they share the black and white decor, with the yellow details of the lampshades present in both rooms. Custom cabinets are a great idea in any kitchen as they can be designed to perfectly meet your needs, so talk to a professional about applying this idea in your own home!
The living room feels like a separate space, but there is still light and air penetration between the two areas.
This home delineates the two areas using flooring, with marble tiles for the kitchen, and hardwood for the living area. This is ideal if the flooring option you want to use for the living room isn't appropriate for the kitchen where you need something water and stain resistant.
A drinks cabinet and wine rack are found at the threshold of the kitchen area, which also serves to conceptually transition from where you prepare and formally enjoy meals, to cocktails and snacks in the living room!
If you're really pressed for space, constructing a miniature kitchen within a wall recess is a great option because the area is clearly marked, and requires no other separation. This super compact kitchen is convenient and looks fantastic.
This design also means that the kitchen can take advantage of all of the wonderful natural light that is streaming into the living area.
This breathtaking colonial style home separates the kitchen and dining room from the living room using large, magnificent arches. While you may not have quite such an opulent home, you can still use features of the interior architecture to separate spaces.
The high ceiling and arches functionally mark a division, but with no real barrier it is mostly psychological, allowing natural light and fresh air to circulate throughout the entire space.
We highly recommend using open plan layouts to make the most of the space in your home, how you do it is up to you! For more great ideas on how to use limited space, check out this article!