Open plan living


You can’t miss property and home improvement shows on TV, where walls are being knocked down to create open plan living.  For good reason too, it makes the space much more usable, sociable and flexible!  However, it does need  careful planning and consideration of how you’d like to use the room,  otherwise it can end up lacking definition and lead to wasted space being created. 


Define the space

Despite the fact that the space is open plan, it is important to define areas, using furniture, lighting and decor.   To separate the kitchen, use an island or peninsula unit to create a ‘semi-divide’ which is ideal for adding extra work, seating or cooking space.  Incorporating cooking appliances, a hob or a sink into an island also means you can use wall space for cabinetry or the latest open shelving, to display all your nice ceramics, cookery books or your collection of teapots (each to their own). 

It also makes the ideal base for your dining area and can help keep the room flowing. A split-level or cantilevered worktop, for instance, is perfect to provide a bespoke dining area. The key is to think beyond a simple breakfast bar. 



Bringing an island unit into the mix also gives you a chance to add a splash of colour to the room. A darker island unit works perfectly against pale wall cupboards or you could try bringing in a different texture too. Natural wood, for instance, adds interest against a backdrop of gloss or matt white as well as pale grey finishes. You don’t need a big space either, if you have an L-shaped run of cupboards against a wall, adding a breakfast bar at the end can give a natural location for guests to sit for a chat. 


Follow units across different parts of your room. It is amazing the amount of combinations of kitchen cabinetry and shelving that can be created to suit different purposes in different areas. Consider creating a bespoke dresser, TV surround with extra storage or even a handy boot room, for a streamlined look with added practical features.  Use similar textures and colours to link areas and give a cohesive feel.


Plan your lighting

Lighting can make a huge difference to an open plan space as all areas will always be on show. Make sure you include shelf, cabinet back or under counter lighting alongside your main lighting scheme, so you have a softer option to go for when not using that part of the space. 


Think about doors and floors

Include interior bi-fold doors. There may be an occasion when you feel you want to close off an area, interior bi-fold doors give you the freedom to break up your open plan look. Oak gives a softer look, whereas aluminium can offer a more industrial feel.   Using consistent flooring across your open plan space really ties everything together.


For more inspiration, take a look round our 360° Panoramas 

Ready to plan your space?  Book a design appointment today.