The term Open plan was originally a generic term, it used to mean any floor plan that makes use of open spaces and minimizes the use of enclosed rooms. It was used in architectural and interior design for this purpose. Nowadays though, most people use the term to mean having open kitchen designs; integrated spaces that merges the kitchen with the living area and the dining area.
In some countries it is normal to have such open kitchen designs, and only rare houses and large mansions feature enclosed kitchens. In other countries however, this concept has only emerged recently with the rise of small houses.
Open plan designs have numerous benefits. First, they significantly increase the flow of light in the house. Plus, they make the house look much bigger simply by making all the space visible.
If you are moving to such an open floor house after having a closed kitchen and wondering how to best design this large area we are here for you.
This is how to create the best open kitchen designs.
Be careful when choosing appliances
Open kitchen designs mean that your kitchen appliances may just be on display, but the thing is, they do not have to be on display all the time!
You do not want your washing machine, with your laundry spinning in it, to be clearly visible by anyone who visits your house. And you do not want your dishwasher to make such noise that you cannot hear the television over it.
That is why integrated machines that can be hidden behind kitchen units are the best solution. And try to opt for quiet models whenever possible.
Appliances that cannot be hidden, such as fridges, freezers and stove tops will blend in nicely if you color coordinate them with your space.
Choose understated elegance for the design
The best open kitchen designs are the ones that do not scream, KITCHEN!
Rather than countertops cluttered with appliances and gadgets and an open spice rack, opt for simple and elegant floor to roof cabinets with enough storage space to conceal everything from view.
When the kitchen is not in use, it should blend seamlessly with the rest of the living area, so make the design as sleek as possible.
The scent of food is good, or is it?
We all love food scents when we are hungry, but who wants to sit around smelling food for long hours after eating, or worse, who wants to entertain guests with the scents of cooking lunch still hanging in the air!
A lot of people find this the worst con of open kitchen designs, they can make the whole space smell of cooking, but with some careful planning and a magical appliance called an extractor you can come over this.
Equipping your open kitchen with the best high-powered extractor is of utmost importance, this little wizard should whisk all those food odors away.
Keep in mind however that you need to choose a quiet one, this is an area where you should not make budget cuts, invest in a good quiet extractor that can get the job done with minimal noise.
Unify flooring throughout the space
To make the area more streamlined and coherent use one type of flooring throughout the whole space, kitchen, living and dining.
You can use marble tiles, ceramic tiles, or even hardwood or stone if they are finished to handle some humidity and spilling in the kitchen, which many types now are.
Just add some lush rugs for the living and dining areas. This divides the space elegantly and provides warmth and comfort. Keep in mind that the rug should not be wider than the furniture placed on it, it will shrink your space. If you want to create the illusion of more space you need to leave a small border of flooring visible around the rug.
Seating is an essential part of any kitchen design
It may not make much sense to put a table with chairs in the kitchen with the dining table just a few steps away, however there are other seating solutions that would make sense.
For instance, you can separate the kitchen from the living space with a bar or a peninsular cabinet, and add a couple of stools for seating.
Or, you can opt for a kitchen island if the space is limited, and add a couple of chairs on one side.
There are many choices, just remember that you do need something to sit on while you work in the kitchen, or a place for someone to sit while keeping the person cooking some company.
Good lighting is a key design element
Whether it be plenty of sunlight or well placed pendant lights, good lighting makes an open plan look spacious and airy.
On the other hand the lack of decent lighting can make the space look cold and industrial, so be careful while planning your lighting.