Ways To Create An Open Plan Kitchen Space Ways To Create An Open Plan Kitchen Space

4 Ways to Create an Open-Plan Kitchen Space

Opening up the home is a great way to let in natural light. Thanks to advances in insulation and in window and door design, you don’t need all those walls they did in the past, which has immediately made interior design so much more exciting. You can knock down those old, stuffy walls and open up the space so that it feels larger, more light filters through, and so that you can finally feel like you are living large. The only time you typically won’t be able to do this is if your home is listed, though listed properties typically start with larger kitchens to begin with, meaning there’s less need for the update.

Opening up your kitchen is ideal if you feel like you’ve suffered long enough bashing elbows with your family, if you’re sick of the tiny space, and if you finally want to let the light in. Knocking down a wall, however, also poses its own challenges. After all, there was still likely a whole set of cabinets and storage lined up against that wall, which means that you will need to rethink how your kitchen is shaped and even zoned to get the best of both worlds.

The good news is that there are so many ways that you can create an open-plan kitchen. You can hack the space to make it visually feel larger and more open, even though the walls are technically still in place. You can alternatively knock that whole wall down and redesign that ground floor so that it naturally flows. From using décor innovatively to plotting out a stunning transformation, this guide will carry you through the top ways to create an open-plan kitchen space today:

1. Understand What You Can and Cannot Do To Your Space

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with an old home or a new build; sometimes, certain design ideas just cannot be executed the way you want. For example, if the wall you want to remove is actually a load-bearing wall, your options are going to be limited. Sure, you can divert that support, but that is a very costly maneuver that won’t get you any closer to your open-plan dreams. You may want to instead design in a pillar or even a set of pillars (one that has the support, one that is decorative) so that you can accommodate the support without the enormous costs.

There may be plumbing or other key electrical cables running through the wall in question as well. All of these need to be worked around, redirected, and so on. It is doable, absolutely, but how much extra effort and costs need to be known about upfront before you get excited? That’s why you need to bring in an expert to have them examine the space and give you a full, detailed report.

2. Other Space-Related Considerations to Make

Open-plan kitchens do have their drawbacks. They are noisy, they leak out cooking and food smells, and they are typically one of the messier parts of the home. If any of these don’t suit you, then knocking down the wall won’t be your go-to option. If, on the other hand, you have at least 35 square metres in your downstairs living space, you can absolutely consider opening up your kitchen fully. Having at least that amount of space means that your living areas can be at a respectable distance (meaning, a comfortable distance) from the cooking space. If you don’t have that space, you may want to consider opening up your living spaces (dining and living room) so they are open-plan instead.

Also read: Special Comments for New House

3. Designing the Layout

Now that you’ve worked out just how open your layout can be, it’s time to actually plan the layout itself. In most cases, your layout will be based heavily on one of these four options:

The Galley

The galley is traditionally two long runs of cabinets along both walls. These are very stripped-back kitchens that can be perfect for small spaces. For example, you can take out the door in the short wall of your kitchen to open up the space to your living area without changing too much of your design.

The Straight

If you completely open up your kitchen space, you may only be able to opt for a straight layout, where you have cabinets and all your appliances on one wall.

The U-Shape

This is one of the most classic designs for an open-plan kitchen. Do keep in mind that typically the shortest row of cabinets will have space on the other side (the side that opens up to the living area) for bar stools so that it becomes a dining and entertainment space. If a U-shape is too much, consider trying an L-shape instead.

The Island

You can add an island to a single wall galley to add both an additional dining and entertaining space or a functional space. This island can be built in, or it could just be a stunning butcher’s block.

4. Design Tips To Brighten Your Space

You can have a lot of fun with the design of your kitchen. You can make use of striking dark shades or bright pops of color. The secret is to use each option sparingly. If you have dark counters, for example, counterbalance them with beautifully light floors made of natural stone. You can have fun by investing in a red fridge and counterbalance that bright shade with matching small appliances.

In general, the best way to visually brighten up and open up a space is to use light neutrals. These neutrals let the eye focus on different elements of your design while also bouncing light. Those natural stone floors are a great example. In fact, you will typically want your floors and ceiling to both be bright but neutral tones so that your eyes can rest.

However, these aren’t the only bright, neutral areas you can have in your kitchen. You can also use the walls or the cupboards. So long as you have certain elements that are bright and reflect light, you can then draw the eye using daring designs (if you so choose). You can also never go wrong with a white kitchen, though they are falling out of favor for being hard to clean.

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