By 9th March 2015 GRK No Comments

Open plan living spaces are an incredibly popular layout as they enable homeowners to increase the visual space of their square footage, increase airflow and natural light and create a wonderfully sociable space that is ideal for family life and entertaining.

The sense of togetherness that is achieved with this type of layout appeals to so many people because they like to be able to remain connected with other family members and guests whilst cooking and carrying out everyday tasks and activities.

There are also some downsides associated with an open plan living space. Common complaints from those who are not in favour of an open floor plan include:

  • Cooking smells travelling throughout the space
  • A lack of privacy and cosiness
  • Mess associated with prepping and cooking on view, with nowhere to hide

With a well-planned design, these issues are easily resolved and a successful open plan living space can be achieved. There are no set rules for creating a space that looks great and functions successfully, but the following tips will certainly point you in the right direction!

Invest In A Decent Quality Extractor

The best way to avoid cooking smells becoming an irritation as they permeate your open plan space is to invest in a great quality extractor that will help you to remove steam and smells from the room efficiently.

This Celestial ‘Star’ cooker hood and extractor fan from Elica is an excellent example of function meeting beauty in our Manor Farmhouse Kitchen:


These days the huge variety of different models and styles to choose from makes it easy to find the perfect piece to compliment your interior.

Keep in mind that some models are a great deal noisier than others. Loud appliances can become an annoyance in an open plan space.

Incorporate Plenty Of Storage To Conceal Your Kitchenalia!

Another common gripe about open plan living relates to clutter. With the kitchen permanently on show, it is essential to keep on top of the clutter with efficient kitchen storage solutions. (An empty dishwasher is always a great advantage)!

Incorporate open shelving and cabinets to enable you to display attractive items that are regularly in use, like these colourful glasses in our Chefs Kitchen:


But be sure to take full advantage of an adequate quantity of cabinetry with doors, so that you can hide everything else from view when you wish to!


Here in our Bakers Kitchen, one of the cabinets was designed with internal power points to accommodate the owners Magimix and Kitchen Aid so that they could be used in situ each morning for the preparation of fresh bread. With the doors closed these frequently used appliances remain completely out of view.

Create An Attractive Flow Throughout Each Zone

In an open plan space, each zone needs to coordinate with the space as a whole if you are to achieve a look that flows cohesively throughout.

In our Contemporary Oak and Painted Kitchen, the owners achieved this by using the same flooring throughout to unify the space and incorporating a palette of different greys, browns and black, using the same accent hues alongside the natural wood finish in each zone to pull the whole look together.

Contemporary Oak and Painted Kitchen

Multifunctional Areas

Including additional seating space on the end of a kitchen island makes a versatile piece of kitchen cabinetry even more useful. The bar fitted to the end of this GRK kitchen  island creates a flexible space that is ideal for breakfast, completing homework or gathering together in the kitchen zone and enjoying a glass of wine whilst cooking. With plug sockets fitted into the island, this area can also double up as a convenient area to work on a laptop.

cont 2

Functional and Beautiful

Our Cornish Blue Kitchen is a fantastic example of open plan living at its best. The kitchen island creates a division to separate the chef from others using the space, but is designed to make sure that everyone remains connected.  Whilst attending pots and pans on the hob or preparing meals on the extensive island surface, the chef is always facing the dining table, which is invariably the location where all of the action takes place in the kitchen!

Cornish Blue 1

Hopefully these tips will help you to come up with the kind of well designed open plan living space that you have been dreaming of!