Inspiring open plan ideas

Opening up your kitchen, dining and living area creates space for entertaining. By bringing family members into one shared space, everyone can ‘do their own thing’ – separately but together.

It’s no surprise that houses are being remodelled around the sociable, open plan lifestyle so many of us prefer.
 

Colourful and comfortable

 

This striking detached residence is a great example of how to combine a kitchen and living space with informal dining, creating a comfortable family room at the heart of the home. A smart granite breakfast bar breaks up the cooking, eating and relaxing areas making them more liveable, while the fuchsia splashback adds richness to the space.

Colour can also be used to connect a room such as here, where a stylish teal wall and framing of large picture windows provides a dramatic backdrop for impressive large-scale canvases.  The soft furnishings pick up accents from the paintings, which help to co-ordinate a warmer and more welcoming feel.

Inventive lighting allows for different ‘experiences’ within the space; bright spotlights for cooking, decorative pendants at the breakfast bar and modern feature lights over the living area.
 

Light, bright and airy

 

Typically, an open plan interior will feel lighter and airier, with fewer dead spaces and dark corners going to waste.

A palette of soft blues and greys with hints of gold gives subtle poise to the living room interior of this spectacular combined kitchen/dining room penthouse apartment.

Similar use of pale shades unites this L-shaped living/dining space. Huge picture windows draw the eye to spectacular views. Colours of nature sit beautifully against the neutral backdrop.  Where light is limited, whites and reflective surfaces (glossy cabinets, glass, aluminium and so on…) help to create the same bright feel. This stylish kitchen/diner shows how white can look anything but clinical.





 

Best of old and new

 

You might never guess this ultra-modern open plan bespoke kitchen-diner is the centre of a period property - remodelled by an ingenious architect. The space is brimming with style - great for entertaining.

Old meets new in this characterful twin roundel oast house in the Kent countryside, artfully converted with twenty first century living in mind.

Among the most unusual and impressive kitchen/dining/living room layouts each area of this design feels luxurious. From high-gloss cabinetry and granite work surfaces at one end to the cosy log burner at another, the space is unified by the stunning exposed oak ‘A’ frames and magnificent, vaulted ceiling.

In large spaces like this, ‘acoustic layering’ of soft furnishings, such as rugs, is a good way to mellow and absorb sound. In the smaller scale apartments at Hanstead House where sound is tempered, luxurious fabrics and finishes work beautifully. In these apartments, painstakingly restored period features meld with the latest technology. A neoclassical interior lends itself well to modern open plan living, proving that elegance is timeless.
 

Industrial and lofty

 

Loft dwellers are the pioneers of open plan living, setting a trend which many of us adapt to suit our own design concepts.

The dark colour palette, chrome fittings and track lighting in this converted warehouse reference its industrial roots, as do the wooden sleepers and exposed brickwork. The mezzanine sits snugly over the kitchen area, helping define the space while the dining area doubles for cooking and relaxing.

Plain walls complement exposed brickwork and industrial finishes, giving a lighter feel. Creating a feature wall with records, books or other collections adds personality and provides valuable extra storage.





 

Small but perfectly formed

 

If you’re lacking in space, removing an interior wall and opting for a small open plan kitchen living room is often a good bet. 

Remember, you’ll need enough floor space to move freely around larger pieces of furniture, so be sure to take measurements. To prevent a room feeling cluttered avoid placing large solid objects in the centre of the room.

Try this final suggestion for tidy open plan living – position a sofa with its back to the dirty dishes to give yourself a bit more time before donning the rubber gloves.