Open-plan kitchen-diners are becoming more and more popular, as homeowners knock through walls, extend into side returns and refresh outdated layouts to create a much more family-friendly environment.
In new-builds, kitchen-diners now come as standard; however, in older homes, the kitchen was simply a place to heat up food for nourishment; they were small, lacking in natural light, and overall, just a bit sad. It's no wonder people are now looking to create an airy, welcoming, socialising environment in the form of a kitchen-diner.
The basic approach is to open up adjoining rooms with a sledgehammer, creating as much space and light as possible. But bigger and brighter doesn't necessarily mean the layout will be simple to configure. As with any home improvements, design and layout require careful planning to avoid negative space, awkward flow and an uninspiring end result.
If many people and/or generations inhabit your home, you'll most likely have different priorities when it comes to a new kitchen. It's important to consider the different zones you want to create and how these will be separate yet blended. For example, if you're an avid entertainer, placing the hob central to the room enables you to merge cooking and socialising without avoiding your guests. If you have children, an island is a fantastic asset as it allows you to monitor their activities (or break up fights) easily and involve them in cooking.
Another advantage to islands is that you can have a combination of extra work surfaces, more storage, and a place for casual meals like breakfast. Suppose you want to incorporate a more formal dining area beyond the kitchen. In that case, an island is ideal for seating and dining options for family members and guests, depending on the occasion.
Whether you opt for a dining or living area opposite the kitchen, the design and colour scheme should be consistent yet contrasting. One blanket colour for the whole space will feel overwhelming and reduce the significance of zoning, whilst too many colours or ideas can end up looking bizarre and incohesive. Accent colours can tie spaces together, and repetition of textures or designs can be particularly effective.
Flooring can play an important role in defining zones, pulling two rooms together separate but seamless. By choosing traditional kitchen and living area flooring such as tiles against wood or carpet, you'll ensure practicality and comfort throughout in an uncomplicated way.
Whilst open-plan living sounds like a perfect modern solution for busy homes, the less-than-perfect side effects should also be considered. Cooking smells, noise and mess are inevitable, unfortunately. However, things can be managed if you have a utility room, for example. Keeping clean laundry out of the way will reduce the risk of strong flavours clinging to clothes.
If an open-plan kitchen-diner feels like the right decision for your home, get in touch today to see how Thomas James Bespoke can transform your everyday life to help you combine practicalities with all-important family time.