Creating an Open-Plan Kitchen Diner

Over the last few decades, the typical house kitchen has evolved. Before, homes were separated by individual rooms, resulting in tight spaces with nominal light and flow. But today, the lifestyles of homeowners have changed; many people prefer open plan spaces which allow cooking and eating to become an activity, instead of a chore.

This is where the kitchen diner comes in, which is often considered the preferred solution to open plan living and dining. Somewhere where cooking, eating and entertaining is made simple.

Here are some tips to follow when creating a kitchen diner.

Consider the size and plan

The obvious advantage to extending or remodelling an existing kitchen is that you have a lot of freedom at your disposal, with both the size and layout that you want to achieve.

An L-shaped layout is an option. This arrangement achieves a balance between the kitchen and dining spaces and also means you won’t have the sight of a messy kitchen when sitting down at the table.

Another option is a standard large square or rectangular room; this can work if each area is carefully laid out and prioritised.

Don’t forget the lighting

Kitchen diners can often be the hardest space to properly light. To achieve great lighting, you need to consider each layer of light within the kitchen:

  • Ambient lighting – this is the general lighting within a room.
  • Task lighting – this could be something like under cupboard lighting to assist in food preparation.
  • Accent lighting – this is used to draw focus to key features of a room.

But don’t forget about natural light either. Since this will likely be the busiest room in the house, attracting as much natural light as possible is important. Windows and glazed doors (French, sliding etc.) are two useful elements that combine well with artificial light sources.

Take care underneath your feet

It’s also important to pay some attention to flooring, as this is something you’ll want to get right. Your main choices include:

  • Consistent design: this means keeping the same floor design through your kitchen. Flooring such as slate or limestone are popular choices. For a softer underfoot, luxury vinyl tile also works.
  • A tough, low maintenance floor: no qualms, no fuss – a hard-wearing, low-maintenance floor such as slate and softer material in other areas, like carpet or wood.

Different floor finishes can work well in an open plan space, but the partition between them meeting each other can be hard to deal with. Here are some options to consider:

  • Difference in floor height – whilst an effective solution, this may not be the best option for those with young children.
  • A wall divider

Plan the Interior Design

A cohesive interior can be achieved when combining together a similar palette of colours, along with a consistent choice of materials.

Some other points of consideration:

  • Focus on achieving symmetry and consistent shape – for instance, keep the cabinets the same size and shapes.
  • Bespoke is an option – various kitchen companies can create custom cabinetry, should you wish to go down that route.

Eliminating clutter

Dealing with dirty plates and pans is always a chore, but when sitting down to eat, having them in view doesn’t exactly scream relaxation. This can become a real issue when entertaining here as well.

Solutions include:

  • Introduce sliding partition doors which can be closed when guests are around.
  • Implement a raised worktop or breakfast bar in an effort to save space.
  • Something popular in larger properties is implementing a nearby food prep room.

Are you planning a kitchen-diner in your home? Let us know your plans on Twitter @haart_uk!