Open kitchens are back in fashion. Free planning, with a smooth transition from one functional area to another. And it’s not surprising. The space, almost completely free of partitions, allows for free movement, to see all family members at the same time.
This aspect is the main argument for supporters of the open floor plan. In a standard, closed arrangement of the kitchen, the hostess is isolated from the rest of the household. She is forced to spend most of her free time in the tiny room, while the spouse, children and other family members communicate and do their business in the living room.
By removing blind partitions, property owners have a great opportunity to spend more time with the family, socializing and doing things together. Bribe and room for creativity, creating an original, stylish design. In a spacious room is much easier to arrange the furniture to your liking, to determine the finish and decor.
About what design is better to choose, and how to place furnishings and interior decor, so that it was convenient and beautiful, let’s talk in this article.
Advantages and disadvantages of open kitchen design
Like any other living space layout, open kitchens have their hot supporters and opponents, with a set of weighty arguments. To do or not to do – to decide, of course, only the owners.
Before making a decision, it is worth carefully familiarizing yourself with all the advantages and disadvantages of such a design, to assess the opportunities that open up.
So, what are its advantages?
- The kitchen is not just a place for cooking. As a rule, it is complemented by a dining group for joint family lunches, breakfasts and dinners. Here enjoy a pleasant conversation with a cup of hot drink with homemade pastries and also bring dear guests. Place all the necessary furniture, to sit comfortably a few people in a tiny room is difficult. But the open design allows you to organize luxurious feasts, and invite friends and relatives to visit.
- While working in the kitchen area the hostess gets an opportunity to participate in conversations with other family members, she does not feel separated and abandoned.
- In the kitchen-living room it is much easier to combine kitchen chores with rest and other concerns. For example, while the broth is cooking, the hostess can afford to sit on the couch and read a book or watch TV – it only takes a couple of steps. The baby or child-schooler is under the constant supervision of mom, who does not need every five to ten minutes to run into the room and check what her child is busy.
- Thanks to modern design techniques, great sets for the kitchen and living room, and upholstered furniture, open space is easily and harmoniously divided into zones, while remaining unified.
- You can “play” with colors, finishes and furnishings. Hide or, conversely, accentuate the cooking area. Choose different floor coverings, raise some of the furniture to the podium.
- Solid, undivided space has better lighting than a separate corridor, kitchen and hall. Consequently, to engage in painstaking, filigree work is much easier, no need to strain your eyesight.
- Visually, such a room looks much larger than it actually is. And it is perceived more positively than a few assorted room closets.
- If the hostess can and loves to cook, then a pleasant, home-like cozy atmosphere in the kitchen-living room is provided. The aromas of baked goods, amazing culinary masterpieces give the room an incredible attraction, a sense of peace and protection.
- It takes less time and effort to serve or clean up dishes, because you don’t have to walk down the hall to the dining room or living room. And the housemates or guests are happy to participate in the process.
- A psychological factor also plays a role: when the hostess is in the kitchen alone, and everyone else is in the room, her labors are not visible. In the open space her husband and children are more willing to enter the process of cooking, and come to help if necessary, because it is uncomfortable for them to stay on the sidelines.
- Open space, not cluttered with furniture, is easier to arrange and keep it perfectly clean. At a glance, you can see the areas that need cleaning or the owners’ attention. And in a beautiful, thoroughly cleaned room and is much more comfortable.
There are some disadvantages to this type of layout:
- It is necessary to maintain perfect cleanliness in all areas. The slightest mess on countertops, dirty dishes in the sink or scattered on the desk papers have a negative impact on the perception of the interior;
- not everyone likes the restless neighborhood with the kitchen – clinking of pots and knives, humming of the fridge, smells of raw fish and onions;
- no opportunity for privacy.
The choice is usually guided by the tastes and preferences of family members, the peculiarities of housekeeping and lifestyle, financial opportunities. In some cases, combining the kitchen with a hall or living room is the only decent option.
Choosing the right design for an open kitchen
When decorating an open kitchen, the principles of purism are respected – austerity in the interior with minimalist and concise lines, perfect cleanliness and restraint of the space. According to modern fashion trends, the entire space is performed in a single style, then the accents are placed. There are a few basic rules that should be followed when choosing a design:
- For small-sized apartments and small private houses, restrained directions with a minimum of decor are ideal. Smooth, polished or matte fronts without fittings or with simple, uncomplicated handles, flat walls without fancy stucco save space and visually make the room more spacious;
- Also, a small combined kitchen-living room is recommended to decorate in light, white and pastel colors. Allowed elements of natural wood or veneer, light natural stone or their imitation;
- Do not be afraid of bright colors. A few sunny yellow, emerald or fiery details will wonderfully enliven the minimalist interior of a small room;
- Open kitchens in spacious apartments, studios, private houses can be decorated in a more luxurious, “rich” manner. Elegantly light or, conversely, heavy-dark classics are ideal. Equally exquisite are Chebby-chic, country and Provence, and noble colonial style;
- For large rooms, you can choose complex decorations and textured surfaces. For example, fronts of carved wood, with stained glass, tiered ceilings or medallions on the walls.
It’s necessary to pay close attention to lighting. Each individual area shall be equipped with its own set of lighting fixtures – ceiling lights or chandeliers, spot lighting, sconces, table or floor lamps. In this case, all of them must have something in common in design.
How to distribute zones and arrange furniture in the kitchen
The functional zones are planned at the stage of creating the project. At the same time, the owners decide on the main furniture. It is important to be able to divide the space into several areas, providing each with its own furniture set, but at the same time not to clutter the room. According to the latest fashion trends, at least 60% of the space is left free.
Depending on the layout, zones can be distributed in different ways:
- In narrow, elongated rooms, the zones are divided sequentially or along the walls. For example, the kitchen unit can be installed along one wall, with a long sofa and a narrow table or bar on the opposite wall. Or prefer a transverse division – first the kitchen island, then the dining group and the living room;
- in square rooms, zoning in groups is common: the space is divided into sectors, squares or rectangles, with a lounge or dining group in the center;
- rooms with a complex layout can be divided by narrow partition walls of slats, glass, openwork plasterboard structures. They effectively divide the space, without weighing it down.
The furniture perfectly plays the role of a divider between the sections. For these purposes, massive and light bar counters, dining tables and cabinets, sofas and elegant tables are used. The role of a visual screen can be played by open shelving with decorative elements, tubs with large houseplants, and even an aquarium with fish.
Another way to divide the space without dividing it is through the use of finishing materials. Combinations of masonry and paint, parquet and ceramic tiles, wood panels and wallpaper, soft carpets and open floor coverings create spectacular compositions.
Correctly placed accents are the key to an interesting, atmospheric interior.
As a rule, in the combined space allocate one, a specific, zone:
- Concentrate attention on the bright upholstery of upholstered furniture, a beautiful carpet with an abstract or geometric pattern, an unusual coffee table;
- Choose a kitchen set with sunny-bright, two-color or carved fronts;
- Get a stylish dining table made of wood, glass, and a set of chairs or chairs to it. Such a group looks great in the center of the room, with a rectangular or rounded rug underneath it.
As original accents may also act:
- photo wallpaper or 3D painting on the wall;
- exclusive tables and vases;
- Interior textiles – tablecloths, curtains, plaids;
- sets of decorative plates, ceramics;
- mosaic panels, chairs or stools.
Properly decorated open kitchen becomes the center, attracting and uniting all the household. It is pleasant to work and communicate in it, to spend leisure time together with loved ones.