Here at Contour we are often asked to design open plan kitchen living spaces for our customers.  This is a space that incorporates the living room, dining room and kitchen.  It has become a popular choice with families, customers who like to entertain and clients looking for a more sociable way of living.  So, how do you go about creating one room that ticks all the boxes?

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The best open plan kitchen living spaces are multifunctional and offer different zones in which to cook, eat, relax and integrate with friends and family.  When we design a kitchen living area, the first thing we ask our clients to do is think about how they want the space to work for them.  


For example if entertaining is high on the priority then a significant area needs to be designated to dining.  Perhaps the focus is a space where the family can gather, in which case, soft seating and a relaxation area will take precedence.  Maybe a homework zone or office space is important giving parents the ability to multitask.  The kitchen zone has to have function, flow and elegance as it will constantly be on show.  Once you have prioritised the way you want to use the space, the size and shape of the different zones will become clearer.


Utilisation of space is unique to each individual customer and has a direct baring on potential focal points of the room.  Thinking carefully about how you want your space to work will deliver clearer design decisions when considering elements such as lighting, flooring and soft furnishings.

A good kitchen designer can really help with some of the more technical elements of positioning like ensuring the provision for services such as gas and water are in the best place.  Having said that, the technical advance of many built-in appliances has given a new freedom to the designer and it really is possible to position the kitchen almost anywhere.  Different types of storage is crucial in an open plan kitchen and can make or break the overall scheme.  The ability to hide kitchen utensils, pans and crockery away when the cooking is done and the emphasis shifts to relaxation or entertainment is important, however adding stylish shelving is both practical and offers a visual bridge between zones.   


Incorporating different types of lighting will also make a successful kitchen living zone.  Combining mood lighting, accent and task lighting will make transitioning through different areas of the space more natural.  It will also help create different atmospheres as light levels change through the year. Positioning your kitchen living space overlooking the garden can provide a stunning backdrop and all important natural light.


It is also important to consider the overall scheme of the space.  The very best open plan kitchen living spaces do have clear zones, but also use furniture and furnishings cleverly to blend and merge borders.  Contrasting surfaces and homely furnishing elements are the individual details which turn a kitchen living space into a harmonious living environment and one that reflects your sense of style.  From luxurious to contemporary, cosy or bold and bright, it is really down your individual taste.


Come and talk to our design team about your your project.  Our consultations are free and our highly trained designers work with you to create a bespoke kitchen design.  To speak to a designer please click here.