Think big – tips for creating the perfect open plan kitchen-diner



Large open plan kitchens are all the rage these days with more and more of us knocking down walls or extending our homes to create one big living space that incorporates space to cook, dine and even watch TV.  

If you are lucky enough to be planning the layout and design of a large kitchen a...

Large open plan kitchens are all the rage these days with more and more of us knocking down walls or extending our homes to create one big living space that incorporates space to cook, dine and even watch TV.  

If you are lucky enough to be planning the layout and design of a large kitchen and dining area, we've put together some useful tips to help you get started.

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Planning your kitchen layout

For general kitchen planning, see our guide planning the perfect kitchen. This explains the concept of the kitchen triangle and refers to the space between the sink, fridge and oven. These are the most important elements of your kitchen, as you will often be walking to and from the three of them, so it's a good idea to give some thought to where these will sit in your new kitchen before you begin. One way is to incorporate and island unit to create the third point of the triangle. It will also help to define the area for the kitchen itself.

Create zones

One way to clearly define each area by its function is to zone them by changing the floor materials in each - for example by having a natural stone surface in the kitchen and wood flooring in the dining area.  You could also raise the kitchen area so that you step up into it, providing another way to keep the area separate.

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Lighting

Lighting is also an important consideration as you'll need to balance practicality and ambience for both work and relaxation. Recessed lighting is a popular choice as it provides great coverage. You could then add pendant lighting above an island or dining area. It's also a good idea to add dimmer switches to the lights above the dining area, as it can create a more ambient atmosphere and it will help to separate the work and entertainment areas.

Colour

You can use colour in a large room to either create a contrast between the different areas or bring the whole space together. For example, you could make a feature of a wall in the living area with a bold colour and then pick out accessories in the same colour in the kitchen. Take a look at our 'Kitchen design edits' Pinterest board for some inspiration.

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Appliances

If your open plan area is to include a dining and/or relaxation space you won't want noisy appliances disturbing your conversations or TV viewing. It's therefore a good idea to choose a dishwasher and washing machine with low noise decibel levels (below 50dba are considered quiet).

For an example, take a look at the LG D1484CF TrusSteam. It has a level of 38dba, which according to our experts is the equivalent of 'whispering in a library'.

If you would prefer your room to look less 'kitchen-like', choose appliances that are integrated into the kitchen units rather than freestanding for a seamless look. On the other hand if you want your main appliances to make an impact, an American style fridge freezer or a super size range cooker will really set the scene.

For example, a row of white units would look stunning set off with the glossy black BEKO ASN541B American style fridge freezer nestled between them.

  

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