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Open plan kitchen and living room ideas: how to create your perfect space

Whether you’re dreaming of a sociable open plan living space or wondering how to make an existing open plan layout work for you, these open plan kitchen and living room ideas have got your back.

Open plan living is the goal of many modern homeowners who are craving a lighter, brighter, more sociable space for cooking and entertaining. But open plan isn’t always smooth sailing. These open plan kitchen and living room ideas will help you to create a space that functions for you and your family – whether you’re cooking, watching TV, doing homework or entertaining friends.

1. Use colour to zone your open plan living room kitchen

kitchen and living room ideas

Going open plan means bringing together rooms that would traditionally have been separate – and sometimes, that can make a space feel crowded and undefined. Using feature walls and accent colours can quickly help you to differentiate areas of a room. Here, the homeowner has opted for white walls with grey kitchen wall tiles for the cooking area and a deep blue wallpaper for the dining and lounge area to give these areas a clear sense of purpose.

2. Use colour to unify your open plan kitchen living room

open plan living room kitchen zoning

Just as you can use colour to differentiate areas of your open plan living space, you can also use it to unify them. This small kitchen living room is tied together by a black and white colour palette – however, the living area is predominantly white with black accents, while the cooking area is predominantly black with white accents. In this way, they create a coherent whole while still being two separate zones.

3. Weave the same open plan kitchen and living room ideas throughout your space

unified open plan kitchen living room

Creating a coherent space is a lot about pulling common threads through the various areas of your room. This open plan kitchen diner and living room is a great example – you can see splashes of mauve and chrome popping up throughout the room, as well as curves that are echoed through the ceiling lights, floor lamp, dining chair backs and even the headrests on the sofa! These subtle details are what truly tie a space together.

4. Island placement is key in open plan kitchen living dining rooms

open plan kitchen living dining rooms

If you have room to include a kitchen island or peninsula in your open plan kitchen living room design, it could be a great shout. Not only does it make cooking a more sociable task, but it also serves as an ideal boundary between the living and kitchen areas. Here, a freestanding kitchen island divides the cooking area from the rest of the room, keeping it free of well-meaning guests or family members who might get in the way!

5. Break up your open plan kitchen diner living room using furniture

Break up open plan kitchen diner living room

On the topic of dividing a room, another great way to break up your space is through the positioning of your furniture. This homeowner has chosen to face the corner sofa away from the cooking and dining areas. In this way, the back of the sofa serves as the ideal room divider and the living area becomes its own separate breakout space.

6. Factor storage into your open plan kitchen living room ideas

storage for open plan kitchen living room ideas

Storage can be hard to come by in an open plan kitchen and living room, as there are fewer walls for incorporating solutions like shelves and dressers. That’s why planning ways to maximise your space is so important – this kitchen boasts floor-to-ceiling kitchen units to make the most of the room’s height, as well as open shelving on the side of the kitchen island. Pulling furniture away from the walls also leaves them free for storage purposes.

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7. Remove doors to make your kitchen living room open plan

kitchen living room open

If you’re considering going open plan, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to go the whole hog and remove every wall. Instead, removing a door or creating a double doorway can help you keep your rooms’ identities as separate spaces while improving the flow between them. Here, a double doorway connects the living room to the open plan dining room while maintaining its cosy feel.

8. Experiment with open plan living room layouts

open plan living room furniture layouts

When you’re deciding on the layout of your open plan living room, it’s important to think about how you want to use the space. For instance, short-stay seating such as bar stools will need to be kept clear of the cooking space while being within easy earshot so that conversations can be heard over the sound of appliances. This homeowner has opted for an island breakfast bar with a sink so that washing up can be a sociable task!

9. Make flooring a part of your open plan living room ideas in the UK

focal points in open plan kitchen and living room ideas

Flooring can make or break any space, but in an open plan living room it has a whole extra role to play. Running the same flooring throughout the room can help to tie different areas together, while changing up your flooring can help with zoning. This open plan kitchen extension cleverly features a black line on the floor halfway through the space, which acts as the boundary between dining and living areas.

10. Incorporate kitchen living room divider ideas

kitchen living room divider ideas

If you’re looking for a more obvious way to divide up your space, why not explore kitchen living room divider ideas, such as a half wall (also known as a pony wall)? These are commonly used to create a feeling of separation between a kitchen and living room, while still keeping the spaces connected. In this image, the half wall successfully hides all the clutter of the kitchen while still allowing for easy conversation between the two areas.

11. Embrace broken plan kitchen living room ideas

broken plan kitchen living room ideas

Another way of dividing up an open plan kitchen diner is to use a glass partition wall. Here, one has been used to separate off the dining area, creating an intimate space for mealtimes. While the spaces are still connected visually, closing the door will help to prevent cooking and appliance noises from infiltrating the small dining room, ideal for a relaxing candlelit dinner!

12. Make lighting central to your open plan kitchen living room design

open plan kitchen living room lighting

A good lighting design is crucial for a successful open plan kitchen and living room. You’ll need kitchen lighting that’s practical and allows you to see what you’re doing while cooking, as well as mood lighting that’s suitable for unwinding on the sofa in the evening. This homeowner has also used lighting to effectively zone the space, with a chandelier over the dining area, downlights over the living area and a pendant light over the kitchen island.

13. Prioritise your wall space in a kitchen living room

wall space in a kitchen living room

Last but not least, bear in mind that an open plan living space means you’ll have fewer walls available for things like shelving, cupboard storage, kitchen units, your TV, paintings and more. By bringing your furniture into the room like this homeowner, you’ll free up valuable wall space that can be used for essentials. Here, that includes shelves, kitchen units and we bet that sofa’s also pointing at a TV!

Key takeaways

  • Use open plan kitchen and living room ideas such as colour and flooring to zone your space – and to tie it together!
  • Room dividers such as half walls and glass partition walls can help you to create a ‘broken plan’ layout
  • Moving furniture into your space can help you to free up your walls for essentials and create cosy zones

Ready to turn your open plan kitchen and living room ideas into a reality? Simply find a kitchen fitter to transform your space.

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