We all want our kitchens to look a certain way. But for most of us, it is even more important that they function a certain way. An open concept kitchen empowers you to slice, dice, chop, and stir while catching up on your family’s day or socializing with dinner guests. The right design also allows for an uncluttered and efficient layout, smooth traffic flow, and plenty of beautiful, airy space to enhance your home’s aesthetic.
Now… How do you find the right design for you?
Open concept floor plans are relatively new; traditionally, homes were designed with different rooms for different functions. In fact, the number of rooms once had was a status symbol. (Plus, the kitchen could get noisy, smokey, and less-than-guest-ready!). Open spaces became “trendy” in the mid-20th century and are still going strong. They eliminate barriers (e.g. walls, doors) between the kitchen and, say, the dining room and/or living room.
To make it work for you:
Open concept kitchens often join the kitchen with the dining area, creating a less formal area that is comfortable and convenient. Many designs go a step further and combine the kitchen, dining, and living rooms for a space that is ideal for socializing and entertaining. What layout might work best for you and your space?
Some popular layouts include:
A “side effect” of creating an open kitchen is that you remove walls and, thus, some countertop and cabinet space. An island accommodates for this, and gives you the surface area and storage you need. Islands can offer drawers, cabinets, built-in appliances (e.g. microwaves), sinks, outlets, USB hubs, and other features that allow for seamless functionality and organization.
At the same time, islands are a natural focal point that create an organic space in which to gather. They are striking in their own right, serving to enhance your aesthetic, clearly define your space, and facilitate friendly traffic- and work-flow.
Double your impact. By installing two islands, you can have a space dedicated to food preparation, cooking, mixing, etc., as well as a secondary area for your children, family, household members, and friends to socialize – and snack!
Shelves and cabinetry play an essential role in storage and organization. They also help define functional areas and create a beautiful aesthetic. Make the most of this opportunity. For example, using closed cabinets and cupboards can help you establish a clear boundary between the kitchen and living spaces. By using complementary colors, textures, and styles, you can build a cohesive theme between rooms.
Alternatively, you can opt for open shelving or a combination of open and closed cabinets in order to increase flow between “rooms” or distinct spaces and tie them together seamlessly.
If you are remodeling and your goal is an open concept kitchen, look at the underlying architecture of your home. Are there features that can help you define your space? For example, there may be exposed ceiling beams, trim, or molding that create natural breaks between functional spaces. If you are designing your dream kitchen on a new build, you can strategically integrate these architectural features from the start and achieve the perfect balance and flow.
However, you will want to maintain visual flow by sticking with a single type of flooring throughout connected spaces. You can define the dining area or living area by adding custom rugs for interest, texture, and warmth.
We need to talk about one of the potential disadvantages of an open kitchen. Everyone sees your “process.” If this is a concern, think about a prep kitchen or an extended pantry. This gives you the space you need to prepare food and drinks while keeping your main kitchen area clean, clear, and guest-ready at all times.
You’re in the right place. The ACo team takes the time to listen to your goals, your needs, and your wants in order to design the kitchen of your dreams. Whether you are interested in remodeling your existing space or building from the ground up, our experts are here to ensure you achieve the results you want – and love where you live. To start talking, get in touch with ACo.