If you’re a first-time homeowner and you fancy a home that’s just popped right out of a dream, we have just the right suggestion for you. Open-concept kitchen living rooms are a style of interior design that combines your kitchen with your living room and gives you a large, visually enchanting space to live inYou would have seen these types of homes on social media or in movies and TV shows, where a character is cooking or having lunch in the same room as the others watching TV or playing games. This trend of clubbing two spaces into one large one has been around since the 1970s. It was brought to life by Frank Llyod Wright who desired to increase natural light and a sense of fluidity in the homes they designed. 

Let’s break down this captivating concept, get to its crux and explore if this is the right choice of interior design for your new home. 

The crux of an open kitchen design

This home design model was discussed 77,000 times on Houzz. That’s how popular open-concept rooms are. It gained popularity in the mid-20th century when the modernist movement took hold of the architectural and interior design community. 

Earlier, houses were designed to centre around the hearth, for warmth. With advanced cooling and heating technologies today, that isn’t a necessity. Similarly, the kitchen was previously kept outside the house to avoid the smoke and noise coming in. Until the 17th and 18th centuries, not much designing or conceptualisation went into designing kitchens, however, by the 1950s, kitchens were essential parts of the residence and were designed with great care and creativity. 

kitchen design renders by bernice anastatia

Since the 1970s, great rooms (open-concept kitchen living rooms) became famous, and the fondness for the design hasn’t simmered at all.

Read also – 20 Best Ways To Create an Open Floor Plan

Advantages of an Open Kitchen Design

By knocking down the wall dividing the kitchen and the living room, you open up your home to shared experiences, lots of family time, easy chaperoning your kids’ playdate, and vibing to the party music while you whip up dinner for your guests. In a world where we’re glued to our phones and confined to our rooms, an open-concept kitchen living room opens up the possibility for you to have real interactions, screen-free dinners and heart-to-heart conversations with your loved ones. 

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-2Image Credit: pinterest.com

An open kitchen design is conceptualized to make any space look larger, and richer and resemble a luxury home. Even if you have a small space or a large one, you can go for it and love what it does for your home.

Dazzling open kitchen ideas for your dream home

When brainstorming ideas to breathe life into your open-concept kitchen living room layout, harmonious flow and complementary elements are two things you need to bear in mind to embark on your home decor. 

Simple living room design and decor hacks 

  • A fireplace in the living room can be an excellent focal point and can add character to your home effortlessly. 
  • For furniture styles, you can consider complementary wood, for example, red-stained wood and maple or walnut-coloured wood. If you’re looking for a luxurious look, grab furniture made of glass or marble. 
  • For sofa prints and styles, you can go with a neutral tone paired with a neutral tone-on-tone print, or any stunning combination that agrees with one another. Select velvet or linen sofas if you want to give them a classy, rich feel. 
  • You can visually distinguish your kitchen and living room with variations in the ceiling. Think it’s impossible? Think again.
  • Don’t mess around with ceiling colour – let it be white. Add architectural features like tray ceilings or beams to decrease the height of your kitchen ceiling to show a stark difference between the two spaces. 
  • For shelves (aesthetic or functional) in the living room, try open shelving – leaving a few empty and a few filled, to give the illusion of having two distinct spaces. 

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-2Image Credit: pinterest.com

Super-easy open kitchen design and decor ideas

  • To make your kitchen look amazing, especially in an open-concept kitchen living room plan, choose timeless items and blend a fine combination of paint colors, textures and forms.
  • Having an arched cabinet, or a golden nook at the top is a palpable interior design for an open kitchen. 
  • Go for durable, yet, stylish countertops such as marble or granite. Light-coloured materials look less heavy and look more practical compared to dark-coloured materials, especially when used as countertops.
  • If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, you can also add laminate, tile or wooden countertops that have a solid colour and are extremely durable to your wishlist. 
  • For an open kitchen design with a wide space, the stove is certainly the focal point. Choose a stone that agrees with your color palette and fits your needs well.
  • In the same vein, ventilation is crucial in an open-concept kitchen. To prevent all the smoke and dust from covering the living room, you need to have huge windows, all around the open kitchen – the bigger, the better.
  • Make certain to have chimneys in the kitchen, and a generous number of plants in both the kitchen and living room to refresh the air quality.

kitchen design render created by larkin living space

Wondering what your own dream home will look like in an open-concept design? Design it now, for FREE using Foyr Neo, our globally trusted design software – simply choose from 50,000+ 3D elements, drag and drop and populate your mood board and eventual rendering in a few minutes. No CAD or design knowledge is required.

Maximizing Functionality in an Open Concept Space

Regardless of whether you have a large or small living room, populating them with too much furniture will ruin the essence of the open-concept design. Hence, you will need to cut down on the furniture lying around the house to improve the room decor. 

Another common mistake homeowners do when moving into an open kitchen design is to stock all furniture by the sidelines, lining it up near the walls. Create small spaces in the living room and designate them exclusively for certain activities, i.e., reading space, pet cuddling space, Yoga space and compartmentalise the space with relevant furniture. For example, throw in a sofa in the middle with an area rug, accent chairs and a compact coffee table opposite the fireplace and you get the right ambience for heart-to-heart conversations. Pair a rug (low pile, natural fibre preferably) with a beautiful chandelier and a dining table, you have yourself a scintillating dining area.

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-5Image Credit: pinterest.com

Now that the furniture is placed neatly in its own zones, you need to pave the way for walkways to be at least 3 feet wide. To ensure safety and leg room, have at least a 14-18 inches gap between your coffee table and your sofa.

Read also – 14 Best Living Room Interior Design Ideas For Small and Large Spaces

Balancing Aesthetics and Practicality

In an open-concept kitchen living room where you can’t raise a wall or hang a curtain to separate two distinct spaces, rugs can come in handy. An area rug can delineate space like no other. Make sure the furniture on top of the rug doesn’t get stuck when moved frequently, and plan the length of the rug accordingly. Our designers and artistic room planners at Foyr suggest that if you’re running on a tight budget, you can consider having rugs and cushions made from natural fibres such as jute, organic cotton, or a natural fibre blend.

Another design tip to physically differentiate the kitchen and the living room is to raise a mini wall between the two spaces, which can subtly signify the starting and ending points of the spaces. You can let your creativity run wild and paint colors in it. The pictures you hang in your living room, to fit into your open-concept kitchen living room plan would certainly look dashing, provided they aren’t striking or flashy. Give your living room a handsome makeover by having pullout drawers and mirrors on your TV cabinet.

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-6Image Credit: pinterest.com

If you want to crank your design project up a notch, have one as an accent wall, colour the entire wall in a complementary colour and hang the painting in it, for it to stand out. When you’re shopping for furniture for your living room, make sure to have a healthy balance of materials, colours and textures to give a neutral look.

Read also – Best Small Kitchen Design Ideas to Maximize Your Kitchen Layout

Overcoming Challenges of Open Concept Design

Residing in an open-concept kitchen living room comes with its own set of challenges. Let us look at each of them and figure out a solution for it.

  • The great room is too noisy – either from the TV in the living room or from cooking in the kitchen

Having a TV in the same room as the kitchen-cum-dining area can be distracting and loud during dinner time. Get a temporary partition and close your kitchen or living room whenever you’re taking over the kitchen for cooking. Throw in rugs and curtains that absorb noise and give you privacy. 

  • Dirty dishes, messy cabinets, cupboards and greasy countertops can tarnish the house’s impression altogether.

A frosted glass door between the hall and kitchen, a wooden screen, barnyard-style doors, nesting panels or French doors with bars will be great options to create a temporary partition. Closed cabinets in the kitchen, a deep-seated faucet and proactively choosing a dark-coloured countertop are other options to conceal messes that tend to occur in the kitchen.

  • Fire in the kitchen can spread faster than you can imagine.

It’s estimated that fire from partitioned kitchens will spread slowly and give you 17 minutes to escape from the house to safety. In the case of an open kitchen design, fire can quickly spread everywhere and leave you only 3 minutes to escape. Having ample ventilation through windows can help immensely. Choose your appliances carefully.  

  • No change in scenery

Visual variance through patterns, textures, colours, accent pieces and aesthetic arrangement in home design can offer the much-needed, refreshing variety for your eyes. Our expert designers at Foyr recommend having a feature wall in the living room for hanging pictures, wall hangings or wallpapers.

Read also – How To Design A Kitchen? The Guide To Plan Your Kitchen Layout

Open kitchen ideas for a seamless look

Combining two spaces and seeing a lot of elements together as one space can be overwhelming for the onlooker. Add splashy, radically different colours to the mix and it can be painful to look at. That’s why having a calmer look and an easeful flow of similar, or complementary color scheme is the best way interior design experts advise to colourise an open concept kitchen living room. 

If you desire a marble and matte brass finish everywhere, ensure you apply the same colour palette everywhere.  For example, you can have a white marble tile backsplash in the kitchen, a marble buffet top in the dining room, a marble side table in the living room, matte brass hardware in the kitchen cabinet, brass accent elements in the dining chairs, and an alluring chandelier in the living room.

Finishings and textures can be related. You need to find the optimal balance between symmetry and variety. If you’re open to it, you can get multi-purpose furniture to save space, and increase serviceability in your open-concept kitchen living room. Pick up a large sofa or a piano for your living room to project stability to onlookers. The pieces of furniture you pick and furniture placement says a lot about your taste as a homeowner.

Easy-to-remember tips for choosing textures, colours and shapes

When you choose hard material for your living room, remember sounds bounce off of them too much. Soft materials absorb the sound and provide a calming ambience. Play around with textures in all elements you choose. They offer a whole new dimension to your room. Choose between velvet, suede, perspex, steel or stone for decorating your living room. Be mindful of the textures (of cabinets, tables or sofas) you have around lights, as smooth textures reflect a lot more than rough ones.

Read also – 20 Best Kitchen Wall Decor Ideas to Design Your Kitchen Wall

kitchen design render by aida lora

Lighting up the open kitchen design

In a home design where two spaces are clubbed together, lighting is paramount. Every space needs to be well-lit and with dimmer switches or individual switches for every light. Since sofas can be placed anywhere in the open-concept living room, you need to plan a spot for electrical implants to make way for the table lamps or sectional lights.

Insufficient lighting can disrupt human rhythms. In the open-concept kitchen living room floor plan, there’s ample room for natural light to refresh and rejuvenate the entire house. It’s beneficial to regulate your circadian rhythm and body temperature. Temperature can be rather high in open-concept plans since there are two spaces combined. Ensure to have an average winter temperature of 20-21 degrees and summer a temperature of 20-24 degrees inside your home.

Having a global pendant over the kitchen island gives off a sophisticated vibe. Placing undercabinet, and under-counter lighting emanates a soft glow and a lovely mood. Allow tons of natural light to seep in through skylights, solar tubes, windows, leaded glass, and faucets with stunning windows and ridge skylights. 

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-10-1Image Credit: southernmaineremodeling

Ensure ambient lighting in the ceiling, task lighting in both the kitchen and key areas in the living room, and accent lighting under the counter or cabinet.

Read also – The Importance of Lighting in Interior Design

Case studies of famous open-concept kitchen living rooms

It’s said that Wright was inspired to create the open-concept living after setting eyes on the Shinden – zukuri, the palaces inhabited by Japanese aristocrats in the 11th century. The rooms had sliding panes, and revolving panes, thereby connecting spaces seamlessly.

open-concept-kitchen-living-rooms-ideas-13Image Credit: pinterest.com

The Villa Mairea, designed by Alvar Aalto is a classic example of how open-concept homes need to be conceptualised and constructed. The living room opens to adjacent rooms and conveniently connects the other spaces in the house. 

Image Credit: pinterest.com

The ceiling of the kitchen is two storeys high and is connected by an ornate staircase. This innovation is eye candy for both the guests and residents.

In the 17th century, French Big Houses had one common room, or the great hall, where all members of the family gathered to socialize, and later venture off to their chambers to sleep. That’s still the idea behind having a living room, and subsequently the essence of combining it with other spaces.

Wrapping Up

The age-old idea of open kitchen design is still the rage when it comes to constructing luxury homes. With a multitude of materials and choices available, even small homeowners desire this design concept, as it allows uninterrupted family time and socialising, and makes the spaces look bigger and more radiant. Although open kitchen designs may cause a hassle and may hinder privacy and serenity with incessant noise, odours and disturbance from the kitchen, there’s no doubt that they make your home look sophisticated. 

With a plethora of options to partition the wall and temporarily close the kitchen while cooking and steering clear of the problem, you have tons of open kitchen ideas and the concept will continue to be a crowd favourite. Visualize how your dream home will look with all the elements your heart desires. Get a free glimpse of your future home with unbelievable quality, in minutes – you just have to drag and drop 3D elements and voila, your render will be complete. How you ask. Foyr Neo makes it possible. 

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FAQs

If you’re looking for a luxury home or a home that echoes sophistication and you have guests at home often with whom you’d want to socialize while preparing meals, you can go in for an open-concept kitchen living room. Closed kitchens are more suited for budget homes and for those who value privacy over socializing; containing guests in the living room while cooking and dining separately in the kitchen.

Yes, with the right partitions and appropriate equipment, it’s a safe design concept.

Yes, these designs have always been loved and will look timeless in your home.

Absolutely. The design allows provision for limitless lighting, temperature control and other automation features to be seamlessly integrated into the home.

It is on the higher end, but budget-friendly materials and elements in the market make it affordable to even homeowners on a tight budget.

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