Published in Utopia Kitchen and Bathroom magazine

Utopia Kitchen and BathroomDear Margaret…
After renovating my last property, I have learnt that choosing a timeless design is extremely important when it comes to the kitchen. I would like to stay away from bright colours and use materials such as timber. My new space will also act as the main living area in my home, so I am looking for an open plan kitchen that encompasses different zones for informal dining, watching the TV and for socialising. Can you show me a scheme that would be timeless in layout and design for many years to come?
Bridget Fouldes, Kings Lynn

Open plan kitchen 1

This large and open room is split in two by the supporting beam, which defines the kitchen zone and the living area. The large window made it impossible to position the worktop against this wall.

Creating a kitchen island to divide the space

Therefore an island was created in the centre, to provide additional storage and workspace. It is large enough for two people to work together simultaneously on it, and it also faces on to the dining area, to allow conversation with seated guests while preparing meals. The island also serves as a divide, keeping the kitchen workspace neatly contained.

Open plan kitchen 2

Location of kitchen appliances

Siting the fridge freezer, oven and microwave together to one side means that a unbroken run of identical wall and base units can be used in the corner, helping to create a neat and flowing look in what is a fairly small open plan kitchen space. I inset these appliances within a false wall, to create a smart finish that echoes the central supporting column already in the room.

All important storage

The island unit features drawers on the dining room side so that everyday items can be accessed without disturbing the cook. I have also suggested a shelving unit for the dining area in the same material as the kitchen units to help integrate the two spaces.

Open plan kitchen 3

Open plan kitchen colour scheme

When choosing the colour of kitchen furniture, fashion is not the only factor to take into consideration. Many materials look impressive, but are in fact difficult to maintain, so it’s vital that the balance between aesthetics and functionality is found. It is also important that the materials used in the two areas harmonise. Timber, as I have drawn here for you, is a practical choice, and there are a wide range of varieties to choose from nowadays, from exotic grains and colours to more subtle mainstream types. Its natural effect is perfectly suited to a family living space, where warmth, comfort and softness are desirable traits.



Open plan Kitchen design tips:
  • Matching the materials used in the kitchen to the rest of the room is a must, as too many colours and patterns will feel chaotic.
  •  Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of opening your kitchen to the lounge. The use of suitable materials, lighting and accessories will make the kitchen a focal point for the house.

Open plan kitchen layout ideas



Margaret is a qualified architect and interior designer and the creative director of Inventive Interiors. She brings a holistic and modern approach to your design. Her wealth of diverse experience includes everything from small apartments, through hotels and restaurants to some of the most luxurious homes of exquisitely designed space worldwide.

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