​How to furnish an open-plan kitchen: 8 simple tips

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Anybody who knows anything about interior design would agree that open-plan layouts have become the norm in modern times. Offering an all-inclusive space where families can gather, socialise, cook, dine, relax and play, these versatile spaces have ensured more ‘heart’ for the heart of the home. 

But of course open-plan layouts also require decent planning to make those kitchens, living rooms and any other rooms sharing in the open space functional and well designed – something that all interior designers and kitchen planners will vouch for.

Here are our most inspiring tips to make your open-plan kitchen (and the adjoining living room) come to stylish life.

1. Your open-plan kitchen: Think about your layout

Imagine yourself in your open-plan kitchen: where will your guests be sitting while you cook? Where will you eat afterwards? 

Short-stay seating, like breakfast bars, are best situated away from the work zone, so that nobody crowds the cook. However, it must also be close enough for easy conversation. 

Opt for a decent dose of artificial- and natural lighting (i.e. skylights, generous windows, pendants… ) for your cooking-and-dining zones to brighten up the layout. And we also recommend hanging artwork to lead the eye around the space.

2. Your open-plan kitchen: Keep the living area streamlined

With smaller living areas, you’d better opt for smaller seating spots. You can even toss the couch altogether and bring in a simple pair of armchairs. 

This will help your open-plan area to feel more spacious and uncluttered.

3. Your open-plan kitchen: Don’t forget about heating and ventilation




Never underestimate the importance of a good extractor fan in your open-plan kitchen and living area. This will ensure your guests/family members aren’t bothered by strong cooking smells. 

And consider heating the whole room evenly (a wood-burning stove can be a fantastic option in a rustic space).

4. Your open-plan kitchen: Integrate your appliances

Ditching clutter is one of the secrets to a successful open-plan area. We recommend hiding everything in your kitchen (from appliances to crockery) away behind a long bank of sleek cupboard doors. This will help your living area to look calmer and ordered. 

Furniture in the same hues as your kitchen cupboards can also ensure a clean, fuss-free look.

5. Your open-plan kitchen: Work from end to end

Living Area 7Storeys Living room

Living Area


In a long, narrow room, consider placing the kitchen at one end and the living area at the other. This will help maximise the space and create a natural flow from one area to the next.

homify hint: It might sound like a good idea to position the sofa across the room, breaking the space into two separate zones. However, placing the sofa vertically (as shown in our example) ensures a clear sightline from end to end, plus makes the entire layout feel bigger.

6. Your open-plan kitchen: Incorporate some colour

When combining a kitchen and living room, include at least one similar colour (in different hues) that links up the two spaces. For example, a kitchen’s tea towels and other textiles in a deep blue will help establish a visual link with the light-blue sofa in the living room. 

Remember that accent colours can be used to define individual zones and pull the scheme together.

7. Your open-plan kitchen: Be consistent with your style

Similar to picking one or two colours to carry through an open-plan room, it’s also advisable to choose a consistent furniture style. 

For instance, if you love vintage furnishings and décor, then set up various pieces in both your kitchen and living room to give the open-plan layout a sense of cohesion.

8. Your open-plan kitchen: Use different types of seating

The more seating options, the more welcoming your space will seem. Consider combining wingback chairs, smaller dining chairs, benches and sofas so that no one is left standing. These can then be scattered in different parts of the room (even moved into a corner or two for decorative purposes), creating a sociable and cosy look.

To help keep clutter at bay, we bring you these 8 amazing low-cost storage solutions for your kitchen.

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