How to create an Open Plan Kitchen and Living Space
We’ve recently been back to visit a client’s home now that the builders and decorators have finished and thought it would be good to share some photos of the end product, as well as talk you through the process of how we helped them get there.
This family have upsized from their 3-bed terraced home to a larger 4-bed semi with a good-sized garden within a desirable school catchment area. However, the layout of the ground floor in particular wasn’t in line with how they live and they wanted to create a large open plan space where most of their family time would be spent.
Cooking is a big thing for this family so the kitchen design was a core element of the success of this project. They also needed a large dining area as they used to host highly popular dinner clubs at their previous home and may want to start doing so again. They also wanted an informal sitting area, as well as a play area for their son.
They already had clear ideas for the fixtures and finishes that they wanted so our role was more to make sure that the space was laid out in the most appropriate way for their lives and to design a kitchen that would allow them space to cook as a family, whilst providing storage for all their various kitchen paraphernalia.
Stage 1: Layout Options
The first stage was to look at how the space could be opened up and where to allocate each of the zones that they needed (kitchen, dining, living, play). Here is the original floorplan that we were working with.that we were working with.
It was clear that the back of the house needed opening up and keeping the kitchen in its current location meant that it would be large enough for their needs. We explored cost saving options of leaving a pillar, reducing the size of the steel required to hold up the first floor, and whether this could be incorporated into the industrial feel that they were looking for.
We also wanted to see whether the space could accommodate a separate utility room for laundry and household storage.
Stage 2: Detailed Kitchen Design
After reviewing the initial designs, they decided to go-ahead with a larger steel to create a fully open plan space and incorporate the laundry and storage into the kitchen area rather than creating a separate space.
We then worked on the detailed kitchen design to ensure there was enough storage and that all the appliances were positioned appropriately. We also made sure that they were able to place the full detailed order with the kitchen company, DIY Kitchens. So many of our clients are sourcing their kitchens and bathrooms from this type of supplier now to benefit from the lower price but showroom quality product. However, by doing it this way you need to already have a design as they will not design it for you. This can be a daunting experience, especially as it’s not just about choosing the units but what end panels, plinths, internal configuration etc. you need to order. By taking on this element for them we take away the risk and fear of getting it wrong.
Stage 3: Mood Boarding
This couple already had clear ideas about what they liked and had a Pinterest board for each of the spaces in this project which was heavily inspired by the industrial look of exposed brick, stainless steel and a monochrome colour scheme. We helped them to hone in on the key elements and make sure that the space had some softer elements to take the ‘edge’ off.
Stage 4: First fix planning
Lastly, once all the final decisions had been made on the kitchen layout and other finishes we pulled together a first fix plan for the electrics and plumbing which they could share with their builders.
This provides all the details on the positions of lights, switches and sockets as well as specific circuits for different light combinations etc. It also provides detail on the power needed to heat the full space and the number and size of the radiators needed to provide that power and their positions.
First fix plumbing and electrics always happens a lot sooner than you think within a build. So, it’s always worth going through this process before your build starts so that you can be sure that you’re asking for things where you need them, rather than making snap decisions without a fully formed plan and then having to move things at a later date.
The final product
The builders have now left and the family have moved into their new home and are really happy with the space and how it works for them and how they live. And we’re so pleased to see the design come to life and that we’ve helped to create a family home that will be lived in for years to come.
Hopefully this gives you a bit of a flavour of the design process and how we help with various elements. If you are thinking about making changes in your home and need some help or inspiration, do get in touch with us here. And don't forget to follow us via Instagram, Facebook and our upcoming blogs.