A Communal Centre
Since time immemorial, we’ve known the kitchen as a social gathering place for family and friends. This is where the hot stove was located, where the community came together to cook, do laundry– and even bathe. Later, inexpensive systems and standard kitchens dominated the general living image. Spatially separated from the living room, people concentrated primarily on the utility and functionality of a kitchen, allowing individual and aesthetic demands to fall by the wayside.
Today's living and furnishing trends, on the other hand, are once again focusing on generous spaces that optimally combine the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. The separate kitchen is increasingly being replaced by the open plan kitchen, which functions as the social heart of the house and apartment: This is where people cook and eat together, organise brunches and social gatherings, and spend valuable time with family. The space where a large part of daily life takes place at home should therefore support precisely this dynamic. Modern kitchen design offers individual solutions for this purpose, which not only visually create a pleasant as well as coherent atmosphere, but also fit into almost any floor plan. However, before you start planning an open concept kitchen, you should also familiarise yourself with the special requirements.
Advantages of a Combined Living Room and Kitchen
Merging kitchen and living room offers many opportunities to enrich daily life and creatively organise the day-to-day happenings in your household. However, some people prefer a physical separation between the kitchen and living room.
- More Joint Interaction and Communication. For those who enjoy being surrounded by family and prefer to chat with friends and guests while cooking, the open kitchen is the perfect solution. This is where the daily gathering happens and food preparation becomes more of a group activity.
- A Spacious and Inviting Room Concept. Not only is the open kitchen an ideal meeting place for family and guests, various kitchen appliances and helpers will also have plenty of space. An open plan kitchen gives small rooms visual depth, and with multifunctional furniture, the dining room kitchen is extremely versatile– for instance, it can be quickly converted into a workplace.
- Suitable for Any Living Space. An open kitchen can be adapted to the available space in an elastic and functional way. There are no limits to the individual design: Whether large rooms with long working sections and kitchen islands, or small urban kitchens with solitaire furniture that offers an optimal storage solution.
- All Eyes on the Kitchen. If you spend a lot of time planning your dream kitchen, of course you want to show it off! After all, a special kitchen design shines more brightly in an open living concept than behind a closed kitchen door. With the right dining and living room furnishings, you can create an all-round pleasant atmosphere in the room.
The Semi-Open Kitchen as an Everyday Compromise
For many people, an open kitchen is a long-cherished dream, but others employ this style for convenience if they don’t have enough space. The trend is moving more and more towards the open concept kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for everyone.
As a multifunctional environment, the open kitchen in particular offers the opportunity to gather your life in one place, and to have an overview and to pursue several activities at the same time. For example, if guests are busy in the living room, the cook is not alone in the kitchen.
If, on the other hand, you prefer a less present workplace or a quiet place of retreat, you might consider a semi-open kitchen, in addition to a clear spatial separation. Here, partitions and half-walls, permanent or temporary room dividers and kitchen islands can provide the necessary division. With the possibilities of modern kitchen planning, individual room concepts can be created that fit people and their daily needs down to the last detail. Visit a SieMatic studio near you.
Planning an Open Kitchen: Ideas and Tips
- The right furnishings for the open kitchen. To create a harmonious overall look, kitchen and living room furniture should be coordinated. Whether a classic kitchen design, a structured minimalist kitchen or rather an urban mix of styles and materials? Nowadays, you can choose from a wide range of diverse options when it comes to design. But the choice isn’t only about visual design. Suitability for everyday use, durability and the question of the right room ambience also play a role in the decision. To ensure that the kitchen and living room blend into a successful room concept, colours, shapes, and materials should be chosen carefully.
- How Much Storage Space do I Need in the Kitchen? To ensure that order is quickly restored after cooking, the kitchen should have sufficient storage space. Visible small appliances and utensils often leave an unsettled and untidy overall impression. Therefore, these should also be cleared out of sight and stowed away after use, if possible. Small open kitchens in particular need to be meticulously planned to make efficient use of limited space. Space-saving solitary furniture as well as intelligent and multifunctional solutions can be adapted to individual circumstances. Handleless surfaces have a modern effect, visually recede and provide invisible storage space. Accentuated storage in display cabinets and shelves, as found in the living room, is also finding its way into the design of the modern open kitchen. You can find ideas and inspiration as well as functional use of storage space in SieMatic's kitchen brochures.
- How Can I Avoid Odours in an Open Kitchen? One disadvantage of the open concept kitchen for some people is the formation of odours, which spread to the adjoining living space. The scent of intense spices and ingredients as well as burnt food from the pan or the oven can quickly create an unpleasant atmosphere in the room. This can be remedied by particularly powerful fume hoods or exhaust air systems. Placed correctly, you can quickly create an odour-neutral environment. Personal kitchen planning will help you find ideal solutions.
- Minimizing Disturbing Noises in an Open Kitchen. A constantly humming refrigerator or a noisy dishwasher can be a nuisance for sensitive people. Electrical appliances should be selected that have special volume characteristics or settings so that the background noise does not become an unpleasant feature during a movie night.
- An Open Kitchen with Counter or Island. A kitchen island or counter can act as a visual room divider, as well as become a connecting element between the kitchen and the living room. On one side, food is prepared while the view is into the open space. On the opposite side, family and friends can sit comfortably, chat and closely follow what's happening in the kitchen. This kitchen design is especially suitable in small rooms as an alternative to the large dining table.
- Structural Changes to the Kitchen. Often, the only thing standing in the way of realising a modern open kitchen is a dividing wall between the living room and the kitchen. Anyone thinking about making permanent changes to the living space should discuss them in advance with the landlord or house owner and have the building's structure checked. If it is a fundamentally new construction project, then a rough concept of the kitchen should already be included in the construction plans during the planning phase. In this way, lighting, connections and wiring can also be integrated in a sensible manner.