Open Kitchen and Living Room Design

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It’s a big deal in new home design, these days, to incorporate a great room into the floorplan.

Now, we’re talking great rooms in very large houses. Families want an open kitchen and living room design in their homes.

It’s the place where the whole family gathers and it’s perfect for entertaining.  It’s almost a given that you’ll have a great room in new home construction.canstockphoto2818192

It’s sensible since most people spend the bulk of their time at home in the kitchen area.

If you’re cooking dinner, how nice is it to be able to watch the news or visit with your family or friends while you’re working?

Face it…it’s the thing to do, these days.

So what’s the difference if you’re in a small living space?  Really nothing.  It’s just smaller!  It’s where you’ll be most of the time, anyway, right?

Here’s a slide show that will illustrate what I mean – there are 18 examples of great combination living/dining designs:

I think my favorite takeaways from this video are that once you choose a focal point, you can separate the areas with rug, wall color, dining tables, peninsulas, etc.

One of my favorite slides is #11 (I think) with the purple couch and the pumpkin colored chair.  The next slide with the sassy green tiles is a close second.  But I love them all…just depends on the basic layout of your small space.

This is simply another take on living large in a small space. We just need to adjust the parameters…a small living area rather than a large living area.

So what’s your favorite?  How can you merge your own living/dining/kitchen space to maximize the size of your small space?

Let me know in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Open Kitchen and Living Room Design

  1. What a great idea for a page to give examples of ways to separate small spaces into areas. The slide show is great. My house is full of small spaces and you have given me quite a few ideas on things I can do to make these into cozy areas. For people like me who are not good at interior design, your website is very helpful in creating different layouts. Thanks for the info! 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog…I’m so pleased that you found a little inspiration! Sometimes all it takes is one picture that clicks with you and it’s an “aha” moment. I’ve had so many of those…you might also like my post How to Get More Space Without Moving . I hope you visit, again…I’m always looking for good, practical, classy ideas.

  2. It is interesting that all of our parties usually wind up in the kitchen. I think there are a few different reasons for that. 1) it’s where we lay out the food and 2) it’s where everyone goes to refill their drink.

    Unfortunately our house’s is not conducive to expanding into our living room but I love the idea. I wish our floor plan were a little more open. We do have a large breakfast area that does not get much use, though. What would you think about clearing out the dining table and putting furniture in it? The area is separated from our kitchen only by a counter top. I would have to do something about the hanging light, though.

    • Hi, Christian !

      Thanks for stopping by. I think your idea of rearranging your breakfast area is great. If the hanging light is on a chain, you could raise it up with an “S” hook. I’ve done that in the past and it works well. Your countertop would make a perfect buffet serving station, too. Check Pinterest for ideas for similar room arrangements and I’ll make it a point to post additional ideas here, too.

      Let me know how it all works out…take pictures!

      Cheryl

  3. It is so funny that I stumbled across your post as just yesterday my husband and I were trying to rearrange our living room to make our very small space feel a little bigger. Unfortunately we are renting so we can’t knock any walls down but I will definitely take some of your examples into consideration when rearranging! Great post!

  4. For where I live open concept has always been around as part of house designs. I presently live in an open concept house that I designed and built myself.
    The pictures you show in the video are nice but for myself I’m not into contemporary design but rather a country look.
    For where I live though more people are wanting open concept and less traditional looking homes as you show in you post.
    Looking good.

    • Hi Travis! Thanks for visiting. A country look is perfect for the open concept because it’s generally a cozy look and that’s what country is all about, I think. The beauty of open concept is how adaptable it is to all design genres whether it’s a large space or a small space! I love that!

      You know, just about everything at Cost Plus World Market has a country vibe. You might want to browse through their online site.

  5. Hi Cheryl. I like the video,there you can see how to incorporate kitchen , dining room and living room in one. Even when it looks great like in this video I really can’t imagine not to have separated kitchen from living room. I don’t wan’t to be disrupted with kitchen noises when I watch TV or reading news on my laptop.

    • Erik, I totally get where you’re coming from on the noise bit. But in a small space (like a loft, for example) there’s often no alternative.

      You could buffer the noise by separating the kitchen space with bookcases (such as the Apollo Bookcase from Dot & Bo) which would also then be additional storage space. That bookcase would be a perfect room divider…look for it at the Dot & Bo website

      Rugs or carpeting under a dining table and in the living area will also help to absorb the noise. Thanks so much for your feedback…it’s much appreciated!

  6. Hi! I stumbled upon your article and thought I’d leave a comment! =)
    Did you know that in France we call an open kitchen & living room “an american kitchen”? lol but anyway
    I have experienced both ways : open and separate and I can say that an open kitchen is much much more friendly than a separate kitchen. Plus, when you are not necessarily leaving in a palace, an open kitchen gives an impression more space!
    I will definitely have an open kitchen in the future.
    How much do you think it would cost approximately to break a kitchen’s wall and build a “open kitchen and living room”?
    Thanks! Cheers =)
    Sarah

    • Hi, Sarah! Well, I think opening up a wall between a kitchen and living room will depend on whether or not it’s a “load bearing” wall. In other words…if it’s holding up the roof, you’re probably not going to be able to remove it.

      On the other hand, I’ll bet you could create a wide archway in that wall which would open the rooms to each other while still defining each area. I think that would work well. I don’t know how much that would cost, though. See if you can get some estimates and then decide. You might be able to help in the demolition which would also save on the costs.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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