Guest Post - Open-Plan Kitchen & Dining: How to Make It Stylish & Functional


No matter how big your home is, everyone needs a decent cooking and dining area. This is the space where you plan your meals, plan your day and spend time with your family. It’s also a spot where you can recuperate after a long day at the office and think about your plans for the future. Finally, this is where you welcome your guests and show them what an amazing cook you are, which is why it’s important to be able to communicate with the people who are enjoying your food. This is the main reason why open-plans are becoming so popular when it comes to decorating your kitchen and dining room, and here’s how you can make this space both functional and stylish.

Move a wall or two

Combining two small areas into a larger one is never easy, and it’s particularly difficult when you’re doing that with your kitchen and dining room. These spaces are usually packed with lots of different stuff, and you have to really think outside the box when doing this.

New Kitchen

The idea most people opt for is probably the simplest one as well – remove a wall or two, and just blend these two spaces into one unified area. This is something you can probably do on your own in a couple of days, but be sure to consult a structural engineer and an architect first, just in case something goes wrong. These people can advise you and tell you what you can and can’t do, and how to avoid the most common mistakes.

Insist on continuity

Once you tear down a wall between your kitchen and your dining room, you should try to achieve continuity in this new area and make sure every inch of space gets the same treatment. First, start with the flooring – if your kitchen and your dining room featured two different kinds of flooring, you need to find a unifying solution. The same goes for floor coverings, and this rug selection guide should help you in your efforts.

After that, make sure the color of your walls is the same in every corner of the new open-plan kitchen and dining area, and the easiest way to achieve this is giving every wall a new coat of paint. That way, you’ll also make this entire area seem fresh, clean and more inviting.

New appliances

This is another way to introduce a new dose of elegance into your cooking and eating space, even though it’s not the most frugal idea in the world. Purchasing new appliances isn’t something all homeowners love, but it’s still necessary to do this from time to time.

What you can do to cut costs is be smart with your purchases: get only the most quality appliances that will look good and not use a ton of electricity, so they’ll pay off in a couple of years. Also, think about your family and guests, and get the appliances that will provide all of them enough food. Start with a French door refrigerator that gives you plenty of room for all your ingredients, as well as a powerful range that will allow you to cook several meals simultaneously.

As for taking care of dirty dishes, a contemporary dishwasher will not only make this unpopular house chore a breeze, but also boost the aesthetic appeal of the place. This comprehensive dishwasher buying guide will help you make a truly informed decision.

Enough personal space

No matter how big your family is and how often you entertain guests, you have to give each person in your new kitchen/dining area enough personal space. The best way to ensure this is by incorporating a big dining table with at least four chairs, and a gorgeous rug bellow it. But, there's an even better solution.

Folding tables are perfect for all dining area, regardless of their size and layout. They don’t use too much space when folded, but can become huge in a matter of seconds. This idea will add a dose of luxury to your home as well, so take it into consideration as soon as possible.

More natural light

light kitchen

Probably the best thing about open-plan homes is not having to worry about the amount of natural light in them. If your kitchen has a big window, your dining area will be well-lit as well, and vice versa.

Another way to maximize the light is by exploring new lighting options. Kitchens are easy to illuminate – ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting are just some of the ways to go – and you’ll bring in a ton of light to your dining area at the same time.

Mashing two areas together and making it work seems like the hardest thing in the world, but it's quite doable of you put your mind to it. Think about these ideas, define your budget and start creating the best open-plan kitchen and dining area in the world!

Lillian Connors can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter.