Key Considerations For Choosing An Open Plan Kitchen

Posted by Rhian Burrell, on May 29, 2024.

Open plan kitchens are seriously sought after. The way they create an expansive, functional area makes them a desirable feature for many homeowners, and we’ve brought plenty of these spaces to life through our own kitchen projects. 

There are definitely a few benefits of having an open plan kitchen, but how do you decide whether it’s right for your own space? Does it add value to your home? And how do you go about choosing and designing one that suits your lifestyle and preferences? 

We’ve created this guide to help answer these questions, but we’re also going to explore the process of choosing an open plan space, laying out some considerations, costs, and design tips to help you make an informed decision before we create your own bespoke kitchen design brief.

The appeal of open plan kitchens

So, why are open plan layouts so popular? First and foremost, they promote a sense of connectivity and togetherness. By removing physical barriers between the kitchen and adjacent living spaces, open plan layouts encourage interaction amongst everyone at home – whether it’s while cooking, dining, or relaxing. This fluidity of movement encourages a more social atmosphere, strengthening the position of your kitchen as the heart of your home.

Open plan designs can also make smaller homes feel more spacious and airy. By maximising natural light and eliminating unnecessary walls, they create a sense of continuity and openness that can add to the overall ambiance of your living space. This makes open plan kitchens particularly well-suited for modern apartments, or compact houses where every square foot counts. 


Do open plan kitchens add value to your home?

An open plan kitchen could definitely add value to your home. Many prospective buyers will see a spacious, considerately constructed open plan space as a major selling point of a property. 

If the end goal of your bespoke kitchen renovation is to sell the space you’ve created, then there’s a few practical aspects you’ll need to cover, with the main one being whether or not you’ll need planning permission. You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve chosen the right experts for the project – do your research on contractors and architects, and pick the right kitchen designer to bring your vision to life.

From here, think about the details that add value to the space itself – from incorporating clever storage solutions, to inviting as much natural light into the area with features like skylights. 

Considerations for choosing an open plan layout

Before committing to an open plan kitchen layout for your new bespoke space, it’s essential to take some key factors into account to ensure that this layout option suits your needs and preferences.

Lifestyle and usage patterns

Think about how you use your kitchen and living spaces on a daily basis. Are you often the designated dinner party host, who enjoys entertaining guests while prepping small plates in the kitchen? Do you value privacy and separation between different areas of your home? Understanding your lifestyle and usage patterns will help you determine whether an open plan layout is the right fit for you.

Structural considerations

Ultimately, the architectural layout of your home will determine the feasibility of an open plan design – but a kitchen extension is the main workaround. A reputable architect will be able to assess your space, evaluating load-bearing walls, plumbing, and electrical wiring, all of which may need to be reconfigured or relocated to accommodate an open plan layout. 

We’ll be able to work with your chosen architect or contractor to ensure our design suits their plans and more importantly, the vision you’ve got for the space.

Privacy and noise control

One common concern with open plan kitchens is the lack of privacy and potential for noise disruption that they pose. If you value peace and quiet or if you have people at home with different schedules, consider incorporating design elements such as sliding doors, room dividers to create zones of privacy and minimise noise between spaces.

Design tips for open plan kitchens

Designing an open plan kitchen involves striking the perfect balance between functionality, aesthetics, and practicality. Here are some tips to help you create a stylish space that meets your needs.

Define zones

To maintain visual clarity and organisation in an open plan layout, we’ll help you to define distinct zones for cooking, dining, and lounging (depending on how many spaces you’ll be merging into your open-plan space). For example, if you’re blending your kitchen with your dining room and living room, we’ll look for ways to connect each space without taking away from the open-plan flow. Alternatively, your open-plan space might be made up of your kitchen and dining room. 

The placement of furniture, rugs, lighting fixtures, or even structural features such as breakfast bars or kitchen islands can all be used to achieve the zones we’ve described. 

Likewise though, we wouldn’t recommend relying on furniture alone to define each zone, as this will likely disrupt the ‘flow’ of the space.

Material choices

Selecting the right materials and finishes is key to creating a unified look in an open plan kitchen. We usually approach this by guiding you through the complementary colours, textures, and materials for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and worktops that we think would work in your space; while also adding to the open-plan appeal.

Incorporate flexible furnishings

Flexibility is essential in an open plan layout, where the space might often serve multiple functions throughout the day – from pre-school run breakfasts, to hosting family lunches and parties. Modular furniture, nesting tables, and multifunctional pieces such as extendable dining tables will help you to pack plenty of practically into your bespoke open plan kitchen.

Think about how much an open plan kitchen costs

The cost of an open plan kitchen can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of your space, the scope of your renovation, and the quality of materials and finishes selected. 

It’s important to get quotes from suppliers and set a realistic budget, then prioritise your must-have features and upgrades to ensure that your renovation stays within your financial means.

Want to add to your inspiration for your new open plan kitchen? Take a look at our signature bespoke kitchen style, or discover our bespoke shaker kitchen designs and custom plywood kitchens

To start planning your new space, book an appointment at our Oxfordshire kitchen showroom, request a free kitchen brochure or contact us online and get started today.