December 15, 2023
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Open-plan kitchen living room glamour in a new build home

The kitchen is the heart of the home all year round – but it plays an extra-special role at Christmas, when seasonal entertaining is in full swing. A multi-functional living space, such as an open-plan kitchen living room, offers unrivalled versatility when hosting family and friends.

We are renowned for creating bespoke kitchen, dining and living spaces that combine the best of all worlds, which are customised to our clients’ exact requirements. Our Surrey Grand Design project – a large-scale, self-build commission – is a wonderful showcase of what can be achieved with a large space.

Adapting the living space

With fewer walls to obstruct light and sight lines, an open-plan kitchen living room incorporates a fantastic sense of flow. This sort of open-plan space is especially ideal for larger gatherings at Christmas, as it will allow everyone to be together while facilitating a range of different activities, such as cooking, relaxing, watching television, or even playing a game around the dining table.

Improving the ability to socialise with friends and family is usually one of the main priorities set out by clients when we meet with them for their design consultation. Making memories in their new open-plan kitchen is of paramount importance as is the removal of an enclosed dining room. So, the ability to host extended groups of friends and family in an open-plan space is key to this objective.

Making the client vision a reality

Our Surrey design project – a new build delivered through a developer – was commissioned by a wonderful family, who live at the property with their children and a beloved cat. We were commissioned at an early stage to design the open-plan kitchen living room, including the separate utility room – before the build began. This meant that we were able to work from the architect’s plans with a smart and uncluttered backdrop, in close collaboration with a leading interior designer, Fiona Brass Interiors.

In praise of Shaker style

Our clients chose Shaker-style cupboard doors for their Surrey open-plan kitchen living room. Typically, these kitchen units feature a clean, minimalist aesthetic that incorporates symmetrical cabinetry with a flat panel centre and square edges. It’s a straightforward yet stylish design with timeless appeal, which will blend in well with a dining table and chairs in an open-plan space.

Open-plan kitchen ideas

The classic Shaker style featured on these kitchen units in this home complements many different furniture choices throughout this open-plan kitchen. However, both classic Shaker and contemporary flat-panel kitchens work well in open-plan spaces. So, the final choice should be based purely on personal preferences.

Improving the kitchen living dining space

The project’s open-plan kitchen living room measures approximately 6.7 x 5.3 m. The large space features a cosy living area snug that overlooks the garden, with wonderful views. Wine cabinets are one of those open-plan kitchen ideas, which continue to be highly popular in bespoke and custom furniture design. This appliance looks particularly striking when positioned within an island unit. Here, we added a wine fridge which opens onto the snug section, for added sociability. There is easy access from the breakfast bar, too.

Breakfast bars & islands

The size of the open-plan kitchen living room meant it could accommodate a very large island, without feeling cramped. The island incorporates the kitchen’s second sink, hob, storage and a breakfast bar with seating, so it’s extremely versatile. It also connects the kitchen to the more formal dining area complete with a circular dining table and ample room for six to sit comfortably. This type of zoning within an open-plan layout creates clear differentiation, while eliminating the need for a separate dining room.

The formal dining space

When entertaining guests at festive dinner parties, visitors can gather at the breakfast bar for a glass of Champagne. Then, when dinner is ready to be served, they can move on to the large circular dining table and high-backed dining chairs to enjoy dinner in absolute comfort and style. This open-plan dining room facilitates seamless movement between each zone and a living space, all of which will accommodate a variety of entertaining functions throughout Christmas and beyond.

A key feature of the generous open-plan space is a large island that incorporates storage, a seating area, a wine fridge, hob, Quooker tap and prep sink

Dining room luxury

The chairs in this dining space are upholstered in a neutral colour-way, which ties in with the wall units in the open-plan kitchen for a more cohesive finish throughout. The dining table is also a perfect place for a statement vase and fresh flowers when the family are home alone. This furniture helps to bridge the gap between the kitchen and formal living area, bringing this large space together with contemporary style.

Broken plan layout design

The formal living area and dining table are divided by an exposed brick chimney breast. This not only creates a focal point in both areas, but it is also a great example of broken plan layout design. This helps to create a cosy living space while maintaining an open feel, which is ideal for relaxing in at Christmas and beyond.

Spatial geometry in this living space

The dining room area also benefits from a beautiful vaulted ceiling, which helps to change the scale in this part of the living space. Adding instant grandeur, this lends itself well to this open plan space, with the dining table positioned strategically below for more formal entertaining.

Cooking in an open plan kitchen 

To eliminate unwanted cooking odours in the space, we installed a Bora Professional 3.0 cooktop extractor system within the island. Even at high power levels, this appliance produces minimal volume thanks to an extremely low-noise fan. So, there are no distractions while cooking – and no interruptions when entertaining. You can also benefit from large surface induction cooking zones, making this ideal for conjuring up Christmas dishes for the masses.

The two-sink strategy

The kitchen island sink is the room’s prep sink – a luxury addition to new kitchen developments that’s become very popular with keen cooks. As this open-plan kitchen living room is so large, we wanted to include this second prep sink near to the hob, so complete meals could be prepared there. The other sink is sited in a different part of the kitchen, which is geared more towards clearing up.

Clever cabinetry

For the open-plan kitchen living room cabinets, we chose the solid ash Masterclass Kitchens Hardwick Grained Painted Shaker Kitchen collection in Graphite and Highland Stone. We love working with this British furniture brand to create a truly timeless kitchen and dining room in one.

Kitchen storage ideas & style 

Masterclass invests heavily in design-led innovation, which lends itself perfectly to creating a bespoke kitchen look. But what makes Masterclass really special for us is everything you can’t see. The outside is beautiful, of course. But what lies behind the doors is where the real luxury lies. Masterclass’s clever cabinet designs have no centre posts, which maximises access and provides 30% more storage space than a standard cabinet.

Worktop wonder

We complemented the Masterclass kitchen units with Cosentino’s Silestone worktop in shade Snowy Ibiza. Silestone incorporates a hybrid surface of minerals and recycled materials, which excel at bringing colour and texture to a space. The HybriQ+ technology ensures high scratch, stain, and impact resistance, so it’s very durable and needs minimal maintenance – perfect for high-traffic family environments and an open plan layout.

Back to black

We chose matt black hardware for this contemporary open-plan kitchen living room. This on-trend shade works well for accessories, and especially as an accent shade to contrast with lighter worktops. The black Quooker tap dispenses cold, hot and 100°C boiling water, saving time and energy and cutting down on clutter, as no kettle is necessary.

 Choosing handles for open-plan living

Textured matt black handles from Buster & Punch complete the look. This British brand works with rare, solid metals to fashion extraordinary items for everyday use.

Adaptable customisation

This bright, airy open-plan kitchen living room was tailor-made to showcase our client’s tastes, and enhance every aspect of their lifestyle. We pride ourselves on creating kitchens to exact specifications, which not only look amazing, but accommodate precisely how our customers want to live. The best bespoke kitchens answer both practical and aesthetic needs. Importantly, this versatile project has been designed to adapt to the family as it too changes and evolves over time.

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