Open floor plans have gained popularity over the last few years, which typically open the family room and kitchen to one another creating a great room. An open floor plan allows a family to spend quality time together, without infringing on each other’s personal space and activities.Below we answer common questions that come our way.

What do you need to think about when designing an open plan kitchen?
You have to consider all the activities that will take place in the room, and how they can work together. Preparing meals, watching television, surfing the internet, doing homework, paying the bills, relaxing with a magazine and chatting with friends you have to make sure these can all happily co-exist in your open plan kitchen.
To cater for all these different needs, it’s always best to work with an experienced designer that can customize your space. An experienced kitchen designer’s job is to help homeowners maximize space and functionality of a room and ensure there is a seamless feel between all parts.

What are the practical considerations?
Many of our clients love to entertain, but it doesn’t always mean they need huge double ovens taking up tons of wall space and storage. Consider using a range with a small side oven to replace your second large oven. Another option is to go with a convection microwave that can be used as a microwave for the day-to-day cooking and switched to an oven when you have a few extra guests.

Do you have any recommendations for colors?
It’s important to think about the overall theme of the room. Usually it makes sense to match the kitchen style to existing furniture in order to cut costs.
Simple, light paint tones are often used in open plan kitchens as they enhance the proportions of the room: darker colors or more detailed wall papers would detract from the overall feel and ambiance of the new space.

How can we create an extra space for seating?
If you have a large enough space, you can add seating on the end of your island. It creates a great space to do homework, pay bills and socialize with the chef of the house. From a design perspective, you can get creative and pick a different color for the island than the rest of the cabinetry, or select a fun countertop material that is different than the rest of the kitchen.