The days when kitchens were used primarily as a utilitarian space have passed. Presently, many homeowners view the kitchen as the centre of the home that brings everyone together for both entertainment and other activities. This has led many to adopt an open concept kitchen design. This trendy design dominates home improvement, new home floor plans and decor magazines. As homeowners opt for that open look in their present homes, it’s of no surprise why open concept kitchens maximise the appearance of space and provide creative options for better design and functionality.
The trend of creating the visual flow of the house in a seamless manner and to simplify decor, home structures and functionality keep growing year over year. The style can serve as a function room for birthday party and other forms of entertainment but it requires careful planning to develop a detailed design. If you decide that an open concept kitchen will be part of your upcoming remodelling plan, here are great ways of opening up your kitchen.
As you make the switch to an open concept kitchen, it often takes up much of your existing storage space due to loss of wall space and cabinetry. In the process, you will need to get creative to find a suitable space for all your kitchen tools and items. You can begin by taking an inventory of all your kitchen cookware, appliance and other items to figure out how much space you require. Instead of making use of traditional cabinets to house store your kitchen wares and tools, consider another storage option like open-shelving. open-shelving has become a widely adopted trend. They require serious organisational skills but can give a detailed appearance when executed carefully.
Other storage options include wall hooks to hang pot racks and other items. With the help of your designer or contractor, you can find ways to come up with custom storage solutions to ensure you have adequate space to house your kitchen gear. Creating an open concept kitchen can also be a good method to thin your kitchen tools and item in order to reduce the required storage space.
As you remove the walls between your kitchen and living room, the flooring options you choose are important key factors in your open concept kitchen design. You can decide to use one type of flooring throughout the entire space, for it’s a great way to link the rooms up and create a unified pattern. Or you can opt for two different types of flooring especially if you prefer a more visual separation or in need of flooring options to suit the function of each space. For instance, you can decide to tile the kitchen and carpet the living areas. Tile is a common kitchen option due to its resistance to damage and moisture and easy cleaning features.
Living rooms often have carpet, laminate or hardwood flooring. This option provides some visual lining to define the two spaces while maintaining an airy atmosphere. If your home flooring is uneven, it can interfere with the placement of kitchen islands and other kitchen tools. It gets even more noticeable from all angles of the rooms after eliminating the walls. Fixing uneven floors is an important step to maintaining structural integrity as well as aesthetics.
Creating an open concept kitchen involves deciding on which walls will be brought down. If you prefer a completely open concept, you can decide to take down all the walls connecting the living and dining rooms. Or you can remove some of the walls in a way that still reveals an open space while maintaining a level of privacy and division between all spaces. It’s important that you know more about walls before taking them down. If the walls are load-bearing, much work will be needed in order to remove them.
Non-load bearing walls are much easier to take down because there are no support issues involved, but there are other factors to consider. Walls often have inbuilt wiring and HVAC ducts, plumbing may also be included depending on the location of some kitchen tools. As soon as the wall is taken down, those pipes, lines and ducts must be rerouted. Removing walls is not an easy task, and requires the help of a professional. You will need to work with an experienced engineer who can evaluate and approve the restructuring of a load-bearing wall if there is a need to take one down.
Another part to consider for your open concept kitchen is the ceiling. Check its condition to know if there are any needed changes. Some patching will have to be done in areas where the existing walls were eliminated. Additional work may also be required, examine the ceiling in the adjoining areas and check if they are at the same height. If they’re not, seek the expertise of an architect or contractor to find a possible solution for the mismatched ceiling heights. You can also create a vaulted ceiling in your new open space, though it may add a significant amount to your remodelling cost, it also enhances the spacious vibe of the open floor plan and can add a visual architectural element to your open concept kitchen. The finished appearance it provides in the open space gives it an inviting look suitable for restaurants with lunch specials.
POSITION THE KITCHEN ISLAND
The shape, positioning, and the size of the kitchen island play an important role in your open concept kitchen. A large kitchen island can take up too much space and create a tight atmosphere. Ensure the kitchen island fits properly into the work triangle that will enable you to navigate easily through the kitchen space. Visualise the flow of traffic in the space, be careful not to cut off easy access to pathways that lead to other rooms. Setting the kitchen island in the right position would help maintain an open feeling while housing cooking activities in the kitchen area. The kitchen island can also make up for lost storage space for kitchen items and barista supplies.