Britannia News

KITCHEN DESIGN

How to design an open plan kitchen that your whole family will love

13TH JANUARY 2012


Maybe you love your range cooker, but you don’t like cooking on your own while the whole family is scattered around the house doing their own things? Maybe you should consider an open plan kitchen…

Open plan kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular choice in homes across the UK. They allow a family to spend quality time together, without infringing on each other’s personal space and activities.

We asked Richard Davonport, Director at Davonport, to explain what’s important when choosing an open plan kitchen.

What do you need to think about when designing an open plan kitchen?
You really have to consider all the activities that will take place in the room, and how they can work together in harmony. Preparing meals, watching television, surfing the net, 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 create an individual, custom-built kitchen. And to do that, it’s wise to choose an experienced designer. An experienced kitchen designer is used to helping homeowners maximise the space and functionality of a room and ensure there is a seamless feel between all parts.

What are the practical considerations?
You need a good cooker hood so that smells do not permeate the whole open plan room. To calculate the required extraction rate, you need to multiply the total space of the open plan room by 10. For instance: An open plan room which is 5m by 6m and which has a ceiling of 2.3m high, requires a cooker hood with an extraction rate of (5 x 6 x 2.3) x 10 = 690 m3/h. Moreover, you also need to consider the noise of a cooker hood. You want a quiet cooker hood, so that it doesn’t disturb your conversation.

Do you have any recommendations for colours?
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 save costs.

Simple, light paint tones are often used in open plan kitchens as they enhance the proportions of the room: darker colours or more detailed wall papers would detract from the overall feel and ambiance of the new space. However, certain key items such as range cookers can be highlighted in bold colours such as rich reds or vibrant yellows to add further interest to the kitchen area.

Are range cookers a good choice for open plan kitchens?
They are definitely a good choice! From a design perspective, a range cooker can be a great feature in a kitchen – especially when you choose a contrasting colour (such as a black range cooker in a light kitchen).

Perhaps even more importantly, if you love entertaining, then a range cooker in an open plan kitchen is ideal. A range cooker gives you a lot of cooking options – especially when preparing for a large family meal or a dinner party. And because you have an open plan kitchen, you can chat with your family and friends (and see what’s going on), while you’re cooking.

Which do you prefer - open plan or a separate kitchen and living area? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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