Kitchens open to the living room: With glass or with island?

In the society in which we live it is increasingly common to find designs that break with the personal or individualized intimacy of spaces to give way to larger environments and common use.

Within this philosophy the kitchen plays a very important role. Well, together with the living room, they are the two most used spaces in the house, so it never hurts to unite both environments to create a single space without visual barriers.

In this article we wanted to make a compilation of the main characteristics that a kitchen open to the living room should have. This is one of the characteristics of modern design kitchens.

If you want to know more read this article until the end and you will discover all the possibilities you can apply in the reform of your kitchen

Why is it important to remove partitions?

Before removing the partition that connects your kitchen with the living room it is vital that you make sure that it is not a load-bearing wall.

To make sure it is a partition you can hit the wall with your fist and see if you hear a hollow sound. If, on the other hand, that sound is not heard and the wall is solid and thick, you will be with a load-bearing wall, which is not convenient to tear down because it is part of the central structure that holds your house.

However, to be one hundred percent sure of the type of wall it is, it is always advisable to look at the architect’s plans that would surely give you when acquiring your home.

It is important to eliminate those partitions that separate the kitchen from the living room in order to create an open space. In this way you can unify two styles of decoration in the same space and make them follow the same decorative dynamics with small details such as:

  • Living room drawer handles and kitchen cabinet door handles
  • Colors on walls and tiles
  • Colors and floor designs
  • A line of similar lamps between the living room and kitchen
  • Pots and similar decorative elements in both spaces such as paintings, clocks or shelves …
Kitchen with island open to the living room

What are the advantages of an open space?

The current pace of life means that we are always in a hurry. In addition, we want to have more comfort and everything at our fingertips. For this reason, an open space offers the following advantages:

  • Increased light and connection to the outside
  • Removing visual boundaries
  • Greater comfort due to the spaciousness of the space
  • Improves coexistence and communication, since all the people in the home can stay together, even if they are in different spaces

What are the drawbacks of an open space?

One of the fears that arises when opening the spaces between the kitchen and the living room is that the concept of open spaces is only a passing fad.

But you should not rely solely on the current fashion style, but you should look at what your heart really desires.

Undoubtedly, open spaces offer many advantages, but here are some factors that can reverse your reform decision such as:

  • The fear of noises: Because if you work in the living room you would not want to hear the blender or the kitchen juicer
  • The smells: Well, as there are no separation partitions it is impossible to control them and they end up reaching the living room
  • Lack of privacy: Because anyone in the home can see what you do easily as there are no visual barriers

If these inconveniences do not pose any problem is that the open kitchen is made for you. It is convenient to know both the advantages and disadvantages, since this way you can make a better decision.

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How to distribute open space?

If you have finally managed to tear down the partition between the kitchen and the living room you should think about the distribution of your kitchen and the furniture in the living room. It is essential that you do not fill everything with accessories or decorative items to avoid a loaded environment and that order is better appreciated in the open space.

The best thing in these cases is to be inspired by other cuisines. For this here I leave a few photos of kitchens open to the living room. Check them out for ideas.

On the other hand, an open space offers the possibility to monitor your children who play in the living room while you cook. Similarly, you will feel more comfortable when you receive visitors and can continue to chat with them while you cook.

It is important that at the time of distribution you decide if you want a kitchen island to separate the kitchen from the living room environment or if you want a window. Here are both options:

Placement of a kitchen island

Traditionally, when the partitions between a kitchen and the living room were eliminated, it was usual to place an island at the point of union of both spaces. This was done to integrate both environments into one and create an unimpressive visual barrier as an imaginary separation.

Today, the materials to create kitchen islands have evolved a lot. We can even find islands that imitate natural materials such as stone, slate, quartz or granite. This will allow you to apply the style you want most for your kitchen.

Sometimes you can place electric stoves, ambient light or even a sink on the island, to have the rest of the countertop free.

However, an island is not enough to separate environments, so you should look at the cut of the floor tiles, or the continuity of colors on the walls. If the clash of styles was very radical, you could always use colors in similar shades or put more colorful tiles.

Kitchen with island

Open kitchen with glass

This type of kitchen is designed for those who want to play it safe. When cooking, vapors and odors are released that may remain impregnated in the furniture of the living room.

To prevent this from happening it is vitally important to have a glass window and a good fume extractor hood. But, if it keeps happening, it is better that you place a window to separate both spaces.

The advantage of the windows is that they can be sliding or folding, so you can have the space closed while you cook and open it when you have guests in the living room.

Kitchen with glass

How to disguise the separation of environments?

Finally, so that visually a separation of environments can be detected, it is convenient to recreate arches or porticos that serve as delimiters of space.

One of the advantages you can have when removing your partition is that you can partially throw it away to preserve a kind of arch between both rooms.

If, on the other hand, you decide to eliminate the partition, you will only have to delimit the kitchen by changing the floor so that it is integrated with that of the dining room. You can also help yourself with beams, moldings or ornamental elements of the style that best suits your needs.

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By Catharine Bwana