5 rooms that prove open plan living can totally work

See! Open plan living can be for you, it's just about getting the design right – here are some looks to get you inspired

Open plan living space, kitchen and diner
(Image credit: Future/Chris Snook)

We could spend the best part of a day looking at picture of of open plan living spaces. We LOVE them. So light, so spacious, so sociable. Of course, everyone else loves them too, we all want an open plan kitchen diner, or kitchen living room, they are fast becoming one of the most sought after features of a home. 

Obviously, open plan kitchens look gorgeous, but the main reason for this reno decision is actually down to the fact that barely any of us have much use for a separate dining room anymore. Creating a sociable space in which to cook and eat together is way more covetable, plus, it's usually just a case of knocking down a wall to amalgamate the spaces. So in terms of effort and cost, it's a relatively easy transformation. 

Still not convinced? These five gorgeous looks might persuade you that open-plan life is for you... Find 37 more kitchen ideas to inspire your makeover in 2020 in our design gallery.

1. Pick an open plan living space divided from the kitchen

open plan kitchen diner with yellow accents and woods by malcolm menzies

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Depending on size of your space you will probably want to create zones in your open plan layout. The shape of your kitchen can easily be the starting point – if you want the kitchen to feel slightly separated, design a kitchen with a breakfast bar or add a kitchen island to divide the cooking area from the dining and living area. 

2. Or keep the living space open to the kitchen, but create zones with furniture 

Open plan living space with high ceilings

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

If you are working with a smaller kitchen or just want to keep the space as open as possible, go for an L-shaped kitchen. You can zone your open plan space in other ways – even something as simple as adding a rug in one area of the room creates a different feel and separates it from the kitchen area. 

The lighting in this space helps create different areas, too. The statement lights hung above the table in the 'kitchen' section will create a different feel to the softer lights in the living room zone. 

3. Yes, open plan living works in small spaces too

Open plan space in a log cabin

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you don't believe that open plan can work in a small space, you need to check out this new-build log cabin. The main room in the cabin is the living room, kitchen and dining room but it's been designed so cleverly and stylishly it all works and doesn't feel too cramped. 

4. Run accent colours through the entire open plan living space 

open plan kitchen diner and living area with yellow and blue kitchen

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies )

First of all, let's appreciate the colours in this Victorian renovation (take a tour for loads more inspiration). It can be tricky to add colour to a kitchen that's in an open-plan space as it will always have to match what else is going on in the rest of the room, but this home shows you how it's done successfully. You can go bold with your cabinets – but just keep it cohesive by adding a few touches of the same colour to the other parts of the room.

Head to our gallery of colourful kitchens for loads more amazing ideas. 

5. Not ready to go totally open plan? Add glass doors 

Open plan living and dining space with internal French doors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

And if going open plan won't work for your home, or your lifestyle you can create that effortless flow between rooms using glass doors. In this 1930s house, opting for more traditional internal French doors looks lovely – they are a real feature of the space. If you are after something more modern, the ever popular Crittall style doors would do the trick. 

Read more: