Kitchen by he.d group

Open plan living areas; combining the living room, dining room, and kitchen

Matt Hornyak—homify Matt Hornyak—homify

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With smaller apartments becoming the norm, we are forced to find innovative ways to arrange our home to make the most of the space available. One of the most popular approaches, and also the most practical, is to combine all of the social areas in our house into one shared space, creating an open plan living area that includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen. This way, instead of three cramped rooms you have one large open area that feel expansive and spacious.

If this sounds like the right approach for your home, then join us as we take a look at some fantastic examples from the experts here at homify that will show you the various ways you can achieve this look. Regardless of style or decor, an open plan layout will always look fantastic, and the homes we'll be exploring are going to prove it.

1. At the front door

 Living room by 1:1 arquitetura:design
1:1 arquitetura:design

Kitchen and social área

1:1 arquitetura:design

Combining all of the social spaces of the home will for many mean that the front door opens right onto the open plan living area. Here the front door is right next to the kitchen, meaning you'll have to keep it clean for guests! In this plan the dining room table is adjacent to the kitchen bench, functionally separating the living room and the eating area.

2. Keeping your options open

This area features both a dining table, and a breakfast bar, allowing for quick casual meals, and dinner parties. This room uses bare concrete for the walls that contrasts beautifully with the timber hardwood floors and furniture.

3. Industrial and modern

This funky space is defined by heavy timber foundations, hardwood floors, varnished metal surfaces, and exposed concrete for a cool industrial look. The dining table is marked by contemporary hanging lamps, while the kitchen is enclosed by a long counter.

4. Trendy lighting

We just love this modern take on the chandelier, with hanging light bulbs marking the living room. The dining room table is simply an extension of the kitchen counter, perfect for a couple in a studio apartment.

5. Vintage meets modern

This open plan space contrasts vintage elements like that sixties' chair and the backsplash in the kitchen with more modern elements like the flat panel cabinets, and that amazing light fixture above the dining room table. The kitchen is completely open, as with everything they need fitting nicely against one wall there is no need to separate it.

6. Light and bright

This area uses a monochromatic base of black and white, and then invigorates it with bursts of vivid yellow for a really cool and modern look. Using white as a base will make a room feel airy and spacious, a great idea for smaller homes.

7. Fun and casual

This fun living area is perfect for young creative types, with lots of colour, and quirky decorations like the stag's head and bottle collection. The kitchen is a large space, encouraging the owners to make the most of it, and cook as often as they can, while the dining area is a simple bar, with a couple of seats and a bench in case of extra guests.

8. Blending interior and exterior spaces

With massive full wall windows that can completely open the room up to the enclosed lawn, this living area feels like it could be part of the garden, rather than a separate space. In the summer you can enjoy the fresh air, and in the winter months you'll have a romantic view out to the falling rain.

9. An interior garden

Another unique way to bring the surrounding environment inside is by filling your home with plants. With your living area sharing space with the kitchen it's important that you can air the room out and keep it fresh, and the natural air purifying quality of plants will make a big difference. This space features a long bar for the dining area, but our favourite feature has to be the indoor swing!

10. For the modern family

It's always a challenge to keep an eye on the kids, especially when you're busy cooking, but having an open plan living area makes it easy. Here we have a spacious living room, including a play area for the kids, that's visually connected to the kitchen and dining area.

11. An exciting plan

Here we have a 3D rendered plan for the living area, with each spot marked by its unique lighting solutions; bright lights in the kitchen, hanging lamps above the dining room table, and spotlights that bounce off the polished concrete of the walls. The space is unified by the colour palette, as well as a shared sense of contemporary style.

12. Japanese style

This home was inspired by classical Japanese architecture that aims to strike a balance between the interior and exterior spaces with lots of natural timber, and sliding doors that open this space up to a magnificent garden. The living room too is inspired by tradition, consisting of nothing more than timber floors for relaxing in a simple, tranquil space.

13. Multifunctional furniture

When blending rooms together you'll find you want furniture that can meet multiple needs. Here we find a large green pantry for the kitchen, that also functions as a bookshelf for the living area; a clever way to save space!

If you're stretched for room, there's no doubt that an open plan approach is your best bet, and with all this inspiration we're sure you're ready to start planning your own living area! For more great tips, check out these low maintenance flooring options for Malaysian homes!

Tell us what you like about open plan living areas in the comments!
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