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Optimize Space and Flow with an Open Floor Plan

Open floor space for kitchen and den

Are you looking to maximize the space you have, while actually making your home

appear larger? Then the open floor plan might be for you. In the past few decades, the open floor plan has grown in popularity. A well designed open floor concept allows in more natural light and creates an easy flow for a family to gather and mill around.

Typically, the kitchen opens to a dining area and/or a family room, with no walls to divide the space. The entire room is organized in such a way that kitchen islands or well placed furniture pieces differentiate the separate spaces, while visually connecting everything together. Yet, this same openness also means that your work surfaces are always on display, reducing privacy. Here’s the scoop on how the open floor plan works in real life.

Adding an Island

Adding one or more kitchen islands will bring out the best advantages of an open floor plan. A kitchen island is beautiful and multifunctional.

Uses include:

  • Creating ample walking space - the island makes carrying heavy dishes so much easier. Plus, your guests can walk back and forth as needed.

  • Preparing, serving and eating food - it’s a great place to entertain and even socialize with guests while cooking. If buffet meals are your style, then a central kitchen island is perfect.

  • Repurposing the space for homework or play - children can keep busy while staying close to their parents. They can also confine their messy art projects or science experiments to the kitchen, rather than dirtying the furniture in the family room.

  • Supervising kids while cooking - if a parent is in the kitchen cooking, they can still see and hear their children playing in the family room. Well placed windows also offer a nice and convenient view of the children playing outside.

Among all these advantages, here are some important caveats to keep in mind while entertaining guests:

  • You’re always on view - dirty dishes, messy work surfaces and tools are always visible from the adjoining spaces.

  • No formal dining room - it’s more complicated to create a formal dining area when your guests will always be able to see, hear and smell the work done in the kitchen.

  • Spaces can become cluttered - make sure there is enough space to keep things clean and neat. Ample cabinetry above and under the counters will help immensely. Furthermore, if you need space for additional storage or specialized appliances, more than one kitchen island may suit you best.

  • At a time when people need to work at home and share a space, having a private or quiet space may become more important.

Overall, you want an open floor plan design that uses the proper angles, cabinetry and furniture to maintain the flow from area to area. While the space need not be the same color throughout, you want the materials, lighting and color choices to coordinate.

Strategically placed furniture and subtle color changes go a long way. Furthermore, an area rug serves as a good visual divider to anchor a space and signify separate functions.

Open floor plans come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and layouts. When you decide to renovate your kitchen, working with an interior designer to create the best space plan is recommended.

For more information, please contact Dafna Adler at or call 516-234-5425.


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