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  • Writer's pictureDanny Broe Architect

Open Plan Kitchen

In many of today’s interiors, it is fairly unusual to find a kitchen alone in its own room, confined between 4 walls.

Early modern kitchens were located toward the back of the house with a door leading out to the back garden which was practical for taking prepared food to the BBQ and outdoor dinner guests.

In my professional career I am yet to design a residential kitchen that is separated from the living room and dining room. These days the brief usually requires a marriage between main living areas and the outdoors.

A few things to think about when designing an open plan kitchen:-

Think about how you use the kitchen. For instance, what is your washing up style? After dining do all plates go straight into the sink or do they stay piled up on the bench for a while? This will help you decide where you may want the sink located? If you are the type, when having guests over, who tends to leave the dirty dishes in or around the sink, you may not want to locate the sink in the island bench. Instead you may want it located under a kitchen window, which will be a pleasant distraction to the monotonous task of scrub, rinse and dry. However, if your plates go straight into you dishwasher then a sink in the island bench could look great.

Many people, space permitting are finding butler pantries useful and find it a great place to hide mess and to store long life shelf goods and pots and pans.

Pot drawers in my opinion are a great way for easy access to large pots. There is no need to move 10 heavy pots out of the way just to get to the one you are after. Simple pull of a handle and you can easily lift the pots and pans you are after.  Soft close draw tracks are pretty much standard these days, but make sure to let your architect, interior designer or joiner know that these are what you are after. Be warned! If you’re a door slammer during an argument, these soft close drawers will just add to your frustration.

Above are just a few things to think about when designing an open plan kitchen. Of course there are many more, but a piece of advice I give my clients early on during briefing and concept stages of any project, is to really think how you use your kitchen and what current obstacles are in your way that you would like improved in your new kitchen.

Talk to your design professionals and explain to them what you have in mind - even going with pictures of examples you like will help communicate what you are after. Also listen to the advice they give, as they will be aware of new materials and creative details that will turn an ordinary kitchen into an extraordinary one.

As the old adage goes - the kitchen is the heart of the home, and it does really bring everyone together. Have a look below at some examples of contemporary open plan kitchens (source  :

Jessica Zavaglia

Interior Architect

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