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Roundhouse Designs : The buzzwords of the moment are ‘broken-plan’ but what does this mean for your kitchen design? Whether you are yearning for an open-plan bespoke kitchen or prefer the idea of broken-plan where the space is physically divided, we’ve got some great ideas to help you maintain cohesion in your kitchen layout.
What do the terms broken-plan and open-plan mean?
Generally broken-plan is where the space is physically divided by – for example – changes to floor levels or materials, glass partitions, partial walls, shelving, bookcases, storage or furniture. The idea is that with subtle divisions you can keep the sense of space that you get with an open-plan layout but that there are areas where you can retain your own space away from the rest of the family. However, with a layout like this it is even more important to maintain cohesion in your kitchen design.
Open-plan is just what it says on the tin – an open-plan space with no physical divisions. Often, they are filled with light and, with a lack of tangible partitions, the sense of space is greatly enhanced. Whatever style you prefer for your modern kitchen layout the space needs to be designed so that there is an easy flow between the kitchen, living and dining areas and it’s important to make visual links between each ‘zone’.
Zoning the space
For both an open-plan or broken-plan kitchen, it’s necessary to create defined zones for each specific area otherwise the space can appear disjointed, even messy, despite the open-plan. By making links between each ‘zone’ through simple visual tricks the whole space can be given a more cohesive look. Simple things like having similar cabinetry in each space, such as the same open shelving in both the kitchen and the living area or a continuation of the cabinetry at a low level in the dining space as that used for kitchen wall cabinets.
Colour is also a crucial element to consider when linking separate areas – use it to define the space, for example, colour used in a kitchen splash-back might be picked up in the dining area on a feature wall. Structural elements like exposed RSJs (rolled steel joists) can be painted in the same shade as your painted kitchen cabinetry.
Materials too can be employed to create connections; the dining table or chairs could be in the same wood as a solid wood breakfast bar on a kitchen island, for example. A good kitchen designer will help you think through all your options at the planning stage and will come up with creative ideas and solutions to help you make your open-plan or broken-plan space as cohesive as possible.
Whatever style of kitchen furniture you choose it needs to look as good as it can if it extends into, and becomes part of, your general living space.