Maximize space with an open kitchen layout

Open kitchen layouts are great options for families and can also save on money and space. There are no limits to your kitchen design – here are some of the advantages of an open floor plan and a few excellent examples to get your creative juices flowing.

An open kitchen gets its name because there are no walls to divide it from other rooms. Movement and visibility between two rooms are thus made easier. This kind of design allows anyone working in the kitchen to interact with people in the living room, dining room or any others space to which it connects. The open layout is an excellent option for families who like to host with a casual atmosphere, who have kids parents to keep an eye on, or who generally have a lot of movement between rooms.

An open kitchen layout can also maximize space by combining rooms. Commonly, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens are combined to create what is called a great room. The maximal use of space means less cost on square footage and fewer rooms to heat and cool, potentially saving the homeowners money. The open layout is a popular feature in many modern house plans.

Defining the space
While there is no dividing wall in an open kitchen layout, barriers can still be used to define the space. Usually, this is an island counter, which creates a physical, but not a visual, barrier. It also provides added counter space without the kitchen feeling claustrophobic. That countertop can be used as a work area, informal dining table or buffet table.

Hosting parties
House plan HHF-5902 is an exemplary design layout for intimate yet friendly dinner parties. The kitchen's open wall looks onto the dining room. allowing the chef and diners to chat while meals are prepared. Furthermore, if the chef needs assistance serving, he or she need only turn and ask. Yet, the island counter that divides the rooms also helps distinguish between the spaces, so that diners feel that they are not sitting in the kitchen.

The island counter with stools also doubles as an informal table. Appetizers and drinks for that dinner party can also be served on the island. If the dinner is more of a tapas-influenced meal, where the chef will constantly be serving fresh dishes, the meal can even be hosted there. For other times of the day, families can sit at a row of stools a quick breakfast or lunch.

Also, just because the kitchen is combined with the dining room doesn't mean that any kitchen amenities are lost. The galley formation makes for a functional, efficient workspace.

Living and cooking
There are plenty of excellent open floor plans that go even wider and capitalize on the great room trend. The best-selling HHF-8292 home plan connects to the dining room and the living room, with all three interconnected. Anyone who has to do work at the kitchen table can still keep an eye on family in the living room or, if there is a game on, can keep watch as they cook. The kitchen even has a straight line of sight to the outdoor living space. Clear the dining room, and hosting an outdoor meal has never been easier.

The HHF-1897 boasts an even broader view of the family room, also making it one of the more conservative layouts in terms of space efficiency. It also has easy access to a number of other spaces, including the nook and the foyer. The dining room, while less directly accessible, is still a straight shot through the foyer. Unlike the other spaces, this island counter is a curved work table that allows anyone cooking to easily multitask.