In this blog post we discuss kitchen living rooms. Read on for our tips and advice.
Our guide to kitchen/living rooms
Most people today want relaxed and informal living spaces and, as a result, the open-plan family kitchen/living room has become extremely popular...
Although one big room, the kitchen/living room has three different zones for cooking, eating and living. In concept it's very similar to a studio flat with kitchen, table and sofa. Just a lot bigger. Space is the vital element here: you need square footage to make it work, and often in a family house a whole basement is given over to it. This living arrangement is very desirable for families and works extremely well provided there is at least one separate reception room where people can escape the communal space. Outside access is also key as you need to be able to fully appreciate and benefit from an upturn in our weather fortunes. If you can have a back door cloakroom and loo right next to this room it's a bonus.
There should be consistency between the three zones - so if you want a contemporary style, you're looking to make the whole lot contemporary. However, think about using different but complementary flooring and lighting to designate different zones. You need bright, focused lights in the kitchen zone, and a softer, more diffuse glow in the eating and living areas. Ideally, the living area should feel cosy and warm. But big family kitchens - even ones with oven and Aga heat - can feel cold, especially if there is a large external glass area. I'd always put a fireplace in the living area, if you can, as it makes a good focal point as well as an economical heat source. Welcoming, comfortable and hard-wearing sofas are essential, and you'll probably want a television - making life easier for informal viewing.
That little bit extra...
The ultimate luxury in an open plan kitchen/living room is a wood burner. Traditional or modern, they are heat- and energy-efficient and also very safe - a big advantage in a family room. Leave them lit when you go up to bed - just shut the front panel door first.