Storage becomes an important issue in a kitchen with an open floor plan. In some cases, taller storage could be used; in others, wall storage might be sacrificed to achieve a lighter look. Consider how much storage is truly needed, taking into account those items you use regularly as well as what you rarely ever use. Take an honest survey to determine true storage needs. Dishes can be stored in drawers and a few open shelves can accommodate dishes and/or glasses and selected serving ware. Abundant storage space may not be as urgently needed after all.
If standard wall cabinets are removed to open up the space, then cabinet pantries, freestanding armoire-type pantries, and walk-in pantries are excellent alternatives. Less wall cabinetry also gives the opportunity to add artwork, wall sconces, or a few open shelves, easing the transition between connected spaces and offering a highly decorative view of the kitchen from adjacent rooms.
To continue a more seamless look between the kitchen and family room or den, many options are now being offered that hide the functionality of fixtures and fittings. Appliances—including refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves—can be tucked away inside drawers, and understated cooking appliances are available with hobs or modules with covers to conceal the burners. In addition, the sink can also be made to disappear. Decorative or understated glass covers can completely conceal the sink in a new wave of modern sink design, which also helps expand countertop space, an asset in a small kitchen. There’s even a disappearing faucet to finish the look; just guide the faucet spout all the way down to the sink level and lift it up when it’s needed.
A few finishing touches when designing the open floor plan kitchen may include ensuring that windows are in same sizes and configuration as those in surrounding spaces, and keeping colors and materials in mind, maintaining either a deliberate contrast or complementary look with the hues of the family room or den.
By taking into account the marriage of multiple spaces, you will be assured of having an open floor plan where both space and people flow easily. The flexibility of moving from one space to another combined with the ease of communication and accommodating multiple lifestyle situations comes close a state of nirvana right. The open floor plan—it feels good.