Top 5 ways to integrate your kitchen and living spaces


Recently emerging as the ‘new way of living’ for busy modern families, the open kitchen trend is no longer just an optional design aesthetic.  Effectively integrating kitchen and living zones is the ideal solution for families to spend more time together and for best utilizing space to maximize the functionality of your home.

Once just a place to cook and store food, the modern kitchen is all about entertaining, relaxing, dining and even working in.  But the only way we can successfully share the same space for this myriad of functions is through opening up our homes and breaking down the walls that once divided our kitchen, living and dining zones.  So now that kitchens are blurring the lines for where they begin and end its time to incorporate some fresh design ideas for successfully merging these zones.

1. APPLIANCE INTEGRATION AND HIDEAWAY FUNCTIONS 

As time moves on you will notice a shift from the popular stainless steel appliances to appliances that are built in or concealed behind cabinetry where integration is possible.  Currently it is quite common to integrate dishwashers, fridges, wine storage, plate warmers, coffee machines and even luxury items like Zip taps for instant boiling, chilled or sparkling water.  New style concealed sinks and even pop up rangehoods are ideal for keeping your kitchen looking sleek and clean. Integrating technology is also increasing popular with appliances now being made with built-in wifi.  Using your phone, you can now start cooking dinner before you leave work or even have the coffee ready before you get out of bed!

2. MULTI ZONE YOUR SPACE 

A great way to multi zone your kitchen is to include a study nook enabling the gourmet chef to keep track of that recipe on the internet or watch over the kids while they do their homework.  And also consider comfort – adding a lounging zone nearby the kitchen area makes for a great spot to enjoy a glass of wine for cozy pre dinner conversation and still keep a watchful eye on those culinary masterpieces being created.

3. THE FLOATING ISLAND 

The floating kitchen island is taking precedence in the modern kitchen design over the older style U or L shaped kitchens, and defining the central point where the kitchen and living zone intersect.  Fit out your island with a sink or perhaps a cook top with overhead range ducting, so you can easily prepare and cook while socializing.  Provide seating for informal dining or include additional cabinetry for storage at the end of the island. 

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4. THE ESSENTIAL LAYOUT

Remember the most important element in your kitchen must be the layout. Ensure the kitchen is designed with the working triangle in mind. The fridge, sink and oven / cook top must be in the main preparation area and positioned at the three ends of the triangle. You should be able to move freely between these zones so the kitchen is a safe and functional place to cook. Always give special attention to the location of the refrigerator as it will be accessed by family on a regular basis and should not be in the centre of the work space.  And keep your cutlery and serving ware close to the dining table to ensure you can set the table without crossing paths with the chef!

5. THE FURNITURE MERGE

Once you have decided on a style and colour of kitchen cabinetry it may be worth considering where else in the home, such as a media room, study or even outdoor area you might wish to add built in furniture.  It is increasingly popular for achieving a cohesive look within these adjoining spaces and repeating elements of your kitchen will help to create harmony within your design choices.  And it works both ways as incorporating elements of your decorating into kitchen such as upholstered stools, stylish overhead lighting and accessories inspired by your living areas with further unite your overall concept and individual style.

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