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Connected Spaces: Open Kitchen With Living Room Designs

open kitchen designs with living room
Project: Gambel Way, Snowmass Village

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In the ever-evolving world of home interior design, open kitchen designs have emerged as a prominent trend, captivating the imagination of homeowners and designers alike. As someone who spends a significant time preparing meals for loved ones, it is essential that you also feel included in all those fun gatherings. This is what open kitchen-living designs aim to provide you with!

Despite many homes not naturally lending themselves to open kitchen concepts, you can welcome this style to reap clear advantages like visibility and accessibility offered by open kitchens.

As living spaces shrink, open layouts creatively optimize space utilization. Navigate through our tasteful, personalized, thoughtfully curated selection of the finest open kitchen designs with a living room to seek inspiration for your own space.

The Evolution of the Open Kitchen-Living Room Concept

In ancient times, people relied on open fires constructed on the ground for cooking. Over time, simple masonry structures emerged to support wood and food. Food was often suspended in metal cauldrons above the fire during the Middle Ages. These cooking areas naturally attracted people by providing heat, light, safety, and nourishment.

The post-World War II housing boom and manufacturing advancements significantly impacted the evolution of the "modern" kitchen. Growing demand for kitchen technology and equipment inspired homeowners to dismantle the walls that once concealed their functional kitchens.

open concept living room kitchen
Project: Fox Crossing, Aspen

The kitchen began to transform into a quieter, cleaner, and better-organized space, making it easier to work in. It became a source of pride and gradually gained recognition as a place suitable for entertaining guests.

During the 1960s and 1970s, social changes further enhanced the style of kitchens. There was a renewed interest in home cooking, focusing on kitchen utensils and the art of entertaining. The kitchen regained its status as a hub of culinary creativity, showcasing designer cookware and serving as the heart of social activity. By the 1980s, the concept of a fully open kitchen with appliances designed to be showcased gained popularity.

Family-Friendly Living: Benefits of Open Kitchen-Living Room Designs

Here are the key benefits of open kitchen designs compared to closed kitchens:

  • Enhanced sense of spaciousness: Opting for open kitchen designs with a living room enables you to achieve visual continuity and a greater sense of space. Removing barriers between the kitchen and living room creates a larger room, eliminating the isolation often felt by those cooking.

  • Increased natural light: Open kitchens generally benefit from more natural light. Light can freely flow throughout the space without partitions or walls separating different areas of the home. This results in a more comfortable and pleasant environment. Combining natural light with well-placed LED spotlights or stylish lamps can enhance the ambiance.

  • Improved communication and accessibility: If you enjoy sharing family moments, an open kitchen concept is ideal for fostering a practical and functional environment. It facilitates better communication and accessibility, making the space more inclusive. Moreover, it allows for seamless movement between the kitchen and dining area, enabling efficient serving and preparation.

  • Better ventilation: Integrating a small kitchen with the dining room promotes better air circulation. This is particularly beneficial for eliminating cooking odors. Even with a reliable extractor hood, ensuring proper ventilation in the kitchen is always advisable.

Living Room Kitchen Open Floor Plan Designs

An open floor plan kitchen living room often incorporates a shared space for the kitchen and dining area, where a island kitchen or peninsula may serve as a visual separation between the two. Similarly, in the case of a dining room and living room open floor plan, both areas occupy a single shared space.

To delineate between them, various elements such as short stairs, distinct paint colors, an accent wall, recessed areas with stairs, or handrails can be used. Alternatively, in a larger room with a soaring ceiling, the kitchen, dining area, and living room can be seamlessly connected to enhance the social aspect of the home. This layout particularly appeals to homeowners who enjoy frequent cooking and entertaining guests.

open concept kitchen and dining room
Project: Gambel Way, Snowmass Village

Bringing the Kitchen and Dining Room Closer to the Outdoors

Open kitchen floor plans seamlessly integrate indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a harmonious connection. Expansive floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows are commonly incorporated in open layouts, blending the interior with the exterior effortlessly. This design allows the living or dining area to flow into a garden, kitchen, or backyard, bringing nature indoors and giving the rooms a sense of boundlessness.

Embracing the outdoors in your home can provide a tranquil atmosphere. You can take advantage of the garden space in your kitchen for special occasions, offering an enjoyable al-fresco dining experience. To make a striking statement, you can extend the same flooring from the interior onto the patio, ensuring a smooth transition between the indoor and outdoor areas.

Seamless Zone Creation: Designating Spaces Sans Walls

The peninsula kitchen design, resembling a loosely shaped 'G,' features countertops and appliances on three walls and a connected island accessible from three sides. The island can serve various purposes, such as an additional workstation, dining area, or storage space.

This style is well-suited for medium to large kitchen spaces requiring storage and seating for two to three individuals. The pros of the peninsula kitchen design include its ability to maximize functionality while occupying less floor area than an island kitchen.

Optimized Floor Plan: Selecting Only the Essential Inclusions

Maintenance is a significant consideration when selecting an open modular kitchen. Light-colored options require more effort to keep clean and well-maintained. Instead, it is advisable to opt for easily maintainable colors such as greys and wooden tones, which can create a subtle and understated kitchen design.

Experts at ali & shea offer expert guidance to make selection from a wide range of color choices and combinations that match your home aesthetics while ensuring convenience in upkeep.

How to Style an Open Concept-Kitchen Living Room

open concept kitchens and family rooms
Project: Faraway Road, Snowmass Village

Incorporating Simplicity With Neutral Furniture and Rustic Wood Cabinets

Adding a barn door or window in your kitchen can introduce a distinctive rustic ambiance to your space. For a bold approach, define each zone within your open-floor kitchen plan with elements that are radically different from one another. Each area should showcase its unique characteristics and personality.

For example, you can create a contrasting scheme where the kitchen showcases moody, raw concrete walls, industrial fittings, and lighting. At the same time, the adjoining dining room can feature a rustic barn table, chairs, and a dark wood floor and luxury kitchen cabinets. However, it's crucial to approach this style with caution and seek the expertise of a skilled designer to ensure a successful outcome.

Relaxing Oasis: Breakfast Nook in a Neutral Kitchen-Living Room

An open kitchen design with a living room offers additional shelf space, practicality, and convenience. Breakfast counters integrate with open kitchen layouts and provide a cozy spot, particularly suitable for busy working couples, instead of a more elaborate dining area.

This particular open kitchen idea stands out as one of the favorites. It not only features a breakfast counter but also incorporates much-needed shelf space. This combination ensures functionality and adds a touch of versatility to the kitchen design.

open floor plan kitchen living room

Eye-Catching Pendants Enhancing Island Seating Space

This kitchen style incorporates a central island or additional countertop, a versatile focal point. The island can be utilized for various purposes, including dining, a bar counter, or as a prep area.

This design is particularly well-suited for large homes with big families. The benefits include increased storage capacity and ample seating space, perfect for entertaining guests or accommodating a large family.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that an island doesn't necessarily have to be a fixed, built-in feature. Opting for a portable island on wheels offers convenience, as it can be easily pushed in or out as needed, providing flexibility in the kitchen layout.

We hope ali & shea’s tasteful approach to seamlessly embrace open living with connected spaces will help you transform your own haven into one that reflects comfort, love, and togetherness.

Reach out to us and transform your kitchen to become the compelling centerpiece of your home, radiating warmth and smiles!


How do you combine a living room and kitchen?

Combine a living room and kitchen by creating an open floor plan, removing physical barriers between the two spaces. This allows for seamless flow and interaction between the areas, often achieved through shared flooring, cohesive design elements, and thoughtful furniture arrangement.

What is an open kitchen and living room called?

Should the open concept kitchen and living room be the same color?


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