Design Advice
Jun 8, 2022

3 Efficient Ways to Create an Open-concept Kitchen

Open-concept kitchens (open-plan kitchens) are one of the most sought-after features of a modern family home. Historically, kitchens of yesteryears served as private spaces to prepare meals, even some designs went as far as hiding the kitchen behind a swinging door. Now, homeowners have embraced the idea of opening up their kitchens to their dining rooms, and often, their dining rooms to their living rooms, too.

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Open-concept kitchens, or modern, open-concept layouts in general, are perfect for casual family living or entertainment, as it encourages seamless movement and interaction from room to room. Eliminating the barrier between the kitchen and social spaces not only works for gatherings but also opens up your floor plan, giving it the illusion of larger square footage.

What Exactly Is an Open-concept Kitchen & Its Appeal?

An open-concept kitchen is a kitchen that lacks a dividing wall between itself and its adjacent living spaces. The open floor plan merges the kitchen space with other communal areas such as the family room, living room, and/or dining area. The open concept design is highly sought after in modern kitchens with limited space. Open-plan kitchen designs are also favored in new developments and renovation projects where utilizing space effectively is a priority. Some of the best advantages of an open-concept kitchen are:

  • Space-efficient: The open floorplan is the best way for homeowners to get the most out of small living areas as it maximizes available space.
Space efficient for Open-concept kitchen
  • Enhances natural light and ventilation: An open-plan kitchen creates airy and roomy integrated living and dining areas by removing the interior walls that restrict the circulation of air and natural light into adjoining rooms.
Natural light in open-concept kitchen
  • A singular design: Styling a house with a consistent theme can be a challenging task when living areas are separate. An open-plan kitchen design eliminates the issue of coordination as style choices are carried throughout the conjoined living and dining areas.
Open-concept kitchen layout
  • Family and friends can get together: Imagine being able to cook and socialize with the household members or guests at the same time. This is the communal lifestyle that the open-concept kitchen encourages by merging multiple living areas. With the modern kitchen at the center, the open floor plan brings everyone together.
Open-concept kitchen space

Follow our guide below to design your open-concept kitchen

1. Choose the Right Colour

The colour palette of the modern kitchen sets the overall theme and ambiance of the design. So, your choice of kitchen cabinet colours is often of vital importance. For an open-concept kitchen, the right colour is the key to distinguishing the kitchen and other areas. White or cream are popular choices, evoking a clean, airy ambiance. You can also add wood finishes to warm up your kitchen palette.

Choose colour for open-concept kitchen
Adding a warm wood tone to a white kitchen can add personality to your space.

Bold colours (blue, green, or wood shades) are excellent choices for distinguishing the kitchen as a zone within an open-plan layout.

Choose colour for open-concept kitchen
This dark blue kitchen stands out in the beautiful white space

2. Pick the Best Layout

How many people are in your home? Think of the number of people moving through the open-plan room and the number of home appliances.

Here are some of the most common kitchen layouts:

Open-concept kitchen layout
  • Galley kitchen: is also called a walk-through kitchen. This layout is characterized by two walls opposite of each other - or two parallel countertops with a walkway in between them. Galleys make the best use of every square inch of space, and there are no troublesome corner cabinets to configure, making this layout one of the most financially efficient ones.
Galley layout for Open-concept kitchen
The primary work triangle is perfect in this open-concept kitchen
  • L-shaped kitchen: solves the problem of maximizing corner space. It is an intelligent design for small and medium-sized modern kitchens. The versatile L-shaped kitchen layout consists of countertops on two adjoining perpendicular walls, forming an L. The “legs” of the L can be as long as you want. However, this layout is not the best choice for large modern kitchens or if you want to add an island to your open-concept kitchen.
L-shaped layout for Open-concept kitchen
L-shaped kitchen solves the problem of maximizing corner space
  • U-shaped kitchen: consists of three walls. Adding an island to an L-shaped kitchen is an easy way to transform your kitchen into a U-shaped kitchen layout. This design works well because it allows for traffic flow and workflow around the island.
This U-shaped kitchen provides ultimate efficiency with everything at your fingertips
  • I-shaped kitchen: is also known as the one-wall kitchen. Usually found in smaller kitchens, this simple layout is space-efficient without giving up on functionality. Consisting of cabinets installed against a single wall, the modern kitchen layout can have upper and lower cabinets or shelving over base cabinets, creating a clean aesthetic.
I-shaped layout for Open-concept kitchen
This small one-wall kitchen can open a great entertaining space

Having 5 functionality zones in the kitchen layout helps place things where they are most relevant and easy to access, we have a guide to planning your kitchen zone should you need them!

3. A Kitchen Island Is a Smart Addition

One of the best parts of an open kitchen design is the integration of an island. This will often serve as the centerpiece of your cooking and entertainment. A kitchen island can is a visual focal point of your modern kitchen design. It can serve to highlight or contrast the aesthetics of your choice.

Add kitchen island or peninsula for Open-concept kitchen
Adding an island can connect all together in this open-concept kitchen

Or you can consider designing a peninsula. It is the perfect solution for smaller spaces or for long narrow kitchens that cannot accommodate the space needed for an island.

Add kitchen island or peninsula for Open-concept kitchen
A peninsula is a perfect solution for smaller spaces

Tip: Keeping this center island predominantly white and utilizing high-contrast black on either side ensures your eye will always lead you to the visual interest of the space.

Explore our Instagram to get inspiration for your open-concept kitchen and contact one of our Zen Living consultants today!

Click here to schedule an appointment to see our Calgary showroom at 4216 61 Ave SE.

Appointment times are available from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM from Monday to Friday or 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturdays.

Open-concept kitchens, or modern, open-concept layouts in general, are perfect for casual family living or entertainment, as it encourages seamless movement and interaction from room to room. Eliminating the barrier between the kitchen and social spaces not only works for gatherings but also opens up your floor plan, giving it the illusion of larger square footage.

What Exactly Is an Open-concept Kitchen & Its Appeal?

An open-concept kitchen is a kitchen that lacks a dividing wall between itself and its adjacent living spaces. The open floor plan merges the kitchen space with other communal areas such as the family room, living room, and/or dining area. The open concept design is highly sought after in modern kitchens with limited space. Open-plan kitchen designs are also favored in new developments and renovation projects where utilizing space effectively is a priority. Some of the best advantages of an open-concept kitchen are:

  • Space-efficient: The open floorplan is the best way for homeowners to get the most out of small living areas as it maximizes available space.
Space efficient for Open-concept kitchen
  • Enhances natural light and ventilation: An open-plan kitchen creates airy and roomy integrated living and dining areas by removing the interior walls that restrict the circulation of air and natural light into adjoining rooms.
Natural light in open-concept kitchen
  • A singular design: Styling a house with a consistent theme can be a challenging task when living areas are separate. An open-plan kitchen design eliminates the issue of coordination as style choices are carried throughout the conjoined living and dining areas.
Open-concept kitchen layout
  • Family and friends can get together: Imagine being able to cook and socialize with the household members or guests at the same time. This is the communal lifestyle that the open-concept kitchen encourages by merging multiple living areas. With the modern kitchen at the center, the open floor plan brings everyone together.
Open-concept kitchen space

Follow our guide below to design your open-concept kitchen

1. Choose the Right Colour

The colour palette of the modern kitchen sets the overall theme and ambiance of the design. So, your choice of kitchen cabinet colours is often of vital importance. For an open-concept kitchen, the right colour is the key to distinguishing the kitchen and other areas. White or cream are popular choices, evoking a clean, airy ambiance. You can also add wood finishes to warm up your kitchen palette.

Choose colour for open-concept kitchen
Adding a warm wood tone to a white kitchen can add personality to your space.

Bold colours (blue, green, or wood shades) are excellent choices for distinguishing the kitchen as a zone within an open-plan layout.

Choose colour for open-concept kitchen
This dark blue kitchen stands out in the beautiful white space

2. Pick the Best Layout

How many people are in your home? Think of the number of people moving through the open-plan room and the number of home appliances.

Here are some of the most common kitchen layouts:

Open-concept kitchen layout
  • Galley kitchen: is also called a walk-through kitchen. This layout is characterized by two walls opposite of each other - or two parallel countertops with a walkway in between them. Galleys make the best use of every square inch of space, and there are no troublesome corner cabinets to configure, making this layout one of the most financially efficient ones.
Galley layout for Open-concept kitchen
The primary work triangle is perfect in this open-concept kitchen
  • L-shaped kitchen: solves the problem of maximizing corner space. It is an intelligent design for small and medium-sized modern kitchens. The versatile L-shaped kitchen layout consists of countertops on two adjoining perpendicular walls, forming an L. The “legs” of the L can be as long as you want. However, this layout is not the best choice for large modern kitchens or if you want to add an island to your open-concept kitchen.
L-shaped layout for Open-concept kitchen
L-shaped kitchen solves the problem of maximizing corner space
  • U-shaped kitchen: consists of three walls. Adding an island to an L-shaped kitchen is an easy way to transform your kitchen into a U-shaped kitchen layout. This design works well because it allows for traffic flow and workflow around the island.
This U-shaped kitchen provides ultimate efficiency with everything at your fingertips
  • I-shaped kitchen: is also known as the one-wall kitchen. Usually found in smaller kitchens, this simple layout is space-efficient without giving up on functionality. Consisting of cabinets installed against a single wall, the modern kitchen layout can have upper and lower cabinets or shelving over base cabinets, creating a clean aesthetic.
I-shaped layout for Open-concept kitchen
This small one-wall kitchen can open a great entertaining space

Having 5 functionality zones in the kitchen layout helps place things where they are most relevant and easy to access, we have a guide to planning your kitchen zone should you need them!

3. A Kitchen Island Is a Smart Addition

One of the best parts of an open kitchen design is the integration of an island. This will often serve as the centerpiece of your cooking and entertainment. A kitchen island can is a visual focal point of your modern kitchen design. It can serve to highlight or contrast the aesthetics of your choice.

Add kitchen island or peninsula for Open-concept kitchen
Adding an island can connect all together in this open-concept kitchen

Or you can consider designing a peninsula. It is the perfect solution for smaller spaces or for long narrow kitchens that cannot accommodate the space needed for an island.

Add kitchen island or peninsula for Open-concept kitchen
A peninsula is a perfect solution for smaller spaces

Tip: Keeping this center island predominantly white and utilizing high-contrast black on either side ensures your eye will always lead you to the visual interest of the space.

Explore our Instagram to get inspiration for your open-concept kitchen and contact one of our Zen Living consultants today!

Click here to schedule an appointment to see our Calgary showroom at 4216 61 Ave SE.

Appointment times are available from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM from Monday to Friday or 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturdays.

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