Open Kitchen Design

Get all the info you'll need on open kitchen design, and get ready to install an open and welcoming kitchen in your home.
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By: Sean McEvoy

Whether you're looking to create extra space in your home or just want a floor plan for your kitchen and dining area that welcomes guests and family members alike, you may want to explore options for an open kitchen design.

Beautiful, Efficient Kitchen Design and Layout Ideas

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Yellow and Green Country Kitchen

Photo By: Peter Rymwid

Blue Coastal Kitchen

Multicolored Arts-and-Crafts Kitchen

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Green and Brown Arts-and-Crafts Kitchen

Creamy White Country Kitchen

Yellow and Green Country Kitchen

Mixed-Color Mediterranean Kitchen

Transitional Stainless Steel Kitchen

Black and Brown Traditional Kitchen

Brown Wood Old-World Kitchen

From

Celebrity Communities

Photo By: Courtesy of Denver Parade of Homes; Photo by Jeffrey Aron Photography © Denver Parade of Homes

Neutral Traditional Kitchen With Island

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Mixed-Color Tuscan Kitchen

Photo By: Photographer: Harvey Smith ©Copyright: 2009 Harvey Smith Photography407.701.9405

Cherry and Emerald Modern Zen Kitchen

Black Contemporary Kitchen With Island

Brown and Neutral Tuscan Country Kitchen

RS_Designer-Katheryn-Cowles_h

From

Katheryn Cowles

Neutral and Brown Contemporary Kitchen

Gray Mediterranean Kitchen

Cherry and White Traditional Kitchen

Red Modern Kitchen

Green Transitional Kitchen

Brown Kitchen With Contemporary and Rustic Elements

Photo By: Photo Credit: HDR Homes ©Denver Parade of Homes

Arts and Crafts Kitchen With Yellow Cabinets

From

Abe Jerome

Neutral and Blue Rustic Kitchen

Copper and Cherry Kips Bay Kitchen

Photo By: Peter Rymwid

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen With Vaulted Ceiling

Photo By: 2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY ©2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY

Contemporary Kitchen With Island

And

John Colaneri

Blue Rustic Kitchen

And

John Colaneri

Brown Modern Kitchen and Dining Room

White Arts-and-Crafts Kitchen

White Cottage Kitchen With Reclaimed Wood

Brown Old-World Kitchen

From

Celebrity Communities

Photo By: Courtesy of Denver Parade of Homes; Photo by Jeffrey Aron Photography © Denver Parade of Homes

Brown Transitional Kitchen

Black-and-White Transitional Kitchen

From

Montreux Custom Homes

Photo By: Montreux Custom Homes ©Montreux Custom Homes

White Traditional Kitchen

White Cottage Kitchen

White & Gray Country Kitchen

White Contemporary Kitchen

Red Contemporary Kitchen

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From

Jane Ellison

Photo By: Stuart Lirette

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

Photo By: Brian Kellogg ©scripps Networks, LLC

White Contemporary Kitchen

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From

Kathleen Perkins

©Image Courtesy of Kathleen Perkins

Brown Traditional Kitchen

Turquoise Transitional Kitchen

White and Gray Modern Kitchen

Beige Eclectic Kitchen

Turquoise Tropical Galley Kitchen

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

White Traditional Kitchen

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From

Ben Herzog

White and Red Traditional Kitchen

White Traditional Kitchen With Island

Green and White Modern Kitchen

Brown and White Traditional Kitchen

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

White Country Kitchen

Black-and-White Modern Kitchen

Beige Transitional Kitchen

Beige Old-World Kitchen

Brown & Gray Modern Kitchen

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

Mixed-Color Contemporary Kitchen

Transitional White Kitchen

Beige Eclectic Kitchen

White Contemporary Galley Kitchen

Photo By: 2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY ©2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY

White Traditional Kitchen With Island Seating

White Contemporary Kitchen

White and Stainless Steel Modern Kitchen

Neutral Modern Kitchen

Photo By: Trevor Tondro ©All images copyright 2012 Trevor Tondro all rights reserved

Yellow Transitional Kitchen

White Transitional Kitchen

Black-and-White Transitional Kitchen

White Traditional Kitchen

White Open Contemporary Kitchen

White and Gray Transitional Kitchen

White Transitional Kitchen

White Traditional Kitchen

White Traditional Kitchen

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From

Deena Castello

White Contemporary Kitchen

White Contemporary Kitchen

RS_Designer-Judith-Taylor_h

From

Judith Taylor

Transitional Kitchen With Wood, Stainless & Marble

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

RS_Designer-Dorothy-Willetts_h

From

Dorothy Willetts

Brown Contemporary Kitchen

Brown and White Traditional Kitchen

White & Gray Kitchen With Farmhouse Table

Neutral Old-World Kitchen With Island

From

Karen Kettler

White Contemporary Shaker Kitchen

Contemporary Kitchen With Warm Wood Tones

Brown and White Contemporary Kitchen

Warm, White Traditional Kitchen

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen With Island

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From

Gioi Tran

Cool Gray Contemporary Kitchen

Urban Kitchen With Green Tile and Light Wood

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From

Ben Herzog

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen

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From

Mary Broerman

Espresso and Stainless Contemporary Kitchen

White Traditional Kitchen

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From

Tracy Dunn

Brown Transitional Kitchen With Tile Backsplash

Green and Brown Contemporary Kitchen

Photo By: Andrew Bruah

White Transitional Kitchen

White Contemporary Kitchen

Neutral Transitional Kitchen With Island

White Townhome Kitchen

RS_designer-Ben-Herzog_h

From

Ben Herzog

Open kitchens can be great spaces for entertaining, but they also have benefits when it comes to functionality, storage and efficiency.

One of the first things you'll need to consider for your open kitchen is how many walls you want to keep standing in the space. If any of the walls are load-bearing, your decision may be made for you (you should probably keep those). But if you're relatively free and clear to take down any internal walls, you'll have an opportunity to keep as few as just one. Single-wall open kitchens are not uncommon, and they create the most open feel of any design—but you'll sacrifice a bit of storage to implement a one-walled open kitchen design.

Many homeowners who opt for a one-walled open kitchen design compensate for the lack of storage in clever ways. A large kitchen island is a familiar sight in a one-walled open kitchen, and islands can be a great storage option, as well as offering several other important uses, from seating and dining to food preparation. Some open kitchen designs even feature islands with sinks, to maintain the classic work triangle between the sink, refrigerator and stove. When it comes to storage, islands in a one-walled open kitchen may feature sets of pull-out drawers, cabinets, and even appliances or convenient features like a lazy Susan or pull-out garbage can. If a one-walled open kitchen design isn't in the cards for you and an L-shaped or other design is planned, you can still easily feature a kitchen island if the space allows.

Lighting is a particularly key feature of open kitchen designs, since open designs tend to incorporate more space than their closed-in counterparts. Finding the right balance of coverage, style and function can be a challenge, but if you focus on the three basic lighting types—main, decorative and task—you should have no problem lighting your open kitchen design. For main lighting, consider a track that encircles the room or runs through the middle of the entire design. A chandelier or large handing pendant can light the dining room space. Task lighting is a great idea for sink, cooking and food prep areas. And finally, decorative lighting can be a great feature for the tops and bottoms of cabinets.

When it comes to furniture for your open kitchen design, seating will be paramount. Open kitchens are meant to be communal areas where conversation and entertaining are as common as cooking, cleaning and dining. Stools or bar-style chairs can be a great addition to a kitchen island to add seating options, and you may also add sets to countertops; a traditional dining area with table and chairs can serve as an eat-in kitchen or a formal dining room.

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