This compact l-shape kitchen with hi-gloss units creates wow factor in a small space with its sleek stainless steel appliances and an acrylic splashback in bright pink. Kitchen splashbacks are a perfect example of how kitchen planning and interior design have become intertwined. A simple Corian worktop complements the look. Give your kitchen over to family life. Fitting your cabinetry, worktops and storage into an L shape leaves the remainder of your kitchen free for you to express yourself. Here optimum use of space on two sides of the room allows for an uncluttered look opposite, enhancing the feeling of space. The look of a layout has become a major factor in an open plan scheme; you need to think more carefully about the design and aesthetic of the kitchen as it will always be on view.
For a show-stopping centrepiece look to luxury materials, from deeply veined marble and mottled granites to exotic timber veneers and gleaming mirrored glass or burnished metal. There's a trend towards more textured materials, think raw or rough-sawn wood, honed or flamed stone tops, as well as a contrast of colour or finish between the island and the rest of the kitchen. And don't forget kitchen island lighting – it can turn a good-looking unit into a showstopper of a kitchen centrepiece. Want more design inspiration? Take a look at these showstopping kitchen ideas and our pick of the best kitchen storage ideas Almost all kitchen islands incorporate seating – even the smallest space can usually accommodate an overhang of worktop and a pair of bar stools, although more of us are opting for long kitchen islands with integrated low-level, table-style seating at one end.
An open-plan kitchen suits today's informal lifestyles, providing a natural hub for the home and greater sociability during cooking and prepping. But it takes skill to design a space that integrates easily with the living area, especially in apartments and smaller homes. Clever zoning, sound control and a cohesive decorating approach are all key factors. Open-plan living has become part of our everyday lives. From a home office within a living room to a kitchen-diner, these spaces should be well designed and able to utilise the best of the overall room in their function. Clever decorating and styling ideas will keep each area looking separate but seamless. Sound complicated? Well, fear not, as we have compiled our top five tips for making the most of your open-plan space, without breaking the bank.
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