Thinking of revamping your kitchen? Consider an open plan kitchen and dining area - perfect for family life and entertaining friends.
Creating a combined kitchen and dining area is a great way to make the most of the space in your home, and a good design will complement your everyday life - whether that's entertaining friends, juggling family life or having somewhere to unwind after a long day at work.
Planning your layout
Open plan gives you plenty of space for all the family; you can also keep an eye on the kids while you sort out the evening meal. This layout lets you spend more time together as a family.
To create an open plan kitchen and dining area you may need to knock through a wall - if this is the case, always consult a qualified builder first and remember you may need planning permission. If you're lucky you could reuse existing space, or even build an extension. While the original cost of an extension may be expensive, studies show it can add at least 10% value to your property.
The best thing about having an open plan kitchen and dining area is that it can change with your needs. So you can remove that comfy sofa and move in a desk for a home office, or vice versa. With this type of space there are many options.
Kit it out
Free-standing kitchens are perfect for relaxed cooking, giving you more surface space to work with. Free-standing units are seen as being family friendly, since there's enough space for homework, cooking and more. Experts say there is a rise in demand for kitchens with combined living/family space.
If you're more of an entertainer, a contemporary fitted kitchen is sleek and great for showing off to guests. Alternatively, country kitchens are naturally welcoming and a great place for the family's aspiring chef to spend a few hours.
Put the finishing touches to your kitchen and dining space. When painting remember light colours make a room feel bigger, while deep, stronger colours set the perfect tone for dinner parties.
Lighting is important; recessed halogen lighting works well if there is little daylight. Include lamps and spotlights for mood lighting and to transform the space into an area to entertain.
Add character with pattered tiles or a feature wall. Remember large rooms need extra heating, so consider under-floor heating too.
Don't forget to protect your beautiful new kitchen and dining space with the best home insurance you can find.