How we created our dream open plan kitchen diner family room.
I can’t wait any longer! This project consumed most of our renovating energies during 2019 (not to mention our budget) and it is finally (very nearly) finished! It has been a long held dream of both myself and Mr G to have an open plan kitchen diner family room. But for various reasons it just hasn’t been possible before now, so we are beyond thrilled with how it’s turned out!
What is now the kitchen diner area, was previously 3 rooms. See my planning a kitchen diner knock through post for the full detail of what happened, but essentially we have knocked these 3 rooms into one:
The study, although a useful space, was right next to the front door and had actually become more of a dumping ground than a space anybody would want to have an office in. While the side room off the back of the utility room was too small, narrow and dark to be really very useful for anything much. The kitchen at first glance wasn’t too bad, but actually it was pretty old and had obviously been rearranged, giving it a few ‘quirks’.
We wanted to achieve a bright, light sociable space, where the whole family could be together and from where we could connect directly with the garden. I think we have knocked it out of the park! I hope you agree:
The kitchen area is quite long and skinny, and previously there was nowhere to sit. See my post on kitchen layout and design considerations for full details, but relocating the oven allowed us to add a breakfast bar at the end of the counter top, which allows for a sociable spot to sit and talk.
The kitchen cupboards are ‘Clerkenwell Super Matt Graphite’ – by Howdens. I love their simplicity and clean lines, and they are also super-practical as they are really easy to wipe clean – important with sticky-fingered children around!
We opted for large metro tiles for the walls, to add a bit of texture and we liked the way the light bounces off the bevelled edges. We also like the wipe-clean practicality of tiles. These were from Tons of Tiles. We also went for grey grout with a silver metal tile trim to add a bit of interest.
The worktops were a huge investment for us – and we love them! They are ‘blizzard quartz’ from Mr Marble. I just love the way the sparkles catch the light – and it is just so easy to wipe clean.
I get lots of questions and comments about my bar stools! They were from Duhome on Amazon.
This area was formerly the study at the front of the house. It has a large window, so we get lots of light especially towards the end of the day.
I wanted to have a feature light over the dining table, so that it marked out the formal dining area from the rest of the kitchen. See my post here on how to plan your kitchen diner lighting. I chose this silver Sputnik light by Metro Lane from Wayfair:
We plan to replace the dining chairs when funds allow, but for now our old table and chairs are fine.
For structural reasons it wasn’t possible to remove the pillar between the diner and family area. However I like how it provides a natural divider between the spaces. We have created a useful shelving area on one side of the pillar to house Mr G’s cookery books.
Once we had removed the walls, the family area was totally opened up. There was now a large expanse of wall at that end of the room. We are fortunate to have a fairly large area of garden to the side of our house, immediately in front of where this wall is. We decided to go for it and add a 3 metre bifold door to this area:
The door is amazing. It makes the room feel so much bigger and we now have light coming into the room from 3 sides. We still need to finish this area off and add a comfy chair and a new sofa when funds allow, but it’s still fantastic. We also now need to do something with this rather neglected area of the garden!
The Decor Details
Although I initially loved the look of parquet flooring, we opted in the end for Quickstep Laminate flooring in Impressive Classic Oak Beige throughout the kitchen area. This has a special 30 minute protection against wetness, making it really practical for the kitchen. We love the tone of the wood which gives some warmth against the dark grey of the kitchen units.
I really wanted a bright warm colour to contrast against the coldness of the dark grey kitchen units and also the white worktops. I went with ‘Calamine’ by Farrow and Ball. This is a soft pinky colour with a hint of grey in it that tones really well with the other colours. It is a bit of a bold choice (well Mr G thinks so anyway!) but I love it.
Once I had my dark grey cupboards, pink walls and white worktops, I wanted some blinds that would mix and pull all the colours together. I found this amazing Rainforest Cassis fabric at 247 Blinds and had the blinds made up. I think they are awesome!
It’s been a long old slog, and there’s still more to do, but we are so excited to finally have our dream kitchen!