By: Catherine Granert, AyA Kitchens
Open-concept spaces continue to grow in popularity although they can also present their own challenges. A spacious open-concept area is luxurious, however, without creating zones or well-defined areas, they can seem unfocused. The use of colour for blocking, varying materials and finishes can help differentiate each area visually while creating a consistency to the design and flow. Our designers have put together a few points to help guide you with these very challenges.
A well designed open-concept space can really transform a room. Ideal sight lines, open conversations, natural light and being able to watch the kids are only a few benefits that come up in our client/designer talks. There are a few areas that can benefit from managing these spaces well. The most common spaces that come to mind are kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms. However, in most cities where space is at a premium, we also have to consider studios or loft spaces. With family dynamics changing everywhere, we also have to consider multi-generational users as well as multi-functional rooms, including basement spaces that can include entertainment areas, home gyms, games tables and in-law suites. Below are some design principles to guide and inspire you when designing these spaces.
In this kitchen, we used a change in height to delineate the dining area from the kitchen cabinetry. The use of different colour and door style also help to give a clear separation to the 2 spaces.
We have 3 different spaces in this project where we've used high gloss white in the kitchen, a wood grain and grey cabinetry for the dining area and a lighter grey for the family room.
In this space we have a nice use of square elements - the stacked uppers in the kitchen and the shelf spaces in the family room built-ins. We've used the same door style as well to unify both rooms.
By creating a niche for a bar area, or coffee station, it can add interest and allow for some transition into other areas in the space.
In this space, the bar area cabinetry ties in with the peninsula in the kitchen but introduces new material on the countertop and the back of the wall.
Using some non-standard shapes with cabinetry is a great way to break up cabinetry in a space.
In this space we use solids and patterned material in different ways.
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