Designing an open plan kitchen perfect for entertaining

Moretti Blog   •   July, 2021

Luxury garden with waterfall, lights and wooden stairs

During the days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, sometimes it was hard to imagine spending time with family and friends again. The very idea of entertaining seemed alien. We shut ourselves away and waited for better times. Happily, those times have now arrived, and once again we are able to gather together and socialise. This means that there has never been a better time to reassess your home. So, you can now think hard about how to really entertain in style.

Evaluating what still works – and what could be improved – is the best starting point for any luxury interiors refurbishment. After all, our needs don’t stay the same throughout our lives. Families grow larger, children get older and they leave home and come back. However, all of this affects what your living space needs to accommodate. At the heart of your home, your kitchen is the room that works the hardest. And, these days, it usually fulfils a number of different roles. So, as we all enter a new phase of ‘life after lockdown’, is yours ready for a revamp? Read on to discover the many advantages of modern, open-plan kitchens:

Unrivalled versatility

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of open-plan kitchens is the notion of space. If you’re keen for your home to look and feel bigger and brighter, an open-plan layout is hard to beat. Removing dividing walls, and opening up smaller, separate rooms, can be totally transformative. Without such restrictions, a large, spacious open-plan kitchen then becomes much more than just a place to cook. Unnecessary walls obstruct light, sound, sight and flow. The best open-plan designs manage to make the different areas within a space look separate but seamless. The right layout is key, of course, as is lighting, colour, texture and materials.

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

With careful planning and execution, an open-plan kitchen can work just as well within a compact apartment as a large family home

Open-plan kitchens might feel spacious, but they are sociable too. In fact, they are perfect for all sorts of entertaining, both formal and informal. Some of the advantages are obvious. An open-plan layout means you aren’t ‘cut off’ from your guests while you supervise finishing touches to the food. Other features that work well in open-plan kitchens offer further versatility. For example, a central island works well as a bar, a buffet, or even somewhere to feed the children. Meanwhile the adults can sit together at a separate dining table. The options really are endless, and can be tailored to suit your specific priorities.

But open-plan kitchens aren’t just brilliant for entertaining, they facilitate more family time too. All ages and stages can gather together much more easily in this sort of space. This way, it allows multiple activities to take place in one companionable place. An open-play layout works so well as a family ‘hub’, where everyone can relax, refuel or simply relay the events of their day.

Elegant open-plan kitchens

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

A consistent colour scheme helps to ensure flow and coherence in larger open-plan kitchens, as showcased by this luxury London family home

Our family home case study is a perfect example of what can be achieved with open-plan kitchens. Elegant yet functional, this light, airy space has clearly defined zones for different functions and members of the family, while retaining a seamless flow.

Increasing the space, natural light and storage were key objectives. We worked hard to let the outside in, and create a direct connection with nature and the outdoors. Extensive glazing helps to maximise the garden view, as does careful placement of furniture and fixtures. For example, one of the dining tables, and a relaxing drinks area, face the outdoors. Additional seating and dining is provided by a generous-sized island. There’s even a water feature, in the form of a fountain, to promote a relaxing ambience. Natural materials, and a neutral colour scheme, enhanced with pops of blue and grey, ensure consistency and calm.

Open-plan kitchens for healthy living

Where and how we live affects our mood, our health and our emotional wellbeing. I have long been an advocate of biophilic design. This combines a range of different elements, such as lighting, sound and colour, to create a happy and healthier place to live. Finding ways to incorporate nature within our homes is key. Open-plan kitchens typically offer many ways to do this.

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

Bringing the outside in, and facilitating a connection with nature, was all part of the design brief for this stunning contemporary open-plan kitchen extension in Chiswick

Our Chiswick case study is an ideal example of a successful indoor/outdoor concept. This contemporary home extension is spacious yet welcoming, with plenty of space for entertaining. It features a range of biophilic design principles, such as natural wood flooring, an extensive mixture of plants, and a clear view of the gorgeous garden outside. A combination of cream cabinets, floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights and bi-fold doors helps to maximise the feeling of light, space and air, and bring nature indoors.

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

Key biophilic design elements such as natural materials, a soothing colour scheme, and plenty of greenery, underpin the indoor/outdoor concept of this modern open-plan kitchen

Open-plan kitchens for all

Open-plan kitchens aren’t just the preserve of huge family homes. They work equally well within apartments, if you get the layout, footprint and other key design elements right.

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

We combined natural fabrics, like marble and wood, with luxurious tactile fabrics to create this stylish, yet cosy, modern open-plan kitchen living dining space

We helped to create an open-plan kitchen and family room in this High Street Kensington apartment, using a palette of soft greys and whites. The objective was to create an elegant yet practical space, which works as a calm and relaxing sanctuary from the outside world.

To help achieve this, we used natural materials such as marble and wood, alongside sumptuous tactile fabrics. Bespoke joinery pieces – and bespoke statement lighting – added the finishing touches. Using the same classic colour scheme creates coherence and consistency throughout the kitchen, dining and living room zones. The result is a chic yet cosy ‘pulled together’ space that offers lots of entertaining options, while working equally well as a family home.

Carrara House waterfall showcasing water features by designer unknown

A classic, soft grey/white colour scheme, sliding balcony doors and bespoke statement lighting options ensure this open-plan kitchen living space feels bright, airy and spacious at all times 

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you to create your perfect open-plan kitchen, please get in touch by calling 0203 865 2513 or email


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