how to separate an open kitchen from a living room

Open-plan living spaces are common in small apartments and houses. The most typical example is an open-plan living room and kitchen. In this scenario, there is no solid wall separating the kitchen from the living area. However, not everyone likes this type of interior design. If you are one such person, we have created a simple guide on how to separate an open kitchen from a living room.

Separating Kitchen and Living Room: 7 Simple Ideas

Install a Kitchen Island or Breakfast Bar

Are you wondering how to separate an open kitchen from a living room whilst at the same time increasing your kitchen storage? Then if you have enough room, one of the best things you can do is install a breakfast bar or kitchen island.

A kitchen island is essentially a large rectangular block that stands separate from your kitchen units. Oftentimes the island has storage cupboards underneath and a large flat kitchen surface.

Primarily, an island is incredibly functional. It increases your kitchen storage space. Also, it provides an entirely new surface that you can use for cooking or eating meals and drinking coffee.

An island also acts as a brilliant room divider. It is big and rectangular and thus provides a clear barrier between your living room and kitchen/dining room. You can see that the kitchen begins where the island starts!

Use an Item of Furniture to Delineate Space

Furniture can also act as an excellent living room divider. The obvious choice is a sofa. A sofa facing the living room, away from the kitchen, creates a clear division.

You can see that the sofa marks the edge of the living areas, and behind that is the start of the dining space and kitchen area. A sofa placed in the correct position is one of the best possible room dividers.

Alternatively, furniture like a bookcase or tall shelving unit can also act as a brilliant room divider. You can find many different items like this that can stretch from floor to ceiling to create a de facto wall between your living room and kitchen.

Place a Dining Table to Create a Clear Divide

If you have a large enough living space or kitchen, you can also simply use a dining table to create a room divider.

Dining tables like sofas are clear diving objects. Depending on the height, they are imposing, rectangular, and can act like a half-wall between the two rooms.

You can also use dining tables to split your open space into three clear areas. On one side, you have your living room. In the centre, surrounding the table, you have a dining room. Lastly, on the other side, you have your kitchen.

Imagine having a large sofa, followed by a dining table and a kitchen island. You can easily see how this leaves a visual connection between the rooms and gives a clear distinction between their three purposes.

Use Different Colour Schemes in Each Room

If you do not have the space or funding to radically change your own space, a simpler method is to use decorating to your advantage.

In many open-plan areas, the walls are initially painted or decorated with the same colours. This is so that the developers can save on costs!

However, such a design choice results in a lack of distinction between the two spaces. You can easily change this by re-decorating either the living room or kitchen. Pick a contrasting colour for the second room and paint all the walls.

Ensure that there is a clear separation when one paint scheme ends and the other starts. By using a simple change of colour, you can clearly show where one room ends and where the other starts.

Add Simple Wall Columns

living room arches

Creating a division between your rooms doesn’t necessarily mean erecting complete walls or blocking off the spaces entirely.

This is where something simpler, like wall columns, can work. If you want to distinguish between your living area and kitchen but don’t want a complete wall, why not install several wall columns or arches instead?

A row of wall columns evenly spaced between your living area and kitchen is just as effective as a full wall. They create a clear division between the spaces. However, you still benefit from the illusion of space and much better natural light.

Add a Sliding Partition Wall

A sliding wall is a great compromise between a solid stud wall and having nothing at all. A sliding wall can act as a fantastic room divider.

However, it is also incredibly flexible. For example, if you want to close the spaces – simply close the sliding door. You may want to close the sliding door when cooking, for example. This would help prevent cooking smells from entering your living area.

Alternatively, you may want to keep the areas open if you are entertaining guests. In this instance, simply open the sliding door fully!

Add Glass Walls

Another way of creating a clear room divider is to install a glass wall. A glass wall is one of the most expensive solutions. However, it is also one of the most versatile and effective.

a nice wooden style interior

Many open spaces have a glass wall with a gap on each side to act as a doorway between the living area and kitchen. They are usually surrounded by some type of frame or boxing too.

Foldable glass doors or glass walls used as open-plan kitchen living room dividers give a clear distinction between open-plan living rooms and kitchens. However, they still allow natural light to pass between both spaces – this is something a complete partition wall cannot do.

Open Plan FAQs

Is an Open-Plan Living Room a Good Idea?

It entirely depends on your preferences and the available space! An open-plan living space gives far more natural light. You can also benefit from more space due to the lack of walls. However, as this guide shows, an open plan design can lead to the purposes of rooms being blurred.

Do You Need to Try and Separate Rooms in an Open Plan Living Room Kitchen Design?

Not necessarily. Again, this depends on your preferences. Some people are perfectly happy with an open plan living room kitchen having no clear separation. It depends on what you want from your property and the living spaces.

Make the Most of Your Open Plan Kitchen Living Room

We hope you have found these open-plan kitchen living room ideas useful! When looking at how to separate the living room and kitchen, it is perfectly possible to give clear distinction and definition to the rooms in an open-plan space. This can be achieved via careful use of furniture and decorating or by installing various types of living room dividers and partition walls.

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