Borrowing the best bits of openplan, but offering the chance to create comfortable, intimate spaces too, broken-plan living has a lot to offer a kitchen design. 

kitchens by holloways island and peninsula - grand designs

Image: Kitchens by Holloways 

Where openplan design is focussed on undivided living spaces, brokenplan design borrows the sense of openness, but instates barriers, whether physical or not, to help to demarcate a space into its different functions. 

The result? All the benefits of light, bright, spacious openplan living, but also the ability to create a sense of intimacy within separate spaces that openplan homes can sometimes lack. 

Take a look at a few ways you can embrace brokenplan living in creating a kitchen for your build project.

Islands and peninsulas  

If you're unsure about how effective brokenplan can be, just think of a kitchen island or peninsula as a most basic example. These structural elements aren't just about adding more cabinetry and surfaces to the kitchen, they often mark a dividing line between the cooking and living spaces. 

Interior glazing 

kitchen with crittall style interior doors - grand designs

Image: British Standard 

Having an openplan kitchen-cum-living space may be the modern way, but it comes with its own issues. The noise and smell of cooking can be a particular grievance in truly openplan spaces that may leave you wishing you'd installed a partition between these spaces. 

If you're concerned about this, one way to overcome is to opt for internal glazing - whether Crittall style doors or sleek near-frameless interior windows - which allows you to retain the eyelines throughout your home, while still having a physical divide between rooms. 

Split level 

apartment with split level flooring to zone kitchen - grand designs

Image: Vine Architecture Studio 

A clean way to retain the simplicity and minimalism in a openplan space, but zone areas is to implement split levels throughout your home. With a slight raise in floor level, you instantly create different functional areas in the home, while also adding visual interest. In the likes of side return extensions, floor levels sometimes have to be raised to meet the original house floor level, but you may consider retaining this difference for an interesting brokenplan scheme. 

Colour zoning  

 kitchen with glass partition and colour block zoning- grand designs

Image: Sola Kitchens 

Not all openplan spaces are rectangular boxes, and where you have a less standard layout, consider using colour as a zoning tool to differentiate spaces but keep a clear and open eyeline throughout your home. 

Dividing features 

roundhouse kitchens staircase broken plan design - grand designs

Image: Roundhouse Kitchens 

The transition between spaces in an openplan design can sometimes be awkward and tricky to navigate, where sofas and televisions meets kitchen islands, for example. Whether a natural feature of your home that divides a space, or an inserted wall or fireplace for example, retaining space on either side keeps the openplan feel, but offers more structure to dividing your living space. 

Simplified transitions  

29 architects pocket door in modern house - grand designs

Image: 29 Architects 

Where removing walls may be costly and disruptive, widening doorways to open-up the transitionary areas between spaces can have much the same effect. Using glazing can complement this, and if you're desperate to keep an option for privacy in the space, or shut it off from the living room when cooking, try a flush recessed or pocket doors for a cleaner look.   

Half walls 

kitchen with broken plan dining set up - grand designs

Image: Roundhouse Design

This idea of using a half wall to dermacate areas is perhaps a less subtle version of brokenplan design, but it can be used incredibly effectively. Here, it house banquette seating, making great use of the space in this kitchen-living space, as it means the dining table can be tight to the sitting area without feeling squashed into the space.  


Would you consider a brokenplan kitchen? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page



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