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6 ideas to separate the kitchen from the living room

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
Modern kitchen by homify Modern
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Nowadays, open plan living spaces and kitchens are no longer a rarity. If you are designing or remodelling your apartment or house with such a model, you need to think about whether you would like this space to be completely open to another or prefer separating the open kitchen and living room. Even if it is open, one always wants to have a slight optical separation from the living or dining room, to organize the space. The open-plan living room brings more vitality into the house and becomes the communication centre of the family. The room also does not seem as cramped as individual kitchens often do.

There are many possibilities to separation of a kitchen and living room from each other. It is possible to use a deep wall, a kitchen island, a table or even a book shelf as a room divider. If you want a complete separation, you can of course also use a classic wall. In this ideabook, we present a few designs.

1. A dining table as a partition

Dhanturi Farm House Mediterranean style kitchen by iammies Landscapes Mediterranean
iammies Landscapes

Dhanturi Farm House

iammies Landscapes

A very simple trick for separating the open kitchen and living room is a table. If you have an ordinary kitchen set up along the wall in the open plan living space, you can separate the two rooms visually using a table. Just like a kitchen island, a large dining table can serve as a room partition. Additionally, all the family members can meet at the table for a meal or conversation. A rectangular table is better as it can separate the room lengthwise. A square or round table could bring some disturbance into space. An advantage of a large dining table is that it can be used for many things. For example, the children can do their homework at the table. As a room divider, a dining table, is also very cost-effective compared to a kitchen island. It also does away with the need for a separate eat-in kitchen.

Get more ideas for eat-in kitchens from this ideabook.

2. A wall space as a separation

L Shaped Indian Kitchen Designs Asian style kitchen by homify Asian Plywood

L Shaped Indian Kitchen Designs


A wall is probably better known as an outward boundary.  However, it can work just as well as a partial separation between the kitchen and living room for those who can install such a wall in the home. It ensures that the space can be clearly seen as a separate area, but the openness creates a more spacious and comfortable atmosphere. An area of the wall should be left open to allow a passage into the other room. Other than that, there is no limit to creativity. How about a lovely wooden cladding or frame along the wall to make it absolutely eye-catching?

3. Kitchen island as a room partition

With a refrigerator, stove, sink and a small work area, for a long time, the kitchen was a section cut off from the rest of the apartment. It was an area for cooking, which was considered the domain of the housewife. However, things have changed a lot in recent times, and the kitchen has become increasingly the centre of family life, which serves as a meeting place for family and friends. You cook and bake together – no longer on your own. Open kitchens, which combine living and kitchen areas, have gained popularity. When the size of the room allows it, the kitchen island is a very important element. A great advantage of a kitchen island is that it can be used to divide the kitchen and living room visually, without isolating the kitchen completely.

4. A shelf as a partition

the partition between dining and kitchen Modern dining room by Hasta architects Modern
Hasta architects

the partition between dining and kitchen

Hasta architects

Another simple way to divide the open kitchen and living room is to set up a shelf as a wall. High and wide bookcases or cabinets ensure an airiness even when the shelves are filled with accessories or crockery. It does not give the impression of a completely secluded space, since you can always see through the shelves. The shelves are generally not built to ceiling height to keep the space looking bright and optically light. This kind of room separation is also very cosy, especially if you have a lot of books. Another advantage: it is very cost-effective.

5. A classic wall as a room partition

If the rooms are already separated, the question of a partition doesn’t arise. However, if you have a big kitchen and want to keep it private, a classic wall can be installed. With relatively few changes, a large space can be divided into two smaller sections by creating a wall as a partition. Thus, a kitchen can be turned into an old-fashioned isolated area in which one can cook in peace, separated from the hustle and bustle of the living room.

The most important advantage of this complete separation is, of course, the fact that it eliminates the problem of odour that results from cooking, since the space can be completely closed. However, if you do not want to dispense with an open-plan living room and want to counteract the odours during cooking, you should invest in a powerful extractor hood. Another possibility is to install sliding doors or a glass wall, to maintain the feeling of openness even when you divide the eat-in kitchen.

6. Optical separation of open living spaces

​Open plan kitchen extension Modern kitchen by LWK London Kitchens Modern
LWK London Kitchens

​Open plan kitchen extension

LWK London Kitchens

Where formerly, separation prevailed through closed doors, nowadays openness and generosity are the preferred style. Interior architects and designers, create open living spaces that are brighter and, above all, more inviting. The separation functionally divides living areas, allowing all the residents to pursue different activities like cooking or watching television. Therefore, if you have a large common living room and kitchen in your home, you can make the most of the space by creating a great open living experience, which is divided by small details. This way the family life can become together even more, and cooking can become a shared experience, which can also be observed from the living room. And, he who doesn’t like to cook can simply enjoy time away from it by pulling a partition to separate the eat-in kitchen from the living space.

Which of these ideas will work in your home?Let us know in the comments.
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