Living room by Gundry & Ducker Architecture

20 ideas to separate the living room from the kitchen

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

Request quote

Invalid number. Please check the country code, prefix and phone number
By clicking 'Send' I confirm I have read the Privacy Policy & agree that my foregoing information will be processed to answer my request.
Note: You can revoke your consent by emailing with effect for the future.
Loading admin actions …

Multifunctionality is the key to good design in small homes, but what happens when you want to create smaller and cosier spaces within the open-plan design? There are several ways to achieve this without spending too much, including some temporary solutions that you can move away when you don’t need the privacy. In small apartments and houses, where the living room and kitchen are next to each other, one often feels the need for a separation of the spaces, at least visually. In today’s article, we present twenty ideas how to separate the living room from the kitchen.

1. A sliding partition

 Living room by Gundry & Ducker Architecture
Gundry & Ducker Architecture

View to kitchen from living room

Gundry & Ducker Architecture

In this house, where natural light is in abundance in both the living area and the kitchen, having a sliding door of wood can separate the two areas without the risk of making either space dark. The wood also brings a touch of warmth to the white walls in both the spaces.

2. A break in the ceiling

Besides the breakfast bar or dining table that visually separates the two spaces in this tiny apartment, having the ceiling at different heights in the living room and kitchen helps to define the boundary between the spaces. This is one of the subtlest ideas to separate the living room and kitchen.

3. The use of colour

When the space is so small that you can’t afford to clutter it up with a partition wall or a piece of furniture, colour can work as a visual separator between two spaces, like in this home, where the bright blue cushions on the sofas clearly define the limit of the living room. Choose your colours well so that they provide a striking contrast without making the space look too cramped.

4. The furniture arrangement

Arranging the furniture in both spaces so that they don't face each other ensures that there is an invisible partition between the areas. When seated on the sofa, your guests won’t have direct views of the kitchen. This is an efficient solution to separate the kitchen from the living room, especially in a home with a narrow layout in the social spaces.

5. A glass wall

When the amount of natural light in the space is limited, then the best way to introduce a partition is with a glass wall that separates the areas without interfering with the brightness.

6. An island counter in the kitchen

In a small home, where the kitchen and living room share space, one of the ways to separate the two areas is to build an island counter in between. This comes with the benefit of having a bar counter attached to the living area when you entertain guests.

7. Columns

Living Room from Another View:  Living room by Asense

Living Room from Another View


In larger houses, traditional brick and mortar columns present the perfect solution for creating a partition between the living area and the kitchen without completely blocking the flow of light and ventilation between the spaces. In a smaller apartment, thinner wooden columns can be used to recreate the effect.

8. Wall texture

 Kitchen by Grupo Inventia
Grupo Inventia

Cocina abierta

Grupo Inventia

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple solution to separate the kitchen from the living room. In this home, the living area has a lovely rustic brick wall that brings a lot of warmth to the space. In the kitchen, the wall is covered by the minimalist white cabinets, giving the impression that they are completely different spaces.

9. An opaque sliding partition

 Kitchen by homify

Кухня. Остров.


In a home such as this one, in which the living room depends on the natural light in the kitchen, an opaque glass door with designs is a lovely touch that is stylish and functional.

Get ideas to use sliding doors to save space in your home.

10. A rug

When you want to separate the kitchen from the living room, ideas that are simple can be just as effective. In this home, the entire social space has light-toned wood flooring, but the living area is visually divided from the kitchen by the placement of a large rug on the floor to create a boundary between the two areas.

11. A partial wall

Kitchen and Living from Dining Area:  Living room by Asense

Kitchen and Living from Dining Area


Instead of completely separating the two areas with a wall and a door, a partition wall like the one in this house helps to retain the feeling of openness without taking away the privacy in each space.

12. A fireplace

Another idea for a partition is a fireplace that stands between the living area and the kitchen. Additionally, the seating in this home is arranged so that the focus is on the television and away from direct views of the kitchen.

13. A glass frame

An alternative to the glass wall and the sliding glass door, this apartment uses an interesting wooden frame with glass panels to separate the kitchen from the living room. Alternatively, you can use a floor-standing shelf that also serves as a place for displaying accessories besides acting as a partition. You can even get a carpenter to custom-make a partition shelf for your living room.

14. A contrast

 Living room by homify

Modern Studio Apartment in London


In this studio apartment with a minimalist theme, the entire area has shades of grey, white and beige. However, a darker grey tone is used for the kitchen cabinets to create a visual contrast that divides the two spaces.

15. A multi-functional pillar

 Living room by Designer Kitchen by Morgan
Designer Kitchen by Morgan

Luxury Painted Kitchen with Ebony

Designer Kitchen by Morgan

Earlier, we saw how a fireplace was used to separate the living room from the kitchen. In this home, the large grey pillar that tucks the kitchen away behind it is designed with multiple functions. It serves as the support for the wall-mounted television as well as the fireplace. The chimney is incorporated within the pillar to whisk away the smoke.

Get inspired by these fireplace designs for modern homes.

16. The ceiling height

 Living room by Uptic Studios
Uptic Studios

Lucky 4 Ranch

Uptic Studios

In this house with an open plan in its social spaces, the living room has a double-height ceiling that visually separates it from the kitchen located just behind. Since the kitchen is located below the landing on the upper floor, it has a normal-height ceiling.

17. A curtain

Among the simplest ideas how to separate a living room from a kitchen is with a curtain. In this house, it is achieved stylishly with ceiling-to-floor sheer curtains that allow light to filter through. However, depending upon the requirement, thicker curtains or even vertical blinds can be used to separate the two areas.

18. A recess

Living room towards kitchen:  Dining room by Synectics partners
Synectics partners

Living room towards kitchen

Synectics partners

This kitchen is tucked away in a corner of the social space and has a faux recess built around it with plasterboard to give the impression that it is a separate area in the hall.

19. A pooja room

View of Pooja room from Living:  Living room by Hasta architects
Hasta architects

View of Pooja room from Living

Hasta architects

In a large house, like this one, a small pooja room can be built to separate the kitchen from the living room.

20. Laser cut metal screen

Drawing Room:   by Ghar360

Drawing Room


A light and lacy metal screen laser cut with floral patterns is another way to hide a kitchen from direct views from the living room. It’s a pretty feature and doesn’t entirely cut out the natural light in the social space.

Besides these, you can think of many innovative ideas to separate living rooms and kitchens so that each of the spaces retains its identity even while being merged into a larger open plan design in the house. Consulting an interior designer will help you to get some unique ideas that are not only functional but also stunning.

Which of these ideas is your favourite? Respond in the comments.
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

Need help with your home project? We'll help you find the right professional

Discover home inspiration!