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Kitchen-living room combo: design ideas, and trends 2020-2021

hackrea - August 7, 2020 - 0 comments - views 55 - 0 likes

Combined spacious rooms are still in trend in 2020-2021. In open-plan apartments and country houses, the kitchen and living room’s space is increasingly combined, giving room for imagination in interior design. But it is not enough just to combine rooms of different functionality. It is also necessary to perform the correct zoning of the living room and kitchen. Moreover, the designers are ready to offer original solutions for dividing rooms, which can be easily applied in a city apartment or a country house.

If the kitchen and living room are combined – how to divide them into zones? The simplest solution seems to be the creation of temporary partitions. How to separate the kitchen from the living room with a curtain or folding-screen? Should these partitions be temporary? All these issues can be solved only in the context of a specific space, knowing its area and plan. But ready-made interior design options here can be just as useful as examples or sources of inspiration.

What is a combined design for?

The living room and the kitchen are two areas in the house where people spend a significant part of their time. In the traditions of different cultures, receiving guests, and preparing meals for a hospitable table calls for the unification of space for the hosts’ convenience. But having made a general plan, the owners of such housing are faced with the need to visually or functionally delimit these premises, while maintaining their advantages.

You can combine a kitchen with a living room for various reasons:

  • to create an orderly interior;
  • to increase the usable area ;
  • to add variety to the design;
  • to enhance color contrast;
  • to facilitate cleaning processes;
  • to improve fire safety.

The area where there is not one, but two functional zones in the house need to be correctly delineated. The separation of the living room from the kitchen may be nominal, but it will provide comfort for all residents. Relaxing in the living room will not be accompanied by the smell of food. And if the living room is the only one in the house, the correct zoning will allow you to allocate a place for relaxation, which will not interfere with evening gatherings in the kitchen.

Main functional areas in a kitchen-living room combo

In the combined space of the kitchen-living room, it is customary to distinguish the following functional areas.

  • Working. It contains a “triangle” of a stove, sink, and refrigerator – they should be located diagonally from each other, but at the closest possible distance. Between these objects, there should be no objects and things blocking the passage. Also, there is a tabletop, which is a working surface.
  • Storage system. It includes cupboards for dishes, wall and floor cabinets, open shelves, and cabinets. Depending on the chosen style and the cabinet set’s configuration features, they can be located in a straight line, U-shaped or L-shaped. If an island is used, the rest of the cabinets are placed along one or two walls.
  • Dining room. In a small kitchen-living room, this role is most often performed by the kitchen island, where chairs are placed, and you can drink coffee, eat a light breakfast. If the interior area allows, the dining area is designed as a division between two parts of the interior instead of a partition or takes up the living room’s space.
  • Kitchen island. A stand for serving drinks, a mini-fridge, or ice maker, a hanging holder for wine glasses must be installed. The countertop’s surface is usually created from natural stone, complemented by chrome and metal elements, original stools with a high seat. The bar area is generally used as an interior element in the style of minimalism, high-tech.
  • Rest space. The lounge area is an integral part of a comfortable living room arrangement. It is created separately from TV equipment and a soundbar, most often on the podium, and consists of soft sofas, complemented by a low table with a glass top. The living room may have a main sofa or a pair of armchairs, a TV cabinet or home theater cabinet, and a coffee table.

Each zone is essential and necessary in the kitchen-living room combo; you just need to combine them in space correctly.

Pros and cons of the kitchen-living room combined

Benefits

  • The ample space of the combined kitchen-living room is an opportunity to equip a comfortable and functional kitchen area, where you do not have to huddle while cooking. Also, this is a chance to fit a cozy recreation area for yourself and the whole family.
  • No need to run from room to room when you set the table for the whole family: your dining area will be nearby. If necessary, everything you need will be right there at hand.
  • By combining the kitchen with the living room, you get the opportunity to increase the usable area of your apartment and carve out several square meters as additional space equipped in a dressing room, pantry, or laundry room.

Disadvantages

  • Many people from combining the kitchen with the living room are stopped by one fat minus: smells. Indeed, some foods during cooking can create discomfort due to odors: seafood, garlic, some meat. All this is appropriate in the kitchen area, but not in the recreation area. However, an excellent high-quality cooker hood will help to save the situation here.
  • Another disadvantage of this kind of redevelopment is the lack of free walls. 
  • A combined kitchen-living room is the absence of intimacy. Often you need a place hidden from prying eyes – for example, a sofa or a couch, where you can relax during the day or put down the guests who have stayed for the night. With combined spaces, this will be much more difficult.

Kitchen-living room combined design

Finishing

The design involves the choice of finishing materials. The kitchen is a source of high humidity, temperature, pollution. When drawing up a plan, it is essential to take this into account.

In terms of functionality, the living room is a place to relax. You can use soft finishes. When zoning, it is advisable to choose floor coverings of various textures. 

Floor

For the kitchen space, anti-slip ceramic tiles or porcelain stoneware are the best choices. For a large volume, natural stone, the polished concrete screed is acceptable. When the style calls for wood, choose a treated solid wood, moisture-resistant, hard-wearing laminate or deck coverings.

An economical option is a linoleum. For the living room, you can pick up softer laminate flooring, carpet is allowed.

Walls

The backsplash is made of glass, plastic, or traditional tiles. Also, the entire kitchen space can be finished with tiles. If you choose wallpaper, it has to be washable: vinyl or fiberglass.

Decorative plaster is varied – a practical option for decorating modern interiors. For the living room, you can choose Venetian, with gilding or mother-of-pearl. More democratic options are needed for the kitchen area.

You need acrylic or oil paint for the kitchen. The living room can be painted with water-based paint. 

Plastic panels are unacceptable in the living room, but entirely appropriate in the kitchen. MDF is a modern material used for furniture facades. These materials can safely decorate the walls.

Ceiling

For the kitchen area, a glossy finish is chosen, there are no pores in it. The interior of the dining space allows for a matte finish. The disadvantage of a suspended structure is a loss of volume.

Proper lighting in the kitchen-living room

Light is one of the ways of zoning an area. Ceiling and additional lighting should be provided in each of the zones. Not a lousy novelty – LED contour strips, they are used not only for ceiling structures.

The idea of choosing a chandelier is not always justified. LED spotlights are in trend in 2020-2021. They create even soft light.

In the working area, the LED strip is considered optimal lighting, which can be placed on the edges of the cabinets, above the backsplash. If you have wall cabinets with glass doors, you can use the built-in light. For a high-tech kitchen, integrated electrical appliances with touch-sensitive luminous panels are well suited. Lamps with lampshades are traditionally located in the dining area – their number depends on the tabletop’s length. In the living room, you can use lighting around the perimeter of the stretch ceiling, floor lamps on a high leg, and wall sconces.

Furniture and appliances

The trends in the use of built-in technology continue in 2020-2021. One can put a washing machine behind the furniture facades, a dishwasher, an oven, and a refrigerator. For functionality, experts recommend following the working triangle rule.

Place the sink, food processing zone, and storage cabinets at the vertices of an isosceles triangle. The ideal side length is 1.5 to 2 meters. For a small kitchen, a linear arrangement is convenient. An essential condition is a functional cooker hood with a built-in fan and a filtration system.

Furniture starts from the work area, then moves on to the storage system. In a small space, sliding doors, drawers of various depths are appropriate. In the living room, the central place is occupied by a table; it is allowed to install transformers on wheels, sliding coffee tables.

Free access to cupboards, serving items, and textiles are provided. Wardrobes and bookcases are being removed from the living room, and you can keep only hinged shelves, bedside tables, and showcases. Upholstered furniture is located away from the cooking area.

Do not combine the kitchen and living room storage areas.

Separation methods

The designers have already come up with original solutions, with the help of which plans for kitchen and living room combo can be harmoniously applied. It is worth considering all the options available and making your choice.

Floor

The classic division of the functional areas of the living room and kitchen begins with the floor. The simplest solution is to install a coating of different type and texture. In the area near the cabinets, tiles are laid – a moisture-resistant and durable material that provides sufficient fire safety. The dining room with a kitchen island can be separated from it with laminate or solid wood flooring. The texture and type of material in the living room should differ from those used in the kitchen.

Another simple zoning method is to use podiums, which allow you to achieve interesting visual effects due to height differences. If you place the kitchen on a podium, all communication lines can be placed below, making its layout as open as possible. In the living area, the podium plays the role of a recreation area, where you can place a storage system, and a sofa on top if necessary.

Furniture

The easiest way to separate the kitchen from the living room is to arrange the furniture correctly. You can use for zoning a sofa set with a back to the food block, an “island” or a bar counter. You can also choose an open rack of the desired height, which is convenient for storing small items. Suitable for zoning and soft poufs, placed on the border of two zones.

Partitions

If an increase in the level of privacy is periodically required, mobile and stationary partitions are used in the kitchen-living room. The easiest option is to use thick fabric curtains in the opening, which can be used to darken the room. If you need a radical separation, you will have to build a massive structure-box made of plasterboard with a sliding door sash sideways.

Popular glass, fabric, bamboo screens, folding in different planes. Movable partitions can also be made in the form of a sliding rack. With its help, you can easily separate different parts of the room and return the interior to its previous appearance at any time.

Kitchen island / Bar counter

The use of a bar counter allows you to separate the living room and the kitchen while solving the problem of arranging the dining area. A single-level design solution will enable you to leave more space and freedom, as it is mounted on special consoles. A multi-level bar counter is completely closed on one side, has a built-in refrigerator or storage system, a mini-bar.

Such a design can be part of a kitchen set or attached to the wall. In some cases, it is even made folding. The light bar counter with free space inside allows you to place stools or high chairs conveniently. This zoning element looks especially impressive in a modern interior.

Color

You can zone the interior with color in various combinations. But one should avoid sharp contrasts and remember about harmony. The right solution is the formation of the room’s design using several shades of the same color. For example, the living room might be pale blue, while the kitchen might be vibrant ultramarine. Also, the delineation of space with the help of warm and cold colors is famous.

Moderate contrast also works well – it can be an animal print like a zebra or a cow, or just a black and white domino in the kitchen and a brighter, luscious interior in the living room. Orange, turquoise colors look good on a brief white or black background.

Lighting

One of the most popular ways of zoning a space is using the right lighting. By changing the intensity or direction of the light flux, you can create a work area or space for comfortable rest. Modern lighting systems are easy to mount in the framing of the ceiling or the living room’s podium, running around the perimeter of the room or changing the color spectrum. In any case, do not ignore this zoning method.

Ceiling

Dividing space using the original design of the ceiling is also not uncommon. Complex shaped and suspension structures can be made with different colors, complex bends, and lines. The combination of a curved ceiling and a podium, repeating each other’s shape, looks especially impressive.

The stretch ceiling can have a new spotlight or illumination located along the perimeter. In addition to different colors, materials with different types of texture can be used for zoning. Matte and glossy canvases, even in a laconic white design, look different.

Wall decoration

Finishing materials can also serve as elements that separate functional areas in a kitchen-living room combo. Some of the most straightforward solutions here include the following.

  • Wallpaper with a single texture, color, but with a different pattern. Due to the same shade of the walls, the feeling of the integrity of the space will be preserved. At the same time, prints can be thematic or neutral.
  • A combination of painted walls in the kitchen and wallpaper in the living room. The repetition of the primary color of one place in patterns or ornaments used in the decoration of another part of the shared space looks good.
  • A combination of radically different materials – tiles in the kitchen and wallpaper in the living room, wall panels, and decorative plaster.

How to combine styles?

Stylistic harmony is also essential. The design of the kitchen and living room combined must fully comply with the general concept of interior design. To correctly combine decorative elements, you need to follow some crucial recommendations.

  • You should not use solutions that are different in style. The chosen concept should be preserved in the kitchen and living room’s interior, despite the difference in colors and textures.
  • When choosing design directions, you need to select options in the spirit of art deco, modern, hi-tech, and classics. It is they that allow you to form a harmonious space that combines two functional areas at once.
  • It is better not to use styles that imply massiveness in decoration in a small kitchen-living room with low ceilings.
  • When choosing a style, you need to rely on the architectural features of an apartment or house. In this case, any interior will look harmonious.
  • The kitchen-living room combined needs unifying elements. These can be works of art, lamps, carpets, or fresh flowers in identical pots. In any case, it should not give the impression that the rooms are separated from each other.

With the right combination of all interior decor elements, you can get an easy-to-use single kitchen-living room space, designed following the homeowner’s personal preferences.

What style to choose for a kitchen-living room in 2020-2021?

The trend is the same style as a year or two ago. You can design the space to your preference; there are still no strict canons in the living room kitchen design in 2020-2021.

Industrial style

It is a combination of concrete, wood, and metal. Despite the laconicism, the industrial-style interior requires space. Decorative beams are used; all essential elements are installed.

It is better to imitate brickwork with textured wallpaper or photo printing.

Scandinavian style

Lovers of snowy spaces, perfectionists choose the Scandinavian style in crisp colors. Besides various shades of white from boiling white to the yellowness of baked milk, other natural colors of a winter landscape are acceptable: blue, gray, light brown.

To have more light, you can completely abandon the curtains. For the evening – install a lot of spotlights.

Eco-style

Eco-oriented interiors are in trend this year. Only moderate natural colors, warm colors are used. Decorative elements that accentuate the base are allowed. True motives plus natural materials are two fundamental principles of eco-style.

It is essential to match the wall, and the floor finishes correctly when choosing finishes to avoid conspicuous contrast.

Postmodern

In the postmodern ultra-modern fashionable style, not everyone will decide to decorate the kitchen-living room. Postmodernism presupposes multicolor. You need to have good taste so as not to overdo it.

Disproportionate furniture, flashy shades of bright yellow, orange, combined leather-like finishes, textured plaster, and panoramic 3D wallpaper.

The color palette of the kitchen-living room in 2020-2021

Contrasts are welcome in the color scheme. In the design of the kitchen-living room 2020, you can safely combine gray and graphite, beige and dark chocolate. The main thing to consider is combinatoriality.

All furniture (kitchen area and living room) is selected in the full range. This is the main principle of the interior design of the combined layout. You have to begin to think over the color scheme taking into account the color of the furniture. It is vital to adhere to the rules of color matching.

White

Milk furniture is still in trend. Stylish cabinets are always in fashion, perfectly combined with colored textiles, decor, delicate finishes in blue and red tones. White color eliminates design flaws, smoothes, and evens out the geometry of the space. Prevailing in Scandinavian and Eco-style.

Gray

Some consider the palette of gray shades boring, but not modern designers. They skillfully create color transitions. Skillfully combine gray colors with dark pink, fuchsia.

Modern trends dictate the use of violet shades, bright blue gamut. Gray light will serve as a good base on which you can experiment with curtains, decor.

Gray furniture is an excellent option for a large family with children and pets. On a solid matte surface, dirt will be hardly noticeable.

Beige

Cabinets in beige tones are a sign of delicate taste. It is appropriate to combine beige with blue, brown, and white.

Beige facades can be combined with contrasting wall decorations in several tones. Beige brings color harmony.

Yellow

The yellow furniture is eye-catching. There should be nothing superfluous on tables, cabinets, and the decor is not welcome. Finishing materials are chosen in contrast – a dark floor, a light ceiling, so that space’s geometry is visually balanced.

Psychologists have proven that yellow stimulates the appetite.

Mistakes to Avoid

When combining a kitchen with a living room, people often make some common mistakes:

  • The redevelopment was not approved. In the future, this can lead the apartment owner to fines and the need to rework the renovation back into a separate kitchen and living room;
  • Zoning was neglected. When there are several different functional areas in the same room (in your case, this is the kitchen, dining room and recreation area), they must be visually separated from each other;
  • You moved the “wet” area to the living room. The kitchen sink cannot be transferred to another room: its place is determined strictly in documents and regulations;
  • Didn’t think about the lighting. Lack of light is a common problem in large interconnected rooms. However, each zone should have its own (or even more than one) light source and the natural one – from the window. Use a set of the ceiling, wall, and portable lights.

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