Renovation diary: Open plan kitchen inspiration

I’m delighted to be writing another post for my Renovation Diary because this means progress! The drawings have been finalised and submitted to the council for planning approval. 🙌🤞

For this post, I’m looking at the open plan kitchen we’ll be creating, seeing as that is the main reason for this project.

Our 1930s home has smaller dimensions than you’d expect of houses built in that period (no original wall dimension is anywhere near 4 metres) and I’ve always thought that it feels a bit squeezed. You might see what I mean in the existing rear elevation drawing below. Happily, the extension we are planning will make the house look much more balanced.

1930s house extension plans - FIRST SENSE

When I first saw the proposed rear elevation, my previous kitchen ideas basically got blown out of the water. I’d always imagined that we’d keep the existing window (or replace it with a better one of the same size) and have an L-shape kitchen with an island, but the architect proposed that we replace the kitchen window with a full sized glazed panel and I love this idea of tall glazed panels and doors along back of the house. (The door on the far right is where the utility room will be.)

So this is how we would like our floor plan to change to create our open plan kitchen-dining-living space, with the help of some big steel beams:

The open plan space below, designed by ALL&NXTHING, has a very similar layout to what we would like to achieve.

Interior design by ALL&NXTHING, image found via Planete Deco

Forgoing an L-shape kitchen for a linear one obviously means less kitchen space, but we’re happy to accept that for a more striking aesthetic. We’ll have to carefully consider how we design and use the kitchen, but storage shouldn’t be an issue as we’ll have a pantry cupboard built under the stairs and a separate utility room.

In terms of the kitchen style, I am as yet undecided about what exactly I want. In fact I’m annoying myself by my indecision, but how do you decide on something as expensive as a kitchen that you’ll have to live with (and hopefully love) forever? That’s a similar level of commitment as marriage! [sweating] Of course I know that kitchens can be changed [divorce] or repainted [hassle], but I’d rather not have to ever do either. Anyway, I’ve been pinning images of linear kitchens in the hope that the answer will come to me, and so far these are my favourites (complete with the inner workings of my mind):

Farrow & Ball Hague Blue and marble kitchen, Skye Gyngell's kitchen
Chef Skye Gyngell’s kitchen by British Standard; image via Remodelista

The island here looks like it is 60cm deep, which is much shallower than the standard 90cm/120cm depth. This is a great way to save space and something I will definitely consider for my kitchen. It would mean having no appliances or sink on the island, so both the range and the sink would have to go against the wall like in this kitchen. Totally fine with that as long as there is sufficient worktop space on either side of the range and the sink. I quite like the idea of a long island worktop not interrupted by anything: perfect for food prep, baking with kids, buffet spreads etc. The Farrow & Ball Hague Blue colour of this kitchen looks gorgeous, but I feel like this blue is becoming too trendy and I have a tendency to develop an aversion to anything that feels trendy!

Blue and white kitchen diner with parquet wood floor
Image: @entrancemakleri

While I love the look of open shelves in place of wall cabinets, I don’t love things getting covered in oily dust and requiring more cleaning; that would be too annoying for me 👎. Also, as our kitchen won’t be big, some wall cabinets will be necessary for sufficient storage. Combining wall cabinets with an open shelf to display a few pretties like this gives the best of both worlds, I think.

Small chic kitchen - Interior by Sofia

This Swedish kitchen shows that a small kitchen can be very chic and practical too.

Dark Olive Green Shaker Kitchen in Hove by deVOL
Image: deVOL Kitchens

It’s great to see a kitchen in an unusual colour, but what’s really grabbing me here, besides the unmistakably gorgeous deVOL style, is the Crittall-style glazing. 😍

Henley-on-Thames - deVOL kitchens
Image: deVOL Kitchens

deVOL inspiring me again with their use of beautiful colour, textures and effortless style. 👌

Pale grey shaker kitchen with white Aga - deVOL kitchens
Image: deVOL Kitchens

This colour scheme of pale grey, white and wood, with touches of brass and greenery, is absolutely beautiful and timeless. 😍

Pale grey linear kitchen with island - Pencil & Paper Co
Image: Pencil & Paper Co

Pale grey and white again: really so lovely, isn’t it? The shallow island on legs not only saves space but also gives the illusion of more space.

Mandy Moore's kitchen designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Image: @emilyfarnhamarchitecture

This is a work-in-progress photo of Mandy Moore’s kitchen. I had to include it in this post as I adore the bright and airy feel of this kitchen. The green (Farrow & Ball Mizzle) works beautifully with the marble and touches of brass. Simple slab doors allow the standout marble to shine here, however marble wouldn’t be practical for us so I’ll be looking for a white quartz worktop. Also, I personally prefer the detail of shaker doors over slab doors.

As I’ve been writing this post, it has become clear that a light and airy feel is a must and that I would very much like a shaker kitchen. It’d be even better if it is an inframe kitchen but can we afford that? Maybe if we live on beans on toast for a year… a worthwhile sacrifice, surely! Now I just have the little [not little] task of deciding on the kitchen colour and make sure it gels well with the rest of the open plan space.

Have you remodelled your kitchen recently? Do you have any wisdom to share? What do you love about it and what would you do differently?


  1. 6 June 2018 / 11:23 am

    Ooh you must be so excited! I know exactly how you feel about the decisions – we had our kitchen redone last year and it was so stressful as I was worried it wouldn’t look like it did in my head or that I wouldn’t like it once it was done. Luckily I do, I’m sure you will too! The new layout looks fab x

    • Meera
      7 June 2018 / 9:35 am

      SO excited, Becky! 😃 Happy to hear that you got a kitchen you love! Writing this post actually helped me a lot with narrowing down my decisions, so I’m feeling good. 🙂 xx

  2. 7 June 2018 / 11:29 pm

    How exciting, and the ideas look great – can’t wait to see how it ends up.

    • Meera
      11 June 2018 / 9:24 am

      Yes, I’m very excited about this part of the project. 🙂 Thank you Stephanie! xx

  3. 11 June 2018 / 10:41 am

    Aaah I’m so excited to see it all in progress. I’ve literally just fired off an email to our architect this moring, instructing him to start drawing plans!!! Eeeeek — SO excited!!! I’ve got plans for full height Crittall doors/windows too but I’ve been researching costs and they’re astronomical. Will keep you posted if I come across a budget alternative!! CX

    • Meera
      12 June 2018 / 11:34 am

      Whoop! So exciting for you, Caro! Perhaps we should start sharing our research 😊. I’m a bit scared to start looking into the cost of Crittall doors 🙈, I have a very strong feeling we’ll have to look at aluminium alternatives. I’ll also keep you posted with what I find! Mx

  4. 18 June 2018 / 8:59 pm

    This is so exciting! That new space is my dream extension idea, I really want to do that to our house

    • Meera
      20 June 2018 / 7:13 am

      I’ve been dreaming about a space like that for years, so I’m very excited! I hope you can achieve it in your home too, Steph xx

  5. 21 June 2018 / 10:32 am

    How exciting! I love all the ideas you have- definitely my dream living area in a family house- kitchen, play and dining all in one big open space. Looks fab! A x

    • Meera
      23 June 2018 / 11:09 am

      A big open plan family space has been my dream for so many years, I’m ridiculously excited to finally be on the way to achieving it in the near future! 🙂 x

  6. 29 June 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Oh Meera I’m so so excited for you and 100% understand the trepidation, these are SUCH big decisions!! Fingers crossed for your planning permission X

    • Meera
      1 July 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much Lins! Yes, you totally get it. As Mr Eames so wisely said, “The details are not the details, they make the design.” The amazing thing about writing this post was that it really helped me with the direction I want to go with my kitchen

  7. 14 July 2018 / 12:35 pm

    I’m loving your renovation diary and the architect’s suggestion. You’re going to have the coolest house of them all for sure. By the way, when you marry your new kitchen I want to go to the wedding, haha.

    • Meera
      15 July 2018 / 8:40 pm

      Aww thank you Juan! And of course, you are very welcome! 😀

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