Ask An Expert | Jordan Iverson

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Open concept design is a classic choice for kitchens. With plenty of space for creativity, you can truly customize your home. But with this type of space comes a set of unique challenges. We asked Jordan Iverson on how best to optimize the wide spaces of an open concept design. Here he shares a few simple tricks for maximizing both comfort and functionality in your space.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #kitchen #bath #modernhome #openconcept #askanexpert #architecture #interiordesign #designers(Photo Credit: KuDa Photography)

1) What is the best layout for an open plan kitchen if I plan to entertain guests while working in the kitchen? 

There are a lot of factors to consider. Views, natural light, cost and other nearby spaces. I don't have a simple answer, but think through, what you'd like to be looking at when you're busy at the sink, think about cleanup and dirty dishes and if that will be visible to the living area. Consider the range hood style. Would it block views or guests if you have an island range? Would it be best against a wall with the sink out in the island for prepping food, chopping, etc? My preference is an island with the kitchen sink, the cooktop against the wall and the oven on the wall as well, either below the cooktop or stacked with a microwave. 

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #kitchen #bath #modernhome #openconcept #askanexpert #architecture #interiordesign #designers(Photo Credit: KuDa Photography)

2) How do I integrate the kitchen and living space without losing storage space? 

There are lots of things to consider. In small open spaces, look for multi-use furniture. An ottoman that opens for storage, a side table that has room for books or a drawer, coffee tables that hide remotes, etc. 

Island kitchens can also offer lots of space. Recent homes I've done have no upper cabinets and no walk-in pantries, but offer plenty of storage for everything. I prefer large drawers over cabinet doors that open. The drawers allow easier access without having to bend down and reach into lower cabinet shelving. 

Keeping audio/video equipment in a separate media closet away from the living area will save space. In this scenario, just the TV is visible, and the equipment is in another area with hidden cables or wireless signals back to the TV. 

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #kitchen #bath #modernhome #openconcept #askanexpert #architecture #interiordesign #designers(Photo Credit: KuDa Photography)

3) How can I establish separate areas within my open space? 

Similar to other questions, but the use of paint colors if there's a good wall to make a break on is the easiest way. Another way is with flooring. Changing the floor material will break up a room, but I don't often do this as it can defeat the purpose of keeping that space open which allows changing furniture placement etc easily. 

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #kitchen #bath #modernhome #openconcept #askanexpert #architecture #interiordesign #designers(Photo Credit: KuDa Photography)

4) How do colors play into open spaces? Should I keep it all one palette? 

This will depend greatly on the amount of natural light and interior lighting in each person space. For a simple answer, changing the paint palette can add depth and character to spaces in an inexpensive way. It can change the entire feel of a room or define rooms or areas by changing walls and or ceiling colors. 

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #kitchen #bath #modernhome #openconcept #askanexpert #architecture #interiordesign #designers(Photo Credit: KuDa Photography)

5) What are some essential elements of open plan design that tend to be forgotten or overlooked? 

Creating a comfortable space. So many homes have an "open" floor plan, with a huge soaring vault over the entire area, but there aren't and "cozy" spaces or character. You can make it open, but also create spaces within that for reading a book or eating. You can do this by changing ceiling heights or creating soffits and or changing finish materials and colors on walls. 

Explore Our Past 'Ask An Expert' Article: Doug Burdge

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