Modern trend with historic roots

Open-plan kitchen: Icon for the modern lifestyle

The latest trend is for a flowing architecture where living, cooking, and enjoying blend into one. The open-plan kitchen is inviting for all who enjoy a communicative sense of community when preparing delicious food. Beautiful materials, high-quality kitchen products, and design create a harmonious link between the dining and living spaces while upgrading the home at the same time.

Dining area in an open-plan kitchen with staircase leading upstairs.
Flowing transitions between living, cooking, and eating: Connecting materials and colors blur the boundaries. (©Leicht Küchen AG,

Set individual design accents in the open-plan kitchen

The kitchen is becoming the center of the home and is opening up at the same time. To match the cooking trend, the kitchen is no longer a closed galley but rather an inviting place for the whole family and their guests. The kitchen is thus transformed into an open-plan area that permits eye contact and uninterrupted conversations with fellow residents and friends. Cook while watching the TV show that’s on by the sofa? Perhaps you, too, dream of how convenient it would be if there were only a few steps between kitchen, dining area, and cozy seating?

Coordinated materials create a harmonious ensemble

The open-plan kitchen fits particularly harmoniously into a home setting where coordinated materials are in place to visually link the different areas. The trend is toward wood and natural materials, extending from kitchen furnishings and work surfaces to flooring and into the living space. Laminate floors and trendy tiles with a wood look can also create a visual bridge. Many times, select details like carpets can create smooth transitions. Across-the-board color schemes and charming lighting enhance the creative concert. Designer lighting that emits a “comfortable” light over the dining table or breakfast nook can blur the boundaries between areas. Cozy seating can complement the counters where guests are seated. In this inviting setting of cooking and living space, a prominent faucet for the sink becomes an eye-catcher. The valuable kitchen helper creates an individual design accent.

Kitchen workstation, maximum flexibility

The cooking island as a plus: It is easily accessible from all sides and is communicative, too, thanks to seating on one side.

Open-plan kitchen with freestanding kitchen island.

The open-plan kitchen with island as a challenge for creative design

Bright kitchen island with double sink
Open kitchen with light fronts and dark sink. A colorful designer refrigerator also gives the kitchen an elegant character. Unbeatable: the view outside.

As an integral part of the living environment, your kitchen should catch the eye with outstanding design, yet blend harmoniously into the living space. Before you develop a concrete design concept for the kitchen, the following basic questions need to be clarified:

  • What are the materials and shapes of my home décor?
  • Should the design match the kitchen or set a visual contrast?
  • Do I prefer an open-plan kitchen with a cooking island or a simple island?

Play with material combinations

Does wood dominate the furniture in your living room? A kitchen with a wooden front harmonize nicely. To avoid an outdated look, you can play with unusual combinations of materials. 

Stainless steel gives wood a modern touch. A surface with brushed metal looks especially elegant. 

Combining natural stone and lacquer in a bold color will create a look that is as unusual as it is attractive.

Are curves, circles, and other organic shapes a design element in your home? We recommended choosing a countertop with a round contour. Custom kitchen cabinets with curvy shapes have an especially unique look.

Contrasts as a visual counterpoint

If you want a clear visual separation between the living and kitchen areas, try playing with contrasts. The material making up the majority of the kitchen fronts is the crucial element here. 

A premium wood grain in an unusual stain, such as blue, black, or red, can add a distinct accent. 

White, on the other hand, is the ideal color background for unusual accessories. Here, rainbow colors of smart lamps come into their own just as well as fancy designer lamps or pieces of art. 

Have you ever thought of putting a sculpture in a visible place in your kitchen? On the other hand, copper pots and pans in playful designs have a classic look. Add a natural touch to your kitchen with an extra-large houseplant.

The island: Favorite child for design enthusiasts

An open kitchen with island offers countless design possibilities and provides a flair of largesse. With a sufficiently large area, you can design a cooking island as a social center of the kitchen, where you can immediately consume a freshly prepared meal. 

The exhaust hood above the island provides fresh air. However be sure to consider the noise level when making your selection. Alternatively, you can choose a new induction stove that has the exhaust fan integrated into its surface.

An island with a sink near the dishwasher is just practical. This makes it easier to clean up after a social event. With enough legroom, this kitchen island can even serve as a space-saving alternative to the dining table. Natural stone or stainless steel are good choices for the surface.

Modern technology for maximum comfort

Only have the oven, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator? Modern kitchens offer much more than the old standard equipment. An oven with sous-vide function allows vacuum-packed cooking at low temperatures. A gentle steamer preserves important nutrients.

Microwave and oven combined in one appliance to save space. Smart ovens and stoves can bake any cake or roast any meat perfectly. You can control the cooking process online, no matter where you are.

Also particularly convenient are modern dishwashers with liftable bottom drawers, makes it easier to put away and take out. Thanks to improved technology, the days when you had to wash precious glasses by hand are also over. 

Boiling water or mineral water from the faucet, now available in an ope-plan kitchen with island or cooking island. This guarantees pure minimalism without additional appliances or storage space for bottles. 

For wine lovers, a special wine refrigerator is a good choice. Connoisseurs swear by this device, which you can now also network intelligently. You can control and monitor the temperature at any time using your smartphone.

Kitchens for semi-pros and ambitious home cooks.
Switching spray modes is easy with the series M 71 pull-out spray: The pivoting area makes them it so flexible. Whether at the counter or an island solution in the open-plan kitchen.

Intelligent functions for individual desires

Would you like to have an open-plan kitchen that fits perfectly with your lifestyle? No wonder, because several times a day, your gaze is certain to wander from sofa and dining area to the kitchen technology of faucets, sink and appliances. With this trend toward open-plan design in mind, hansgrohe offers you a selection of aesthetic and highly functional kitchen faucets and sinks. Such technical sophistication and cozy retreat can be harmoniously connected to suit your taste. Because these kitchen products from the Black Forest score points with functionality, ergonomics and outstanding design.

No matter which hansgrohe solution you ultimately choose: With kitchen faucets with a wide pivoting area at the sink unit, you can enjoy a personal ComfortZone. Get even more flexibility with an operating concept that has proven itself in connection with the pull-out spray in the kitchen: Thanks to innovative Select technology, you can turn water on and off at the touch of a button in passing (also available in an island solution). Or you can place your water control in the open. This option of operating from different sides also creates workspace convenience in the open-plan kitchen.

Frequently asked questions about open-plan kitchen with islands

What material combinations make a design statement in an open kitchen?

Wood and brushed stainless steel or natural stone with lacquer in bold colors form a successful visual counterpoint.

What’s the best way to show off my Italian designer lighting fixtures?

A white island or white kitchen fronts are the perfect backdrop for eye-catching lamps or other accessories.

I want to design an open kitchen with a kitchen island, but the exhaust hood in the middle of the room bothers me. Is there a solution for this?

An induction cooktop with integrated extractor fan eliminates the need for a large hood.

I love sous-vide cooking, but the appliance takes up too much of my countertop. What do I do?

There are now ovens available with an integrated sous-vide function.

My partner is a wine connoisseur. What can I do to make them happy?

A smart wine refrigerator will let you control the temperature from anywhere via your smartphone.

Open-plan kitchens with islands as a space for the early hours

An open-plan kitchen offers you an enormous amount of leeway for design. The important thing is to consciously design the kitchen as a harmonious unit, or contrasting counterpoint, with the rest of the interior. A cooking island or an island with a sink lend a spacious flair and can replace a dining table. Smart kitchen appliances offer maximum convenience through perfect control via smartphone.

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