photos by Dave Pluimer

Design the Perfect Place to Bring Family and Friends Together

An open concept kitchen eliminates barriers between the kitchen and living spaces creating the heart of the home, where you can share time with family and friends while preparing meals or cleaning up. The right design also allows for an uncluttered and efficient layout, smooth traffic flow, and plenty of beautiful, airy space to enhance your home’s aesthetic.


A well-designed open concept space should prioritize comfort, convenience, and everyday living. For many homeowners, it is also important to combine the kitchen, dining, and living rooms in a way that is ideal for socializing and entertaining. What layout might work best for you and your space?

The kitchen may include all the essentials on a single wall or in an L-shape with a dining nook to one side and the living room flowing directly from the kitchen. These spaces may be visually separated by either a central island or a peninsula. Another popular option is a U-shaped kitchen that flows in a linear direction to the dining area and the living room beyond. Either option creates a distinct cooking area while still integrating other spaces seamlessly.

A side effect of creating an open kitchen is that you remove walls and, thus, some countertop and cabinet space. An island gives you the surface area and storage you need. Increasingly popular oversized islands, or even incorporating two islands, gives you even more essential counter space. You have dedicated food preparation areas as well as a secondary area for your children, family, household members, and friends to socialize – and snack!

Kitchen islands are a natural focal point that creates an organic space in which to gather. A striking feature in its own right, an island serves to enhance your aesthetic, clearly define your space, and facilitate friendly traffic- and workflow.


While an open concept kitchen and living space offers many benefits, it can be helpful to maintain a sense of separation between rooms.

Architectural features such as exposed ceiling beams, trim, or molding create natural breaks that help define separate spaces. Whether you are designing your dream kitchen from scratch with a new build or remodeling, you can strategically integrate these architectural features to achieve the perfect balance and flow.

However, if you are concerned about having a messy kitchen during social gatherings consider a prep kitchen or an extended pantry. This gives you the space you need to prepare food and drinks while keeping your main kitchen area clean, clear, and guest-ready at all times.

Finally, a key element for maintaining visual flow is to stick with a single type of flooring throughout connected spaces. You can define the dining area or living area by adding custom rugs for interest, texture, and warmth.

If you need more inspiration or guidance on achieving your open concept kitchen goals, visit to connect. The expert ACo design and installation teams take the time to listen to your goals, your needs, and your wants to ensure you achieve the results you want – and love where you live.