How to Make an Open-Plan Kitchen and Living Space Look Great

Image: Max Vakhtbovych via

Open-floor plan builds have taken Austin and many other major cities by storm, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Homeowners have ditched the walls that close off different areas of the house in favor of inviting, spacious rooms that flow seamlessly into the next. This type of structure offers a wonderful community-oriented space where families can effortlessly share their time and company with one another– and with guests!

With your appliances, cabinets, and every piece of furniture now in full view, how do you make sure your open-floor plan kitchen and living room look great from the moment you step through the front door?

How to Make the Most of Your Open-Plan Kitchen & Living Space

It is possible to have the best of both worlds. Even though the open-plan kitchen and living rooms create a large, shared space, there are still ways to design this area in a way to separate it by room type. This is critical, because a home should feel both cozy and familial without sacrificing the overall design and functionality. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration to create a distinct look for your kitchen and living room area, we have a few suggestions that can help.

Create Spaces With a Sectional Couch

A great, simple way to create the appearance of separation within one large room is with a sectional sofa. 

Sectionals often come in an L-shape, which is perfect for creating the illusion of a wall between your dining room and living area. The shape of this style of couch gives it two specific functions: to separate spaces and to provide a warm, cozy spot for homeowners to unwind. 

Use Visible Barriers to Separate the Spaces

Even though open floor plan homes don’t rely on walls to separate rooms, they still require some sort of barrier to create distinct spaces in the home. But if you’re not using a physical barrier, what creative visual cues can help give the illusion of one? 

Try Different Paint Options for Each Room

One way to do this is with paint. Don’t think of the open-floor plan as one room. Instead, think about how you can use paint to provide a visual separation between each area. You can use a trendy, understated color in your kitchen and then try a bold pop of color in your living room

Not only will fresh paint give your design a leg-up, but it’s also easier to see visually where one space ends, and the other begins. 

Customize Your Cabinets

The other way to separate spaces is with your cabinets. Try an eggshell white wall with light gray Shaker RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinets for the kitchen and a deep navy blue color for the living room to give the illusion that they are two distinct rooms.

Or, if you like the look of natural wood kitchen cabinet designs, try a custom design from National Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry in Austin. With classic colors like Dark Chocolate, Honey Spice, and Chestnut Brown, you can find the stain and style that’s right for whatever design project you have in mind. 

“Not only will fresh paint give your design a leg-up, but it’s also easier to see visually where one space ends, and the other begins.”

What Kind of Cabinets Should You Use in an Open-Floor Plan Kitchen & Living Space?

Cabinets may not be the first thing we think about when designing our kitchens and living spaces, but perhaps they should be! The look, style, and color of your cabinets can make all the difference to your open floor plan design. What sort of things should you look out for when deciding on the cabinet and color that’s right for you?

Install Cabinets that Complement Each Other

Complementary colors are a must for design. National Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry offers easy-to-match colors like white Shaker RTA kitchen cabinets, pearl gray, vanilla, and more. 

This is where paint can come into play again. With a simple stain on your cabinets, you can go wild with your wall color choice. Bring fun, fresh colors that complement the stain you chose to bring your personality into the overall design.

Pay Attention to Aesthetics

The style of your cabinetry can make all the difference in your open-plan design. With the kitchen in full view of your living room, you want to ensure your cabinets are well-made, sensible, and visually appealing. 

For a more upscale feel, try the cabinets with raised panels and molding trim. Simple flat wood framing is excellent for those with a farmhouse or ranch style. Our classic designs are also great for a more modern look- it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Your Source for the Most Attractive Kitchen Cabinets in Austin

Open floor plan kitchens and living rooms aren’t going away. As more walls get knocked down in favor of the trendy open-floor plan, homeowners are now tasked with separating their spaces visually using paint, furniture, and cabinetry. 

If high-quality kitchen cabinet doors are the next item on your to-do list, check us out at National Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry in Austin. We can bring your design to life with styles and stains to suit any home project you have in mind.