Who Needs Walls Anyway? How Emma Created Her Open Plan Kitchen/Diner/Living Space

Your grandparents don’t get it, and quite possibly neither do your parents, but modern day living is all about open plan. And we’re not just talking kitchen/diners anymore; we’re talking the whole shebang – yep, living rooms too! Getting rid of pretty much every wall on the ground floor of your home is definitely where its at (with the exception of the downstairs loo!) So if you haven’t taken the plunge already, prepare to be inspired by what Emma did at her new place.

Before and After

When we got the keys to our new home, just 8 weeks before baby Arla arrived, I simply couldn’t wait to open up the downstairs space. The décor was dated, but the main issue for me was how dark and disjointed it all was. Here’s an idea of how the space looked originally. There were four separate rooms; a kitchen, utility room, downstairs loo and dining room but we couldn’t wait to turn all this into a single open space.

Within days, work began on tearing down the walls and once they were gone, the space was reborn!

We added two sets of French doors to maximize the natural light and once the walls had been plastered and painted white, my dream of open plan living was on its way to becoming a reality.

The Planning

I had everything planned; from the kitchen units to the soft furnishings, I knew exactly how I wanted it all to look. Here are the moodboards I put together for the three separate zones, months before we even got the keys!

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home so they say, and this was always going to be the most important element of our new home. It was provided by Nottingham based company, Inspirational Interiors whose customer service is excellent. Owner and Designer Sam (who is lovely by the way!) worked so hard to help me achieve my vision within our budget.

The island is painted in Denimes and the outer units in Skimming Stone, both shades are by Farrow & Ball but we had them colour matched at our local B&Q. The bar stools are the latest addition to the completed space and are one of my favourite things. They are from By Crea, a Swedish brand that make the most beautiful, high quality furniture. I love them for their modern, minimalist appeal and they are a perfect fit the Scandi style vision I had for this room.

Top of my ‘Dream Kitchen’ wish list was a double Belfast sink and this one from Rangemaster fitted the bill perfectly.

It compliments the white range cooker (also from Rangemaster) beautifully and together they help give the space the ‘contemporary country’ feel I was after. The simple white brick effect tiles from Tons of Tiles bring an urban edge and I love the striking contrast of the black grout.

The window shutters from The Shutter Store are an elegant and timeless addition to this space plus they are wipe clean! Win win. I was determined to incorporate a window seat somewhere as we had one at the old house and I loved it.

The finishing touches made all the difference and I could not be happier with our satin brass knobs, cups and latches from Armac Martin’s Cotswold Collection. I love the way the brass looks against both the blue and the neutral shades of the kitchen.


Keen to ensure everything coordinated, I opted for a satin brass tap too from Perrin and Rowe.  I chose to have an unlaquered finish to allow the tap to age and patina over time. I was keen to add character to this otherwise modern kitchen because as much as I love clean lines and simplistic Scandi style, I do love to mix things up with a bit of old, rustic charm. The tap gives instant boiling water too; never before has making a brew been so quick! The separate rinser comes in pretty handy as well.

I’m a sucker for open shelving in kitchens (everyone knows how partial the Homebirds are to a good shelfie) so I ended up having them in two places. These ones are where I display my general tit bits which I tend to reshuffle on a weekly basis…

And these ones are for my dedicated Coffee Bar area. LOVE having a whole area just for coffee! Feels like I’m running my own coffee shop!

The brackets on both sets of shelves are from Ironmongery World and help inject a bit of the industrial trend into the space. The shelves themselves are off-cuts of our oak worktops, but old scaffold boards would work just as well.

My husband Graeme had always wanted a wine fridge and ours is an Amica one from ao.com. It can store both red and white wine thanks to having compartments that can be set at different temperatures.

The Dining Space

Our dining table and bench was handmade by the brilliant Brook at Made in the Cellar in Sheffield. He is one talented man and can craft pretty much any piece of furniture, to your exact spec. I found an image of a table identical to this on Pinterest and he imitated it. His creation is actually even better than the original!


We found the Ercol style chairs on Ebay and we just painted them black to match our scheme. The wishbone chairs at either end of the table were from Only Home and make a bit more of a feature.

The rattan light shades are by Vaunt Design and the rope cords match those on the glass pendant lights that hang over the island (these are also from Vaunt Design). Ensuring the details in each area complimented one another, helped to make the wider space appear unified.

The Living Space

Our L shaped sofa is the Barbican from John Lewis. I chose this denim blue colour as it was a near enough perfect match for our kitchen island. This again helped to bring a sense of cohesion to the separate zones. The subtle blush tones in the soft furnishings also help to do this as they compliment the pink tones in the Desenio wall art in both the dining room and kitchen.

Having such a large, open plan space I was keen to create a cosy vibe and I achieved this by adding a wood store on some rustic wooden shelves below the wall mounted TV. The natural tones of the wood add warmth and tie in with the rustic wood of the dining table, the natural materials in the lighting and the oak half of the kitchen island worktop.

So there you have it. A whistle stop tour of my all new kitchen/diner/living space. If you’re thinking of knocking walls down in your own home my advice is quite simply, go for it! It is just perfect for family living as everyone is always in the same room, no matter what they’re doing.

Be clever with how you decorate, furnish and style your space. You do need to have clear zones, but the key is to make those zones compliment one another and appear as if they’re joined together seamlessly. Need our help? Not a problem. Simply email us at homebirdsuk@gmail.com or message us on Instagram @_homebirds_to find out about our affordable online interior design service.

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