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Open-plan kitchens buying guide

Spacious and modern, an open-plan kitchen is great for today’s faster pace of living. This design style reflects changing lifestyles and our need to move freely around the home. Why be restricted by walls and doors? Explore our open-plan kitchen ideas and enjoy multifunctional benefits in one sociable space.

Prepare to blur the lines between the core functions of your home with a fluid space that brings everyone together. With an open floor plan, there are endless possibilities for how you can organise your household, giving you total freedom without traditional barriers such as walls or doors. 

One of the biggest advantages of open-plan kitchens is being able to spend more time with your family without making any changes to your daily routine, whilst also having somewhere comfortable to cook, dine and entertain. But this is just the start - there are so many reasons to unlock the potential of your home and consider an open-plan layout for your kitchen. 

Whether you’re looking to create a small open-plan kitchen with a dining area, or your dream of a large open-plan kitchen with island, there are so many ways we can help you customise your design. From impressive gloss finishes or heavy wooden worktops to smooth graphite surfaces, there are options to suit every taste at Magnet. Explore our kitchen range further, or continue reading for our guide on choosing the right open-plan layout for you.

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Planning your open plan kitchen

Making your open-plan kitchen ideas a reality starts with good planning. Here are some of the things to consider before working on the design of your new dream kitchen.

1. Budget

Open-plan kitchens have no limits in terms of design, so it helps to have a set budget in mind. You can use the Magnet kitchen price estimator for an instant online guide price based on the style, size and materials you want. This is a great starting point as it helps you get an idea of what’s possible. 

Our price estimator lets you customise aspects of your design as you go too, so you can keep an eye on money while creating the beautiful bespoke kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.

There’s a huge range of colours, finishes and add-ons at Magnet, with appliances and innovative storage to suit all budgets. Our dedicated design team is also here to work with you to create something that is completely tailored for the needs of both you and your family. So whether you want an open-plan kitchen with island, breakfast bar, dining area and chill-out zone, or just something simple for a modest space, get in touch for help designing the perfect kitchen at the right price. 

2. Space

It’s crucial to understand the space you have available before planning your kitchen. Open-plan kitchens can be elevated even further with islands, but not every kitchen is suited to this. A small open-plan kitchen with limited floor space may need other creative solutions instead. If you’re set on certain features, you might want to consider an extension to get the best result. Unsure about what could work in your home? Book a consultation with our design team to find out more.

3. Layout

There are many shapes you can choose with open-plan kitchens, but this will largely depend on the space you have. In smaller homes, it may be best to stick with a traditional square or rectangle layout. If you have a larger area to work with, a good option to explore is the L-shape, a kitchen layout that maximises counter and storage space. For more tips on optimising space, get advice from our dedicated design consultants.

4. Style

Once you’ve thought about layout, it’s time to consider aesthetics. Whether you’re designing a large, medium or small open-plan kitchen, small details can make all the difference.

Choosing a kitchen style includes selecting the right colours to set the mood, deciding between materials based on your lifestyle and budget, finding finishes that complement your theme, and accessorising for that personal touch. Whether you love clean minimalism, monochromatic colour palettes, traditional country kitchens, or urban and modern styles, there’s a Magnet range to suit every taste. Take a look at our real-life customer kitchens for the ultimate design inspiration.

Considering space

Bigger kitchens are usually the most suitable for designing open-plan kitchens with all the features needed for a beautiful, efficient and sociable space. Although open-plan kitchens can still work in smaller homes, an extension could be worthwhile to really maximise the benefits of true open-plan living. 

Get the low-down below on what you’ll need to consider with a home extension:

  • Do you need planning permission? 
  • Is your house accessible? 
  • Does the design suit your existing home? 
  • Have you chosen the best area to extend? 
  • Can your budget stretch to an extension as well as a new kitchen?


If you’re happy with all these considerations, an extension could be the right step for you. The more space you have to work with, the more freedom you have with appliances, placement and layout. Continue reading for more tips on choosing the right layout for your space.

The shape and layout of your open plan kitchen

The layout you choose will depend on whether you are planning on designing a large or small open-plan kitchen. Considerations will include how much countertop space and storage you require, how many users will be in the kitchen at any one time, and whether or not you want to create zoning in your open-plan space. A few layouts to consider include:

  • One-wall kitchens
  • L-shaped kitchens
  • U-shaped kitchens
  • G-shaped kitchens


You could also have open-plan kitchens with islands using any of these layouts, as well as a whole host of storage hacks and ideas. Other things to help you decide are where you want family or guests to sit while you cook, whether you would like a breakfast bar ideal for quick bites or meals, and how much entertaining you plan on doing with your new kitchen.

Settling on a style

When choosing a kitchen design you will want to decipher if you want your open-plan design to be modern or traditional? Simple and minimalist or grand and opulent? The style of your kitchen should harmonise with the rest of your home, while still having a point of difference and showcasing your personality. Whatever style or theme you choose, there’s a Magnet range to match it.

Remember that a well-designed kitchen serves not just your personal requirements, but the needs and desires of everyone you share it with. If you’re unsure of how to approach your open-plan kitchen design, a free consultation with our expert designers is the best way to get started.

Learn the secrets of success with our helpful guide and explore some of the most popular open-plan styles, as loved by our customers…

Traditional open-plan kitchens

Our Shaker Kitchens combine classic design with modern convenience. Monochrome and natural hues are some of the most popular choices in this style. Oak cabinets topped with heavy wooden worktops help to lend a traditional warmth to kitchen spaces if you prefer a transitional kitchen.

View shaker kitchens

Modern open-plan kitchens

Our modern kitchens are available in a range of finishes which never compromise on homeliness, comfort or convenience. Whether you choose a high-gloss kitchen or a statement studio design, sleek modern kitchens work brilliantly in an open plan.

View modern kitchens

Industrial open plan kitchens

You don’t need an industrial-sized space to create an industrial-style, open-plan kitchen. Make use of clean lines and choose stainless steel appliances and dark tile or stone flooring to set off your industrial space.

View Industrial kitchens buying guide

Country style open plan kitchens

Country kitchens are inarguably charming and homely, and you’ll find you don’t need to live among rolling fields to replicate this classic design in your home. Choose pastel-coloured cabinets, wooden work surfaces and a stainless-steel gas hob to start the creation of your country inspired open-plan kitchen. Solid wood furniture and personal touches finish off this look perfectly.

Get the look: Country kitchens

Making open plan work for you

Ready to bring your open-plan kitchen ideas to life? At Magnet, we are passionate about helping our customers get the most out of their space. Take a look at our top tips for optimising your kitchen design and how to embrace open-plan living in the home.

How to make an open plan kitchen more family-friendly

Having a functional, comfortable family space that allows for meaningful interactions is one of the main reasons many of our customers decide to update their kitchen to an open-plan layout.  

We can help you with a number of open-plan kitchen ideas that make your home conducive to modern family living - some of these include stylish kitchen islands, multipurpose countertops (for eating, working from home, or a study area for the kids), and designing seating areas for the whole family to enjoy. 

From lounge and dining to play areas and chill-out zones, there are so many different open-plan kitchen ideas to explore, and we’ll work with you to custom-design a layout that makes quality family time an effortless everyday thing. 

The placement of kitchen workstations, appliances and furniture will affect how well people can move around and how easily conversations flow too. Our designers will bear this in mind, helping you create the perfect balance of interactivity and functionality for your kitchen space.

How to make an open plan kitchen more sociable

A well-designed kitchen that allows for easy socialising not only improves family life, but it can be great for entertaining guests. This makes an open-plan kitchen a great asset to any home. Here are a few tips on how to make yours more sociable: 

  • Keep it cosy and inviting (and choose a pleasing colour scheme)
  • Create a comfortable, casual seating area 
  • Place high stools around a kitchen island for guests 
  • Make the most of natural light 
  • Use colour, textures and interesting finishes to reflect your personality 


For ideas and inspiration on how your open-plan kitchen space could look, explore the full kitchen range at Magnet. We have Shaker-style kitchens, modern kitchens and ultra-contemporary handleless kitchens to suit every taste, every kitchen size, and every style of property. 

To discuss all the different possibilities with open-plan kitchens, arrange an in-person or online design consultation today.

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