10 Real open plan kitchen diner ideas to inspire your renovation plans

kitchen diner ideas

When it comes to renovating a kitchen space, you’re not only working with the heart of a home but also an everyday space where practicality becomes tops, so it can be hard to find the right balance.

For us, our kitchen isn’t just where we make meals, more often than not it’s where we catch up each day, where we entertain our friends and sometimes even becomes a work space. So creating an open plan kitchen diner design can be a smart choice in welcoming more light and space into your home and makes for a great social area to host dinner parties, nurse a morning cuppa or chat while you cook up a feast.

open plan kitchen diner ideas
kitchen diner island

We’ve loved reading messages and stories from fellow 1930s house owners who did a similar renovation to us – it’s becoming more and more common to open up 1930s homes (like we have) to make the most of what were typically small rooms. We opted for a shaker design in our open plan kitchen cabinetry laid out as a G plan kitchen and breakfast bar with separate dining table to one side giving us both high and low dining options for versatility. Topped off with my beloved double Belfast sink, it is our dream kitchen. See before and after pics here.

With each kitchen being unique and the possibilities for an open plan space holding so much potential, there’s a plethora many amazing renovation jobs out there. So here’s our round up ten of our favourite kitchen diner ideas to inspire your next overhaul, big or small.

Ten amazing open plan kitchen diner renos to inspire your kitchen layout

kitchen diner

1. Channel a hygge kitchen style for a homely open plan


Welcoming warmth and cosiness into an otherwise industrial feel, Reena has combined raw wooden and metal surfaces with greenery and fresh white walls in her Cardiff kitchen. This space is accented with monochrome tiles in a floral pattern to throw decorative shapes into the mix. Note the reused plank wall shelving - top marks for upcycling. You can pick these up easily as local wreckage yards if you’re up for a spot of DIY.


brick dust baby open plan kitchen
kitchen island

2. Create a focal point and work your open plan around it


There’s nothing quite like the discovery of gorgeous exposed brickwork when you’re renovation, but even if you don’t have the luxury of this there’s plenty of tile options like brick slips if you still want an original look. We love what Jasmin has done in her Victorian terraced property in Brighton, incorporating the range hood into the chimney breast to make the most of the period features and the space. The parquet tile pattern brings contrast into the decor and then topped off with industrial lighting and chairs. We also love the exposed food storage which adds to the organic feel.

Lisa Dawson's open plan kitchen

3. Keep things simple and let the middle of the space do all the talking


Here, Lisa’s has gone with minimalism on the surfaces in her bright country abode. Mixing untreated wood with sharp white counter tops and plain walls, she’s honing simplistic decor with clean lines at the heart of her space. The aged dining table as a centrepiece in place of a kitchen island makes a homely addition and ties the whole room together dressed with a large rug underfoot.

kitchen dining room ideas

4. Go for a cohesive colour scheme in an open plan – it doesn’t have to be the same on all walls


When decorating an open plan kitchen diner there tends to be uncertainty around keeping colours the same or changing them, and Katie proves it’s a complementary scheme that works, with bold pops of colour throughout her period Leeds home. Using hanging lighting in mismatched shades divides a communal space in place of a wall. The juxtaposition of bare masonry around the fridge works beautifully with blush pink tiling in a striking balance.


5. Maximise the light entering the room and bring in gentle colour that’s easily changed if you’re the type to get bored quickly


If you’re opting for a white and grey colour scheme in your open plan kitchen diner, like in Sofie’s London home, add selective modern shades like pastel pink, copper and luscious green leaves to fill the space with energy. We’re also big fans of bringing the dining space right up to the sink to embrace how casual an open plan kitchen diner can be.


 6. Go completely unique, remember it’s your home


Ciara’s country cottage is nothing if not cosy, filled with cosy textiles and antique finds. She’s honed this feel in her open plan space, sprucing up the simple plain wood and white combination with a hand-painted island by @lucytiffney. If you (or your friends) are creative types, this can be a cost-effective way to create a unique space and make a spacious open plan kitchen diner all the more intimate.


 7. Do a stand out colour!


Bold blue hues bring a space to life in this compact kitchen from retailer Naked Doors. They’ve gone for deep walnut worktops to tie the otherwise monochrome colour scheme together in a daring choice of decor that is still timeless and will age well. Minimal white tiles keep the room feeling clean and practical. The dark appliances shades also lend themselves to bringing out the more focal colours and limited wall furniture maintains the simple aesthetic.


 8. You can still go bold and do period charm


If you’re worried the open plan kitchen look won’t look right in the era of property you’re renovating, Sophie Robinson’s house will prove you can do anything while still remaining true to a period building’s charm. Sophie’s opted for deep forest green tones paired with a dark stain on her surfaces which is lifted by the floral accent wallpaper and anchored by the terracotta floor tiles. If you’re working with low ceilings, keep them plain and bright and this combo can turn a small space into something stylish. We love how this example has echoed our use of a Belfast sink too, yes Sophie!



9. Even small spaces can do open plan cleverly


Space and budget can be two of the biggest factors involved in renovating a kitchen space, but they need not hold you back. Take the ‘less is more’ approach and embrace your own DIY skills. Choosing a tiny table can still make for a sociable kitchen diner and limiting wall furniture will can help to open your room up, making it feel more spacious. If news cabinetry is out of the question then repainting your existing fronts can be a great way to overhaul the feel of the room.


10. Make an impact with pattern


Inside Jen’s Nottingham kitchen diner, she’s prioritised finishing touches over major changes, going with honeycomb splash back tiling and a striking feature floor to contrast dynamic shapes with dark backgrounds. The colourful dining chairs bring the whole space together and fill it with life. Jen has also carefully chosen stainless steel appliances to reflect more light into her room and bring up the tone. What a gorgeous space, Jen!

See, there’s so much you can do! + if you’re stuck, we can help!


From big to small, budget to lavish, there’s so much you can do with your kitchen, whatever state it might currently be in. I hope this has provided some inspiration for your next kitchen reno. If you’re in the midst of planning now, take a look at our Home Renovation Planners and the How to Renovate a House Online Course which will help you bring your vision to life.

And please share any thoughts, questions and photos with us, we love to see your project! Hit Fifi up over on instagram > @fifimcgeee

Thanks for reading,

Fifi & Neil xoxo