Combined living room with open kitchen dream of many homeowners and it is not surprising – in such a space the whole family can gather and here you can meet guests.
In this article, I will talk about how to properly plan the living room-kitchen and how to avoid frequent mistakes. How to make the living room-kitchen ergonomic and organize several functional zones in it.
Often the area of the kitchen in apartment buildings is insufficient and the question of increasing the space arises. Before making a remodel, you need to make sure that the remodeling is legal.
You can increase the kitchen by joining non-residential part of the apartment (pantry, corridor).
In some cases, you can combine the kitchen with the next room, but here it is important to respect the conditions.
You can combine the kitchen with a room, provided that there are at least two rooms in the apartment, and one of them remains isolated. It is necessary so that the apartment has a living area (after combining with the kitchen, the room will not be considered a living area). For example, such a merger in a one-room apartment will not agree.
It will be also difficult to agree to unite in a gasified apartment. According to the regulations it is not allowed to have sleeping quarters in rooms with gas equipment.
It is strictly forbidden to increase the kitchen area by attaching the toilet – such redevelopment will be immediately rejected.
No engineering errors
When the redevelopment is coordinated, then you can begin to plan the space.
The main mistake in the planning of the living room-kitchen is the transfer of engineering equipment. Let me explain: in order to ensure the operability of utilities, you should not move the kitchen far away – this will require the lengthening of pipes. There are no special problems with the water supply – the lines have high pressure, but there is a problem in the sewer line.
For sewage, it is important to arrange a slope so that the waste water would go into the house mains. If you move the sink far away, it will require a serious lifting of the sewer pipe and raise the floor level.
The slope of the sewer pipe must be at least 4″, otherwise sewage can remain and provoke breakdowns.
It is important to pay special attention to ventilation in a combined living room-kitchen.
Plan in advance for additional air intake points – this is important to ensure that exhaust air is removed, and to prevent odors from spreading throughout the space.
Of course, installing new air intake points will require lower ceilings, but it is a worthwhile decision. The ceilings will be 5-7 cm lower relative to the upper floor slab.
Zoning the space
In the kitchen, ergonomics is important, and in the living room, comfort and convenience, so we will have to look for the best placement of furniture and equipment.
According to the regulations, it is unacceptable to move the sink to the added area – it must remain within the original kitchen. Therefore, the most rational solution is to arrange the kitchen area in the old place, and on the added area organize a dining and seating area.
Picture the furniture on the plan and divide it into conditional zones: here is the cooking area, here is food storage, there is the dining area, and there is a place to relax with a sofa and a TV.
All these zones should not overlap and there should be no overlap. Each part of the living room-kitchen should work independently: the person in the kitchen should not interfere with those watching TV by the sofa or those who dine.
Proper zoning is when the functional zones are autonomous, but united in meaning and style.
When combining multiple functional areas, it’s important to follow ergonomic standards.
Pay special attention to the placement of kitchen equipment and do not settle for half-measures. There should always be a working part of the countertop, as it is not convenient to cook on the dining table. If space is scarce, then use a serving table or arrange a folding tabletop.
In order to maintain a sense of space, I recommend sticking to a unified style in the interior. The kitchen-living room should not have many accents – it should make a unified impression.
Hide the kitchen cabinets by using local color – so the kitchen set will not stand out and will not turn the space into a “kitchen with a couch”.
The role of lighting should not be underestimated – with competent lighting you can emphasize zoning, and you can spoil everything.
Each functional area should be endowed with its own lighting. In a living room-kitchen there should be several lighting scenarios, in addition there should be a general technical light in case of different incidents.
Technical light will evenly illuminate the entire space – this is necessary for cleaning, but no more. In each area provide its own light scenario: dim light from the floor lamp in the living room, chandeliers over the dining table, work lights in the kitchen and general light.
The inclusion of light should be independent, for example, if you are resting, then turn on the light only in the living room area, and leave the other parts in a pleasant semi-darkness.