How to Design an Open Plan Kitchen Conservatory | Oak Conservatories

How to Design an Open Plan Kitchen Conservatory

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5 points to consider when planning an open plan kitchen

The Flow

It’s great planning things in groups, certain things need to be planned close together to aid functionality and getting the most out of your space. It doesn’t make sense planning your dishwasher on the opposite side of the room to your sink, as most of us may rinse excess food stuff from plates and bowls, or serving cutlery prior to putting into the dishwasher (it’s good practice as this helps prolong the life of your dishwasher – remember your dishwasher IS NOT a waste disposal).

...Also not having dripping water when transferring items from your sink to the dishwasher will minimise the risk of slipping or accidental falls. It’s for this reason I believe it’s practical to have as much of your plumbing and water reliant appliances in one area or as close as possible in the kitchen.

Richmond Oak Conservatories - The Flow

Relationship with Adjoining Areas

When having your new oak framed extension designed. It’s worth considering early on in that journey, how will that new space interact if at all with any adjoining rooms or spaces. If you have an open plan kitchen and dining room, will the new space be for seasonal dining, formal or informal dining, an additional living area with sofa seating etc. or will it be a standalone garden room or similar to the image below. If there are adjoining areas to consider, the next 3 points will help in getting them to connect and relate to each other, even when creating specific zoned areas, you can still replicate materials and finishes used close-by to create a nice flow and balance throughout.

Oak Orangery Kitchen Extension


Function vs Aesthetic –

When planning extraction for clients, one of the main concerns is what it looks like (unless it’s fully integrated). The need for it to look a certain way has almost taken away from the functional aspect of an extractor which should be the priority if you are a keen chef and have an open plan arrangement to the kitchen and adjoining living areas.

I often advise the importance of getting this right early on in the design planning as it can be a significant cost on the overall quotation but will not be of great value if it’s been chosen purely on the way it looks and the performance is not equally researched and advised on.

There are two types of extraction – ‘ducted’ which gets taken out externally through your ceiling or floor ducting to a vented outlet usually located on an outside wall. The other option is a recirculating extractor which takes the grease, steam and smells through a grease filter and blows the filtered air back out into the room.

Having an extractor which is ducted out is usually the most efficient of the two options, however there are really great recirculating models out on the market which can also out perform some of the older or poorly made ducted models whose air flow per m3 is quite low in comparison to current industry standards or if the ducting route is too long or has many bends along the route out.

Wooden Orangery Kitchen Extension


Lighting can play a huge part in creating the right atmosphere in any interior, but the use of lighting in the kitchen is really important as there are three types of lighting options to consider when planning your space.

Feature/ Statement lighting - These are larger light fittings (usually pendant light(s) over the island or dining table) which add that bit of drama to the space. Depending on the style you are trying to create some pendants can be easily categorised to help in your selection e.g. luxury lighting, industrial, vintage, rustic, traditional, modern or contemporary in its appearance and design. In many cases if these lights are chosen first, it can shape and dictate the design of the kitchen and the materials and door style which will work well with a particular style light fitting.

Task lighting – These are commonly known as under cabinet lights, lights in the extractor or brighter directional lighting over the sink area so it illuminates cooking zones and areas of food preparation.

Ambient lighting – These are often a combination of ceiling spotlight’s, recess strip lights around bulk heads or under low level units such as plinth lighting, LED colour changing strips or spots to give general illumination to the whole room

Lighting Breakdown for your Richmond Oak Conservatory

It’s also worth speaking to a kitchen specialist, interior designer or lighting designer for advice as many of the LED lights available give either a cool white light (with blue undertones) or warm white light (with red undertones). Be sure your specified lighting fall into one of the above colour temperatures as it’s quite an obvious difference if you mix warm white and cool white LED lights in your scheme and can make areas look mismatched when they should be uniform in their appearance.

hardwood orangery kitchen extension

Hardwood Orangery Kitchen Extension

Design & Styling

This is in most instance the “fun” part of planning your new kitchen, as this is what determines the end result and overall look and feel of the room. Here are three elements that should be considered to help plan the design.

Materials & Styling – When choosing your kitchen furniture, you initially have to decide on the style of door you would like to go for. These can be wooden, metal, laminate, concrete or glass to name a few. Whether it be a flat panel door with a handle of your choice which tend to give a modern feel to a kitchen, or a flat door paired with a handleless option which is a long channel that runs horizontally across the top of the base units and vertically down the sides of tall units, eliminating the need for a protruding handle on every unit door, creating a more streamlined contemporary look.

For a more traditional style kitchen, a shaker style door which has a distinct frame around the door and decorative beading in the panels. There are many variations of these style doors and if additional features like moulded cornices, light pelmets and pilasters are planned then that traditional look can be accentuated even more and have a grander more ornate appearance.

Textures – In many cases the textures used in the room can is also another way to tie certain elements together. Every kitchen will have varying texture across all the materials used. For instance, if a moodboard is created initially, it’s common to have elements of wood, stainless steel, porcelain, stone or laminate worktops, and even wallpaper and paint finishes can have varying textures.

Finishes – The finishes used relate closely to both the materials and textures. For example, you can have more than one type of finish for the same material e.g. Having a brushed stainless steel extractor and a Chrome tap – they are both metal but give two distinctively different looks. Another example is having a gloss finish door or a matt finish – again they can be the same colour or contrasting but create two different feels, as anything with a gloss finish to it will help in reflecting lights throughout the room whereas a matt finish in my opinion give a more sophisticated feel and the intensity of the colour can be highlighted more when painted matt.

Content courtesy of Nicola Bellot, Designer at Richmond Oak / Founder of Bead Interiors 

Here at Richmond Oak we design and install stunning oak conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms. We have a wealth of specialist experience when it comes to combining the design of an open plan kitchen with a hardwood glazed extension. Simply get in touch with the friendly team at Richmond Oak today to see how we can be of assistance with the planning of your potential open plan kitchen conservatory design.

wooden orangery kitchen extension

Extend Your Kitchen with an Oak Orangery or Conservatory

Your kitchen really is the heart of your home and large, open-plan kitchen diners are incredibly popular with families today. However, if your home doesn’t have a large kitchen already, you don’t need to start packing your bags just yet! An oak orangery or conservatory could be the perfect solution and will ensure you achieve the stunning space you desire.

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