Loving Open Plan Living

Many years ago, having the kitchen within the living areas was felt to be unhygienic because of cooking smells and generally unsavoury odours! The kitchen was always in another room which meant that the cook of the evening was stuck in the kitchen on their own whilst the guests were busy enjoying the drinks and nibbles in the next room.

Today, it is a very different story! Some clever architect thought that it would be a good idea to create an open plan kitchen/living/dining area and soon the rest of the world followed suit. Clients, who were worried about how cooking smells when producing an 8-hour casserole or frying onions, found that the new powerful extractor fans took care of that. Technology has really come on a long way and now enables us to open up the kitchen area without the worry of the smell infiltrating the room.

Clients have loved the idea of keeping an eye on the saucepans bubbling away whilst chatting to their guests sitting on the centre island with a glass of wine … people also realised that having their living and dining space in one large area was excellent for parties as well as being home alone for the evening with instant access to drinks and snacks; and a clear view of the TV while cooking certainly make for a much more pleasurable night in.

New builds are mostly developed with this sociable space in mind and open living has become the standard expectation. This lifestyle change has even extended to the older generation that were brought up with the “kitchen banishment ideology!” This demographic is seeing the benefits of an open plan layout and are enjoying the free flow of their living areas.

This way of life has changed how we entertain, buffets have become a very popular way of people helping themselves to a meal rather than the more formal plating, making dinner parties and get togethers more casual, with guests even chipping in and helping with the cooking rather than the burden solely on the host and hostess!

To make the best of your space we advise to subtly divide up the areas using pendant lighting, rugs, dividers or cabinetry to create zones for each area. The goal is to make the areas feel cosy and not like an aeroplane hangar. This is where an interior designer comes into their worth as there is a real skill set in making the areas flow.

At M&Y Interiors we approach each space accordingly, we have, where appropriate recommended a split living open plan area with steps down to a dining or living area giving a Californian casual feel that breaks up the space making it feel large and airy. We often recommend large bi-fold or sliding doors into the garden that flood the area with light.

When we look at designing an open living space we take into consideration the seating positioning with the tv in mind.  Open plan often means that the seating is more in the middle of the room with the tv unit on one of the walls. This must work in harmony with the layout of the kitchen. Then we look at the position of the dining table and chairs and the proximity near the kitchen. We even consider the view from the table for example overlooking the garden. So designing this space is not an easy task, there are lots of things to consider and plan for – but when done right it can completely change how you and your family live. Your home will become more harmonious and by combining the areas to create a perfect space for cooking/living/eating you’re futureproofing your home to fit the ever-changing demands of all the family.


"I absolutely loved working with Mandy, Nigel and Samantha at M&Y. They quickly got to know our tastes. They are professionals and absolutely fabulous!"Mrs H
"M&Y interiors were so helpful in the planning and redecorating of my new apartment. Nothing was too much trouble and I wouldn’t hesitate in using them again. I highly recommend this company."
"I'd like to thank you, Nigel and Sam for your work in making our house a home. We love it. Once more, thank you!"
Mrs K
"M&Y created a incredible luxurious, family home in keeping with the style of a Grade 2 Listed building fully embracing the traditional look we wanted, even down to the finest details."Mrs S
“I would highly recommend Mandy, Nigel and Team. Their patience and getting to know what we wanted was excellent. Mandy has a great eye for colour and sense of style. We are delighted with the end product.”Totteridge
In the good times and the bad.... "Thank you again for the way you handled this issue and the resolution. I don’t believe many companies would have acted this way and I’m extremely grateful for your commitment to delivering a happy customer outcome."Mr C
“M&Y have handed over our fully refurbished office in Hertford today and I’m still buzzing with excitement because the transformation has been totally amazing . The brief was pretty basic ,I wanted to create the look and feel of the Ralph Lauren store in Bond Street ,but make it work for an office environment , on a sensible budget. Mandy and her team hit the target perfectly and we now have a really fantastic work space, and a very smart meeting room that will impress any visitor, plus the coolest looking office kitchen in the county! I can’t wait to get back to the office!”James, Wedge Homes Ltd
"LIFE IS NOT PICTURE PERFECT BUT THE M&Y FIT IS MORE THAN PERFECT" We highly endorse M&Y Interiors. They offer a fantastic customer service and Mandy and Nigel with their loyal team always go the extra mile for their clients. The reward for a job well done is the opportunity to do it again. Very much looking forward to working together on the next big project in due course. Nigel’s approach to resolving matters is a breath of fresh air and all I can add is that the world would be much a better place with more people around like Nigel and Mandy.’’ Thank you again, we are forever grateful.MR F
"What a stunning home you have created for us. We can’t thank you enough. From our first meeting I knew that if anyone was going to be responsible for refurbishing our home it had to be you. I had faith that you could make us a dream home. Mandy, I felt straight away a connection with you and I was comfortable that you understood what I would like. Your ideas on interior design including furnishings, fabrics and colours are amazing. I may not have always been the easiest client, but I am now a truly happy one. Nigel, the home would not be complete without your input in managing the project."
Mrs R
This was the first experience working with an interior designer and I was very mindful that we still maintained our own style and preferences. Mandy did not impose her views or choices on us, but listened carefully to what we liked and got to know our style and was extremely respectful of our budget, which is quite unusual in this field.Mrs N


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