How to separate the dining room from the kitchen: clever solutions

Updated April 17, 2017

An open-plan kitchen and dining room has many advantages: the larger area feels more spacious; a host can chat to guests while she prepares a meal; and families can spend more time together. If you have a combined kitchen and dining room, however, you may sometimes feel that you would like to separate the two areas. Fortunately, you do not have to resort to building a wall; you have plenty of clever options to divide the space that are not permanent or expensive.

Build a breakfast bar between the kitchen and dining areas, if you have the budget and space for it.

Position a shelving system at a right angle to the wall. Find shelving that can be accessed from either side, so that it looks attractive and is functional from both angles. Your room will still feel open and spacious, because the shelves do not create a solid divide.

Distinguish the dining area from the kitchen with different wall colours and lighting. Choose a colour scheme with two main colours and use a different colour ratio for the two areas. For example, paint your kitchen mainly green with cream accents and your dining area mainly cream with green accents. This gives the decor continuity but clearly separates the two sections. Alternatively, use different accent colours; for example paint all the walls grey, use red accessories and accents in the kitchen area and black and white accessories and accents in the dining area. This works if you do not use any colours that clash. Fit bright spotlights or track lighting in your kitchen area and softer, more ambient table or floor lamps in your dining area.

Hang a curtain to separate the dining area from the kitchen. Remember that you will need to be able to open and close the curtain easily. Fit a track to your ceiling and hang drapes or pieces of fabric from it. Sheer fabric does not create a solid divider.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelving system
  • Paint
  • Ceiling track
  • Drapes or fabric pieces
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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."