An open floor plan can give your home a bright, spacious feel. However, it can be difficult to create distinct spaces for the individual rooms on the floor when there are no walls to divide the spaces. In particular, an open floor plan for a living room and kitchen can be problematic because messes in the kitchen may be visible in the living room. Fortunately, there are various items that can serve as a room divider between the two spaces so each room has a distinct feel and your home still feels bright and airy.
For a simple and inexpensive room divider between your kitchen and living room, a bookcase or shelving unit is an effective option. Opt for a unit that features an open design so there is no backside to the bookcase. This style allows you to create distinct spaces for the kitchen and living room, but still maintains a bright, open feeling for both. You can place books on the shelves or display decorative items such as vases, bowls, candlesticks and figurines. Because the bookcase is open on both sides, the objects are visible in the kitchen and living room so you can decorate both rooms at the same time.
While Shoji screens are traditionally used in Asian-style decorating, they are available in a variety of modern designs that fit many design styles. They are a versatile option for room dividers between a kitchen and living room because they are usually lightweight and foldable so they can be moved or adjusted depending on your needs. Shoji screens may feature solid coloured panels or a decorative design to provide visual interest to the rooms as well. In addition, while Shoji screens do not completely block light, they diffuse it so it has a softer feel, which can be beneficial if there are harsh fluorescent lights on in the kitchen while a family member or friend is relaxing in the living room.
For a transitional room divider, add a breakfast bar between your kitchen and living room. In many cases, the reason that a homeowner wishes to divide a kitchen and living room is to block the view of dirty dishes or messy countertops in the kitchen from family and friends who may be in the living room. Adding a higher-than-usual island bar to block the view of the sink is an effective solution because it can also serve as a breakfast bar where family and friends can eat. The breakfast bar can serve as a transitional space between the workplace of the kitchen and the more formal entertaining area of the living room.
A fireplace can serve as a dramatic room divider between a kitchen and living room and give both spaces a warmer feel. Any style of fireplace can work for this purpose, but natural materials like brick, stone and wood tend to work best to create an inviting look for the rooms. You can install for a two-way fireplace so the fire is open to both rooms, or build the fireplace so it faces the living room. The backside of the fireplace enclosure can be used to build a pantry in the kitchen.