open plan kitchen
CategoriesHome Design

Open Plan Kitchen – Why It’s a Great Idea

The open plan kitchen has become an integral part of the modern home. Not only is it chic and contemporary, but also practical and versatile.

But what is an open plan kitchen? Also known as an open-concept kitchen, it is a large flowing room where the kitchen, dining and living spaces, as well as their functions, are combined. It makes sense that modern homeowners would focus on transforming and extending their kitchen instead of other areas in their house; after all, it’s the heart of the home.

The kitchen is where everything happens: we host social events, do homework, prepare food, dine and share meals, and more. To accommodate these various purposes and functions, open plan living involves kitchens opening up into lounges and living spaces. Most homeowners also extend their kitchens into open plan dining areas, while some others incorporate unique areas to the layout, such as conservatories or workspaces. It’s for this reason that it’s important to take into account the design of your kitchen when considering a whole home renovation.

open plan kitchenBenefits of an Open Plan Kitchen

Open plan living is a growing and enduring trend over the years because of the benefits it offers over traditional kitchen layouts.

1. Space and Versatility

Removing barriers like walls and doors (if permitted) frees up so much space in a room. Open plan kitchens are seeing popularity in recent years because of their spacious and versatile design opens up the kitchen to the rest of the house that makes cooking, dining and living seamless.

2. Natural Light

Fewer walls also mean more natural light to flood into the room, making the home feel more open and comfortable. That’s not just because the wealth of sunlight makes the room feel larger. Did you know that sunlight increases serotonin, which is responsible for making us happier, calmer, and more focused?

3. Greater Bonding and Interactions

Having a multi-functional open-concept kitchen also encourages a family-friendly environment. The seamless dining and living space allows people to cook, eat and socialise without having to move from room to room. It’s also an attractive setup for young parents, as the open space makes it easier to watch their children.

Designing an Open Plan Kitchen & Living Area

Here are some smart design considerations for open-concept kitchens:

  • Select multi-functional furniture that is both practical and consistent with your style or theme. For example, a kitchen island can function as a cooking surface, bar counter for meals, and a stylish division between the cooking and dining zones.
  • Consider where to place your dining table. You wouldn’t want a long walk from the cooking area to bring food to the table.
  • Make sure no furniture is blocking the circulation space between the kitchen, living, and dining zones.
  • Ensure that people don’t need to pass through the work triangle of the kitchen to get to the living or dining space.

Consult Design & Build Professionals

If you’re planning to design and incorporate an open plan kitchen into your home, we recommend consulting with design specialists to do the job. Not only will it require careful planning and know-how, but will also involve heavy tasks, such as dismantling and renovating to extend your kitchen space.

Are you looking to extend or transform your property but unsure of the first steps to take? Here are some informative home extension guides and resources to help you with your planning.

CategoriesHome Design

Five Ways to Change Your Open Plan Living

At the heart of open plan living is one simple word. Connection.

Once upon a time, living rooms such as the kitchen or lounge room were built for a specific function. There was even a door to close us away from the rest of the house. Living within four walls was simply the way it was.

But over the years, as lifestyles have changed, so has our need for stronger connection with our family, friends and the digital world.

As we try to pack more into every day, every moment matters – whether it is preparing meals while helping with homework, cooking while supervising the kids at play, catching up on the news while packing the dishwasher, or preparing a dinner party with friends. Open plan living gives us greater comfort, convenience and connection.

Want to make the most of your open plan living renovation? Try these five tips for your bayside home.

Take Out a Wall (or Two)

Removing walls to open up your living space is easier than you think. Surrounding walls can be adjusted in any home to achieve open plan living, dining and kitchen space – including period homes! You’ll just need to make time for some careful planning for your living room renovation.
MTake out a wall

Create Your Own Open Plan Living Island

At the heart of your living space is the kitchen – and the most popular and effective design is a large central island bench. It’s the perfect gathering spot for the family for breakfast and allows ample room for meal preparation, so you can encourage the family to get involved, too. It’s the most ‘social’ choice for your kitchen renovation as well – there’s no need to be stuck in the kitchen away from all the fun when you are entertaining. Be careful of clutter, though. All that space can also become a magnet for the rest of the family’s belongings.
Kitchen island bench

Go With The Flow

Getting the flow from area to area, room-to-room is absolutely vital to any open plan design. Traffic flow is especially critical, ensuring everyone can move freely throughout your space. When planning on extending your bayside home, make sure you take the time to investigate how your space should be designed for a natural flow between the living, dining, kitchen and outdoor areas.
Open plan living space

The Shape of Things to Come

No matter what size of home you have, thoughtful design can create the right shape of living space. In our experience when building a house extension, a long, rectangular space works best, enabling a great length to width ratio and it’s also ideal for all size and shape of furniture. This shape can also direct all activity to the great outdoors.Open plan living space

Consider Light in You Open Plan Space

Two of the most important elements of a successful open plan space are windows and ceiling height. It’s all about building ambience in your bayside home. Natural light adds a sense of welcome and warmth to a room but it’s also about functionality – you’ll love being able to complete tasks during the day without having to switch on a light. The right ceiling height, combined with clever design during your living room renovation, provides the illusion of a much larger room – and a soaring ceiling can also provide a wonderful feeling of grandeur.

Open plan lighting

Our top tip gained from many years working with clients is to talk to an experienced building designer that can add their expertise to your great ideas, creating a space that that flows perfectly. When it comes to your bayside home renovations, it’s all about the flow!

The professional design team at Bayside Extensions is passionate about creating environments to meet your lifestyle needs, while respecting the rich history and architecture of your bayside home. Contact us today by calling 03 9596 0368 or email

CategoriesHome Design

Don’t Skimp on Space – You’ll Always Need More Than You Think

Welcome to the second in our article series, Seven Deadly Sins of Home Renovation. Last time we shared some great tips on DIY Interior Design. This time we’ll help you plan ahead for the space you’ll need in your bayside home in the future.

Space – the final frontier.” Just like the brave Star Trek crew, you’ll be amazed at the space you can find in your own home if you are open to exploration and new ideas!

There are so many benefits to thinking ahead about space in your bayside home. A more comfortable lifestyle, extra years in your current home before you have to move, the lifestyle benefits of having more space for the whole family to enjoy and ultimately, a better selling price.

And while you’ll need to make some compromises in your bayside home, most likely due to council restrictions, your original façade and foundation walls, your larger block offers an enormous range of options.
spacious living area

Here Are Our Top Seven Tips For Creating More Space in Your Home

#1 The first step in your voyage?

Think big! When you begin planning for extension of your bayside home, always allow for more space than you think you’ll need. It won’t be easy to adjust your renovations if you realise you don’t have enough space. Think ahead about all the possibilities for your family and their needs. Cut corners now and you’ll regret it in the long run.
woman preparing a dinner table

#2 Think about flow

One of the biggest planning mistakes people make is not considering the way their home connects together. The flow of your extension needs to be a seamless connection between the old and the new, which can be cleverly achieved through selection of fittings, paint colour and architectural features.

You may be interested to know that the most popular trend amongst Bayside Extensions’ clients is to extend out, not up. Due to changing lifestyles, more people are choosing to lose yard space and create a rear extension to create a larger footprint, single storey home rather than extending up.
spacious house extension with a couch

#3 Take it From Us and Our Clients

There are certain areas of your home you will always want more spaceliving areas and bedrooms. As your family grows, so does the need for more bedroom space. The kids will need desk and study space, as well as a place to hang out with their friends and have sleepovers. And as the kids grow and you have more time on your hands, you’ll also want more space for entertainment and relaxation.
a young girl's bedroom
work table with a computer and flowers

#4 Open up Walls and Retain the Structural Integrity

At Bayside Extensions the complaint we hear most often is ‘I wish I had more space for open plan living!’ Due to the traditional structure of period homes, many areas may tend to feel dark and closed off from the rest of the house, which simply doesn’t work with today’s preference for open plan living. The good news is that removing walls  – as long as the structural integrity of your home remains intact – is a relatively easy way to open up and breathe new life into dark spaces.
home interior living room and dining area

#5 Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry Space

If you want to just dip a toe in the water if you are thinking about extending your bayside home, the three easiest places to find more space and make changes are your kitchen, bathroom and laundry. You’d be amazed what can be achieved through relocating bench tops, adding new appliances, changing window styles to achieve more natural light, removing doors and connecting walls and installing new fixtures and fittings in and dining area
bathroom with a bathtub


Clever planning and design will achieve wonders. Use of your attic, roof cavity, basement or yard can deliver extra space and add enormous value to your home renovation.
decking with a bench and large umbrella

#7 Making the Most of the Space with These Tips and Tricks

If you’re not quite ready to jump into major structural and architectural changes just now, there are loads of tricks and tips to help make the most of the space you have. To deliver the illusion of space, try the following:

  • Choose a lighter paint colour – the use of bright white and pale tones will lift and brighten any space.
  • Consider a skylight. The addition of natural light is a cost effective, low impact way to bring a sense of space to a dark hallway or room.
  • Change your windows! Period homes often feature traditional heavy wooden sash style windows that can restrict the flow of natural light into your home. Replace with new style, sleek windows, with narrow frames and maximum glass, to bring the outside in, especially if your bayside home enjoys a ocean view!

attic bedroom with white walls

If you want to talk about how Bayside Extensions can accompany you on your ‘journey into space’ and transform your home, our professional design team would love to help. Contact us today by calling (03) 9596 0368 or email

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