Open-Plan Kitchens: A Bright and Airy Space

The advantages of open-plan living are many: increased light, ease of entertaining, and greater household interaction, to name a few. But combining distinct spaces into one fluid, multifunctional whole also presents unique challenges. Over the next few weeks, we'll be featuring three New England kitchens that use creative design solutions to integrate seamlessly with adjacent spaces.

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It's hard to believe this bright and airy kitchen/living/dining room was once a dark, dank garage. But to Providence interior designer Kirby Goff, it was something else: a blank canvas.

The kitchen of this tidy one-bedroom is a streamlined configuration anchored by a 3-by-8-foot island, which houses a compact stove, oven, and breakfast bar. Goff added a wall of windows and floor-to-ceiling glass doors to visually expand the small footprint into an adjacent garden. She then chose materials with reflective surfaces such as white lacquer, stainless steel, and Carrara marble to bounce all that natural light around the room. Small tricks like cladding the cabinets above the fridge with stainless steel and using an undermount sink help to keep the eye moving while adding depth through the use of positive and negative space.

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Goff was equally open-minded when it came to choosing her appliances. These modular, flush-mount counter cooktops from Gaggenau are interchangeable and expandable, featuring everything from an in-counter steamer to an electric barbecue grill.

When it came to furnishings, Goff stuck with a neutral palette of whites, grays, and cremes to unify the space. The end result is a cozy and serene setting that is more cottage chic than modern mechanic.

Related:Open Kitchen or Closed? Get Both With a Sliding Door

Images: Warren Jagger