How To Separate Kitchen From Living Room

How To Separate Kitchen From Living Room

In the modern age of open-concept living, the delineation between spaces within a home has become blurred, and the kitchen often finds itself seamlessly integrated with the living room. However, there are times when privacy, functionality, or simply personal preference call for a distinct separation between these two vital areas of any household. The decision to separate the kitchen from the living room is not merely a matter of aesthetics but also one that can significantly impact both practicality and ambiance within your home. In this guide on how to achieve this separation effectively, we will explore various methods and design strategies that can help you create clear boundaries while maintaining a sense of flow and unity in your living space.

Ideas To Separate Kitchen From Living Room

One innovative way to separate the kitchen from the living room is by using sliding doors or room dividers. Sliding doors can provide flexibility and functionality, allowing you to open up or close the kitchen as needed. Room dividers, such as shelving units or screens, can create a visual separation while still maintaining an open feel in the space.

Another creative idea is to incorporate different flooring materials. By using a distinct flooring material in the kitchen area, such as tiles or hardwood, you can visually delineate the two spaces without needing physical barriers. This approach adds depth and texture to both areas while defining each space with its unique style.

Install a Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is not only a functional element in your kitchen but can act as a subtle divider in an open layout. With custom designs, you can lower the island height on the living room side, allowing for bar stools and fostering a natural transition between the two spaces. For a more traditional separation, consider a solid island with a countertop overhanging on the living room side, providing an ideal spot for casual dining. The island can also be a place to integrate your stove, sink, or additional storage, making it a multi-functional centerpiece in your home.

A Classic Wall

Where more conventional homeowners might add a wall to separate the kitchen, it remains a time-tested method for achieving this. Half-walls or breakfast bars can keep rooms visually connected while providing a physical separation. By using materials such as wood, stone, or tile, you can echo the design elements already present in your living space, maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.

Use an Item of Furniture to Delineate Space

Large furniture pieces can serve as effective dividers, particularly in smaller homes where wall partitions may feel too enclosing. Consider larger items that mesh well with the design and scale of the kitchen and living spaces.

A Table as a Room Partition

A long, rectangular dining table or a slender console table can provide a clear separation without completely blocking the flow of the space.

A Low Sofa

Placing a low-back sofa, preferably with its back to the kitchen area, can segment the living room without disrupting the space or the line of sight.

A Bookshelf

Bookshelves offer storage and a solid partition. You can organize the space for books, plants, or decorative items to maintain a visual connection while still defining separate spaces.

A Glass Wall

For a completely unobstructed visual connection, consider a glass partition wall. This modern approach preserves the open feel of a space while bringing division to the room. Frosted or etched glass can provide a semblance of privacy in the kitchen while allowing light to pass through.

Get a Bar

A bar or raised counter can create a physical divide while still allowing for interaction. It also offers more dedicated counter space for food preparation or additional seating for guests.

Use Shelves

Shelves are a minimalist and versatile way to divide the kitchen from the living room. With an arrangement designed for both spaces, you can store kitchenware and display your living room accouterments. Shelves can also be easily moved or adjusted, offering a flexible solution.

A Deep Wall as a Room Partition

If a complete separation is desired, a deeper wall can provide a clear division without sacrificing the available light. This structure can serve double duty as storage, display, or even a media center if designed correctly.

Use Different Colour Schemes in Each Room

Distinct color palettes can be a powerful tool for visually dividing the space. Use complementary colors or a neutral palette for a seamless transition. To create a bolder statement, consider a color block effect with paint or wallpaper, making it clear where one room ends and the other begins.

Tips For Living Room-Open Kitchen Separation

  • Maintain the line of sight: Ensure that any method you choose doesn’t block visibility between rooms. This helps maintain the sense of space openness.
  • Natural and artificial lighting balance: Make sure to consider how your separation may affect the natural flow of light. Use light strategically by placing lighting sources in different areas to avoid dark spots in either room.
  • Reflective surfaces: Mirrors or high-gloss materials can be used to make small spaces feel larger and maintain the visual connection between the kitchen and living areas.

Functional Separation Solutions

Functional separation is about creating a distinct and efficient working area in the kitchen without isolating the cook. Here are some functional solutions


Plants are a subtle and natural way to introduce a barrier between the kitchen and living room. Taller plants or groupings can offer a screen without completely closing off the space.

Maximizing Space and Light

Translucent Dividers

Using materials like mesh, lattice, or glass helps maintain the flow of light while providing a physical barrier. Consider dividers that can be moved easily to change the dynamic of the space for different occasions.

Lighting Techniques

Clever lighting placement can create the illusion of two distinct rooms. Pendant lights can be used as focal points over kitchen islands or dining areas, while recessed lighting can offer a softer, more ambient glow in the living area.


From using room dividers and furniture placement to incorporating architectural elements like half walls or sliding doors, homeowners have a variety of options to choose from. It is important to consider both aesthetics and functionality when deciding on the best method for dividing these two spaces. By carefully planning and implementing these ideas, you can create distinct zones in your home that enhance both privacy and efficiency. Take the time to explore different possibilities and find the solution that works best for your specific needs and preferences.


Should the living room be separate from the kitchen?

Whether to keep the living room separate from the kitchen depends on personal preference and lifestyle needs. If you enjoy hosting and want a more formal space, separating these areas might be beneficial. Additionally, separation can reduce noise and cooking odors in the living area. However, open-plan living is perfect for those who value a more casual and interactive environment. It facilitates communication and makes it easier to entertain guests while cooking.

Is an Open-Plan Living Room a Good Idea?

Open-plan living rooms combined with kitchens have become increasingly popular, as they offer numerous advantages. This layout enhances the sense of space, making it feel larger and brighter. It also promotes social interaction by creating a communal area where families can spend time together even when performing different tasks. However, it’s worth considering potential drawbacks, such as noise from kitchen appliances and challenges in containing cooking smells. Ultimately, the decision should align with your lifestyle, entertaining habits, and personal preferences regarding privacy and space usage.

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