'Broken-plan' vs 'open-plan' – We take a look at the latest kitchen trends

July 30th, 2019

In recent years, open-plan kitchen designs have become more and more popular with our customer, allowing a more sociable kitchen space to bring families together.  For most clients, the kitchen is not supposed to be the hideaway room anymore. Walls are knocked down to make space for kitchen, dining and living area in one room, creating an open-plan living kitchen.    

3000 233_3460_231_a10 Sinus Pearl_Piemont Espresso

For these layouts, the kitchen is mostly designed with a feature island for the cooking zone, combined with tall bank units or L-shape layouts with plenty of storage solutions and additional open shelves to create a living atmosphere.  

4000 233_235_a10 Sinus Pearl_Denim

Concerns over visible cooking equipment or dirty dishes can be addressed by adding upstands or raised breakfast bars to the front of the island. Modern downdraft extractors are the perfect solution to ensure a powerful yet unobtrusive ventilation system, all in all, the perfect dream of stylish open-plan kitchen design.  

The latest trend, however, seems to be shifting to a new layout. Industry magazines mention a growing interest and popularity in a so-called ‘broken-plan’ kitchen design.


Let’s take a closer look at this new trend and the differences to open-plan.

For both designs, the large room layout is still the same where the kitchen is integrated into a large living space. However, broken-plan means that the kitchen has now got its own specific area, divided from the remaining dining or living zones. These zones can be created by using high tall bank kitchen units, open bookshelves, or partial walls to act as room dividers. Different flooring can also be used to support the clear division of individual zones.

in toto Premium broken-plan living design Magdeburg Koeppert_464_HR

For customers wanting to create an open-plan layout but are worried about visible dirty dishes, or untidy food preparation or cooking areas, broken-plan designs could be a great alternative to consider.


We wanted to find out if the new trend has appeared at the in-toto studios and asked our design experts.
Amanda from in-toto Kitchens Cheltenham says “I am seeing low wall partitions and divisions being introduced into the open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining spaces. 
I have always worked with changes in floor coverings to identify different areas”.

Showroom manager Penny from in-toto Kitchens Leicester has not experienced the new trend yet and reported an ongoing request for the standard open-plan kitchen designs, with customers wanting to have open spaces to socialise and bring families together. It is going to be interesting to see if this will change in her area and if the demand for divided zones will grow in future. 

in toto Premium island broken-plan living

Are you planning to renovate your home and give your kitchen a make-over? Why not take the opportunity of a free design consultation with one of our in-toto kitchen designers and get inspired by our latest German and British manufactured kitchen ranges.    

Book a FREE kitchen design appointment.

No-obligation, free design consultation with our experienced kitchen designers at a time that suits you. Talk to us about bringing your dreams to reality.

Get started now!

Sign up to our exciting newsletter!

We will not share your personal information. Please read our Privacy Policy for more details.