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Hayley Gilbert

Appliances for open-plan kitchens

Posted by Hayley Gilbert Monday, 6th October 2014

Over the past decade or so, open-plan living has become increasingly popular, as homeowners knock down dividing walls between kitchens and dining rooms to create one airy, open space. It not only lets more natural light in but it can also transform a series of poky rooms into a wonderfully spacious kitchen-dining-living area. Before you get the sledgehammer out, always check whether the walls you want rid of are supporting walls as, if they are, you’ll need to replace them with RSJs or steel beams for structural support. A structural engineer will be able to tell you and should also be able to give a guide price for doing the work.


Once you’ve got your open-plan scheme in place, it’s the perfect setting for cooking for a large group. Whether it’s a birthday or anniversary celebration, Christmas dinner, a family get-together or a night in with friends, having the space to cook and move around more freely makes the whole process much more enjoyable. The key to making it work is to choose your appliances to complement the new open-plan design.


Every kitchen needs good extraction and in an open-plan setting, you want a cooker hood that either blends in or makes a statement. You also need a model with as low decibel level as possible, so that your pre-dinner conversation isn’t drowned out by what could sound like an aircraft taking off. One of my favourites is the Rangemaster Toledo hood, which scores high on all counts as it has a decibel rating of 50dB, 59dB and 68dB for the three speeds and an ultra contemporary look with its stainless and glass design featuring an illuminated ice blue fascia. It also comes in three widths – 90cm, 100cm and 110cm – making it the perfect match for cookers and hobs of all sizes.


1 Toledo Hood



Another key purchase is the cooker of course, and with Rangemaster you know you’re in safe hands. The Nexus 110 is a great choice for any kitchen but particularly open-plan schemes, as it boasts a professional look that will wow guests and act as a focal point within the room and also offers a wide range of cooking functions and features to allow you to experiment with different dishes and cook for a large crowd. In stainless steel, gloss black or slate, this dual fuel design incorporates a bread proving drawer, grill, rotary controls, new three button timer, five-burner hotplate including multi-ring wok burner and two A-rated ovens. For smaller spaces, the Nexus is also available in a slimmer 90cm width.2 Nexus Cooker

Once you’ve dished up and served a mouthwatering meal to your guests, you may want to clear the decks and get the dishwasher started. Rangemaster’s full-size integrated design has 12 place settings and will sit seamlessly within your kitchen as its built-in style is concealed discreetly behind a matching cabinet door, so you’d never know it was there. A++ rated for energy efficiency, which keeps running costs low, it has five washing temperatures, 11 programmes including Rapid, Extra Intensive and Auto, a delay timer, LCD digital display and adjustable top rack. There’s also a 10 place setting version for a smaller space.


3 Dishwasher 

Now the appliances are taken care of, all that’s left for you to do is invite guests over to show it all off!

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