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Design of a kitchen-living room on a budget and with taste

It is quite possible to do the design of a kitchen-living room with your own hands on a budget and with taste. The legacy of constructivism was felt - everything in the house had to serve a specific purpose, and apartments in standard buildings were compact. There was no more space allocated for the kitchen than for the bathroom. It wasn't always like this. In peasant houses, the combination of places for relaxation and cooking was natural; families gathered in the evenings around a warm stove for dinner and household chores. 

By the way, in the West, in the post-war period, they also began to design kitchens as small separate rooms. There is even the concept of “Frankfurt kitchen” - its area is only 6 square meters. The creator of this layout believed that more space was not required to effectively use the room. Urbanization and rapid development around the world have led to the emergence of small apartments. There was no question of receiving guests in the kitchen - it was considered bad form. And only the trend of recent years towards improving the quality of life and the emergence of powerful hoods made the appearance of kitchen-living rooms possible.

Advantages of a kitchen-living room

Why are more and more people inclined to combine these two rooms into one? There are many reasons. The main thing, of course, is a significant increase in free space. Yes, on paper the area remains the same, but psychologically it is more pleasant and easier to be in a large room. There is a lot of air and light in the room, there is no feeling of shrinking walls, it becomes easier and more comfortable to move in it.

If we talk about historical prerequisites, then housekeeping has ceased to be the exclusive concern of women. There is no longer any need to pretend that food appears on the stove by itself, as if by magic. Isolation of the housewife at her “workplace” for the sake of decency is a thing of the past. Now it will surprise no one that the owners receive guests without stopping from cooking or cleaning. The ability to do household chores and at the same time communicate with friends is one of the biggest advantages of this layout. There are others:

  • you can arrange a separate dining area of ​​normal size so that you can easily organize evening gatherings and feasts;
  • the room becomes more functional and ergonomic;
  • if you have children, then combining the living room and kitchen allows you to look after them and take care of the house at the same time;
  • the level of natural light increases;
  • There are more options for interior design and in the choice of furniture, because the goal is no longer to fit everything you need in a small room, but to create the most comfortable environment for yourself.

The kitchen-living room is perfect for modern and energetic families who do not want to give up communication and leisure for the sake of household duties and firmly believe that these areas of life can and should be combined.

Disadvantages of the kitchen-living room

Before moving on to practical advice, one cannot help but consider the possible disadvantages of a combined layout. The first significant drawback is the odors that arise during cooking. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get rid of them simply by closing the door, so what you definitely won’t be able to save on is a good ventilation system and a powerful exhaust hood. Other nuances will not affect your budget so much, but they are also worth considering:

  • the kitchen area and recreation area will always have to be kept clean, because everything will be in sight, so you will have to clean more often;
  • household appliances are rarely completely silent, so if you have very sensitive hearing, the sound of the refrigerator and other appliances will interfere with everyday life and entertaining guests;
  • in winter the room will heat up more slowly, a more powerful heater or additional heating may be required;
  • It may be difficult to maintain a comfortable microclimate, since air temperature and humidity constantly change during cooking;
  • You can forget about a secluded relaxation area - this option is definitely not suitable for introverts.

These are not all the pitfalls, but the rest directly depend on the type of room.

Features of the kitchen-living room in the apartment

The main difficulty at the stage of preparing a design project is to study all the laws and rules of redevelopment. Unfortunately, you cannot simply redo everything at your own discretion in apartment buildings. To ensure that you do not have any difficulties with selling your home in the future and do not have to pay fines, the layout must be approved in advance by the BTI. Here are the requirements for apartments:

  • You cannot expand a kitchen that has a gas stove. First you need to replace it with an electric one and weld the gas pipe, also exclusively through specialized services. But there is also a loophole - the wall can be dismantled and a partition or sliding doors installed instead. However, this option is not the most budget-friendly.
  • Demolition of an interior wall is allowed only if it is not load-bearing. If the wall is still solid, then the maximum that can be done is a through opening.
  • Moving the wet area (sink and water supply and sewerage connected to it) is permitted only if there are no residential premises below you or the same layout has been previously approved.

All this primarily concerns the old building with small kitchens and unnecessary corridors. If we are talking about studios, Euro two-room apartments and Euro three-room apartments, then everything is much simpler. The area of ​​the kitchen or room already allows you to arrange a recreation area in it. Just don't move the sink and there won't be any extra bureaucracy required.

Features of the kitchen-living room in a private house

All these inconveniences will not affect the owners of private houses. Since there are no other living spaces below or above you, you can organize the layout as you please. The ideal option is to do this during the construction stage. The optimal area for a multifunctional living room is considered to be 50 m2, but not every home can allocate such a large area for a living room. You can expand the living room by combining it not only with the kitchen, but also with the hallway. 

In addition to the stove, you can install a stove in the kitchen-living room of the cottage, but it is important to follow all fire safety rules. Make sure that finishing materials are not flammable and provide good ventilation. 

Stylish and budget-friendly kitchen-living room design

There is no better way to save on repairs than to do it yourself. It will take more time, but you will be able to control the process at every stage from preparation to arranging the decor. Select several design projects for inspiration, draw a room plan, taking into account the location of sockets and pipes. Some household appliances have high power, so it is better to place them on different power lines in advance. The more nuances you take into account before the renovation begins, the fewer adjustments you will have to make along the way.


Already at this stage, it is advisable to clearly understand how and with what you will furnish the kitchen-living room. The first rule of economical but effective design is to develop a project for yourself, get rid of unnecessary things. You shouldn't buy an oven if you never bake anything in it. You can replace it with an air fryer or multicooker. Are the cabinets in the hall half empty? Abandon them in favor of shelves or small racks. 

There is a simple method that allows you to understand what you can do without. For 2-3 weeks, write down every day what you used in the kitchen and living room. Most likely, at the end of this period, you will find that there are drawers, cabinets and household appliances that you don’t even touch. This is something you can safely get rid of.


The first thing you need to decide before purchasing building materials is the type of zoning. In a classic kitchen-living room, three zones are functionally distinguished: for relaxation, for cooking and for eating. They can be both visually distinguished and designed in one key. 

A bar counter, a shelf with a built-in TV unit, a cupboard or a sofa can act as a partition. You can also separate the kitchen from the living room by redecorating the two parts of the room differently. The requirements for kitchen materials are much higher - moisture resistance, resistance to high temperatures, and the ability to clean with chemicals. Tile is best. In order to save money, it is often placed only directly in the work area. For the living room, the choice and price range are much wider, so the choice of different materials is justified.

Kitchen sets that merge with the wall are gaining great popularity. Thanks to this technique, the room will look even more spacious. To achieve this effect, order the kitchen in the same color as the rest of the trim. In this case, it would be appropriate to add an accent using an apron to match the tabletop and lighting. Instead of built-in lamps, you can use LED strip of the required length; it will look no worse than expensive options. It is better to make the equipment built-in or hide it in niches. By the way, this approach to zoning will help save part of the budget. If you decide to decorate the entire room the same way, you can purchase finishing materials in large packages - this is much more profitable than in small ones.


The most profitable solution would be to paint the walls with special paint for wet rooms. There are quite good budget options suitable for the kitchen, a large palette of colors. If the set is in good condition, then simply updating its appearance is enough. You can paint the set with the same paint that you purchased for the walls. This technique is often used when remodeling old furniture. 

You can also save money by ordering moisture-proof and heat-resistant film for facades, splashbacks and surfaces - they come in all possible colors and don’t necessarily look cheap. In addition, if you get tired of the old design, you can always quickly change it.


You can economically decorate the kitchen-living room in one of the modern directions:

  • Minimalism. A monochromatic palette, mostly light shades, nothing superfluous - this style is ideal for a limited budget. The walls can simply be covered with finishing plaster, the ceiling with whitewash or putty. There should not be a lot of furniture, only the most necessary. Minimum decor, lack of fittings, simple and understandable design. 
  • Loft. For this style you need to turn off your inner perfectionist. Raw walls made of concrete and brick will perfectly highlight the aesthetics we need. There is no need to hide wires and pipes; on the contrary, they are exposed. Furniture in this style usually has a geometric metal structure with the addition of wood or good chipboard or glass.
  • Scandi. The furniture is selected minimalist, but the white color scheme is diluted with light wood, fresh flowers, and cozy textiles. The room in the Scandinavian style is spacious and sunny, ergonomic and comfortable.


When planning a kitchen-living room, you can save on finishing, zoning, furniture and decor. To make the room look beautiful, strictly follow the plan drawn up in advance, choose high-quality but inexpensive materials. The main expense item is the organization of ventilation and exhaust, as well as the cost of redevelopment. Here are some more tips on how to decorate a kitchen-living room inexpensively:

  • Combine the work surface and dining area. To do this, you can use a bar counter or a separate island.
  • Choose furniture so that it can perform several functions. For example, a folding sofa with storage space, a pouf chest, a table built into the window sill, and so on.
  • Avoid overhead cabinets. You can replace them with shelves or not use them at all.
  • Update the old set yourself - you can paint it or cover it with beautiful furniture film.

With the right attitude and creative approach, you can easily create a kitchen-living room design on a budget and with taste.


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