How to Separate the Kitchen and Dining Room [and How to Combine Them Too!]

Living in an open space can feel freeing, bright, comfortable, and spacious. Open floor plans are such a popular option these days because they let in so much natural light, allow for easy flow of company and conversation, allow you to keep an eye on your kids across the house, and they are so versatile. However, the lack of space definition can cause one open space to feel cluttered and unorganized, if you’re not careful. 

Creating separation between a kitchen and a dining room can be done with cleverly placed furniture or other functional features. The key is to find a way to build a distinction between the spaces where you are cooking versus where you are dining. Then, bringing these areas together when space may be limited can also be a challenge. Consistent colors and flooring throughout the area, matching furniture, strategic furniture placement, and complementary decor will help make the kitchen and dining areas feel like one. 

There are many ways to achieve separation or a combination of your kitchen and dining room. Continue reading for some different ideas for you to incorporate into your decor. 

Open plan kitchen diner in a period conversion family home, How to Separate the Kitchen and Dining Room [and How to Combine Them Too!]

Creating Separation Between The Kitchen And Dining Room

In a way, using similar but slightly opposing methods will help you when trying to combine or trying to add separation to these two areas of the home. Focusing on the color, flooring, furniture types, and furniture placement can aid in creating both of these vibes through these commonly used spaces of your home. 

Let's look in more detail at how to create separation:

Use Furniture Or Functional Features 


You can easily create that desired separation between space that is generally open by using the functional pieces in the room to add definition. Floor to ceiling cabinets are a great option to not only add the coveted storage and workable counter space but to also aid in the separation of the rooms. 

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Fireplace Wall

If you have the ability to go a little fancier, placing a partial wall with a double-sided fireplace will add an amazing ambiance. You can build the wall to suit your needs. Having a wall that goes from floor to ceiling is a great option, but you can also leave the wall shorter to allow for better communication and visualization through the rooms.

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Breakfast Bar

Another clever and functional way to add great definition is to use a breakfast bar as a space divider. This allows for a quick spot to sit, additional space to work on the counter, and potentially additional storage under the counter. A bar offers more of that open-concept feel, while still providing a solid definition between spaces.

Some bars have a counter overhang so that additional seating can be tucked underneath it.

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Other bar countertops are flush. While they don't provide extra seating space, they do supply that desired separation between rooms.

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Sliding Doors

In some situations, there may not be space for a wall or cabinet, or even the ability to place furniture in a way that will create that same definition. Using sliding doors will allow for additional privacy. It's a way to fully close off one space or the other without taking up too much additional space or requiring too much labor to install. 

If you have a more contemporary/modern style, try some sliding doors like these ones:

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If your home has a breezy feeling to it, use some sliding doors like these:

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These sliding barn doors are perfect for a rustic-styled home:

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Screens Or Room Curtains

Another very good alternative to sliding doors is a screen or curtain. Screens come in many different styles and designs. They can offer something adorable to the room decor, they don’t take up much space, and they can be removed if needed. 

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If you want something more portable, folding room dividers will do the trick.


Click here to see this folding room divider on Amazon.

Combining The Kitchen And Dining Room

Now that we've discussed ways to separate the kitchen and dining room, let's cover how to bring the two spaces together.

Consistency With Flooring And Colors

Using consistent flooring and colors gives a very cohesive flow to the two separate spaces. This makes them seem more like they belong together as one area. If you currently have two different kinds of flooring, pick the one you like the best and extend it into the other room. If you’re looking to put new flooring down, picking one flooring to use throughout will have the smoothest transition from each space. 

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You can then add a rug under your dining space to create a very subtle separation. 

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Matching Furniture 

Matching furniture that flows into the setup of the other room is a great way to combine these spaces and make the most out of the space in use. When the primary focal points appear to match, it will create an excellent flow from one space to another.

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Strategic Furniture Placement

Using strategy when placing furniture can help you create a little eating nook inside your kitchen space. Even if you don’t have a traditional space already dedicated to a nook, you can create a similar space by adding a small table and chairs to some open space in the kitchen. 

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Take advantage of an L-shaped built-in bench in the kitchen area. You'll enjoy plenty of seating with this design.

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An expansive kitchen window seems like it's practically made for a little eating nook. A window seat, a table, and a couple of chairs look charming here.

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Cohesive Decor

Using decor that matches and flows will add a finishing touch to the room and make it feel complete. Achieve this by using the same or similar lighting fixtures, textures in the furniture pieces, and cohesive colors throughout.  

Reds, blues, and rope textures are used in both spaces. The subtle nautical theme cannot be missed.

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Shades of blue and warm wooden textures expand across both areas.

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Similar lighting seamlessly ties the kitchen and dining areas together.

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Does An Open Floor Plan Add Value?

Open floor plans are a really great way to add value to your home. Some studies have shown that these kinds of floor plans can appreciate 7.4% each year. We all know that value doesn’t just come from money either. The value of an open floor plan doesn’t stop at the return they can give you on your home. 

Open floor plans also offer enhanced sociability allowing you to be able to seamlessly cook and carry on a conversation with someone in the dining room, all the while keeping an eye on your kiddos playing in the living room. 

For people who enjoy changing things up once in a while, an open floor plan allows for an incredibly wide variety of layouts to suit whatever style and flow you are looking for. This, in itself, may enhance the value of the home to some buyers. 

What Furniture Needs To Be In A Combined Kitchen And Dining Room?

The main piece of furniture that is needed in a kitchen and dining room is some type of dining space. Some may have a kitchen bar, others may use a small trendy table, and some may prefer a more formal style dining table. Having a dedicated space to sit and eat will be the primary focal point of the area. 

Additional tables, butcher blocks, or portable coffee bars are good options if space allows. Be sure to check out our article that details what furniture should be in a dining room

Portable butcher blocks help conserve valuable space in the kitchen and dining areas.

Click here to see this butcher block on Amazon. 

Or if a butcher block isn't what you need, try out a baker's kitchen rack.

Click here to see this baker's rack on Amazon.

Another option is a buffet table.


Click here to see this buffet table on Amazon.

How Do You Maximize Dining Seating?

Whether you have a small or expansive space, maximizing seating is always a priority. There are quite a few ways that you can do so. For one, you can create a flip-up bench seat. Utilize the storage space and add extra seating all at once.

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Consider adding some folding chairs to your style decor to create function and design. If you're going to keep the chairs in sight at all times, find some nice-looking folding wooden chairs. After all, plastic foldable chairs won't look very aesthetically pleasing.

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Don't be shy when coming up with other unique ways to incorporate more seating. Add a unique side table like this one that doubles as 6 stools. 

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In Closing

Using colors and furniture strategically can either add a little something to allow spaces to feel a bit more separate when an open concept needs a little more definition, or to create a more cohesive feel to make the two different areas feel like one flowing space. 

Using the ideas listed here, you should be on your way to putting those finishing touches on your kitchen and dining areas. Don’t forget, depending on the layout of your home, your dining room doesn’t necessarily have to be right next to your kitchen, but be sure to check out our article that explains why it’s traditional location by the kitchen offers the most benefit. 

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