Open plan design tips with LPE Designs 


In the heart of Barnes, SW London, Lily Paulson-Ellis designed an open-plan masterpiece, transforming previously dark and dingy spaces into a beautiful, functional sanctuary where her family can thrive. Lily commissioned Humphrey Munson to work on the kitchen, dining and open plan space as well as the pantry, wine room and bootility room.

Here, Lily shares her invaluable insights on creating the ultimate open-plan space across the kitchen, dining and soft seating spaces. Ok so let’s start in the kitchen…

Waste Disposal Unit

A waste disposal unit is Lily’s top recommendation for open-plan kitchens: “this is my number one tip in a practical and hard-working kitchen – everything from making a quick cup of tea to a full Sunday lunch prep”. It streamlines clean up, ensuring a clutter-free environment and making meal prep a breeze.

Practical Splashbacks

Opt for practicality with splashbacks like the antique effect mirrored splashback by Humphrey Munson: “no grout is a godsend, these surfaces are easy to clean as a single piece and because of the antique mottling they maintain pretty much a pristine appearance even after spills and splatters”. At HM we have been specifying the antique effect mirror splashback for many years, it is so great for bouncing the light around and endlessly practical and low maintenance.

SINK vs HOB Island Placement

Whether it’s the sink or hob on the island, consider this very carefully. Lily prefers positioning cooking elements away from direct view, allowing for seamless interaction with family and guests: “If I’m cooking and my sauce is going a bit wrong I personally would rather not be on show during those moments – I like the eye-contact the mirror splashback gives so I have no issue with turning my back on guests while I am doing last minute prep”.

A Versatile Dining Table

Invest in a versatile dining table that’s both aesthetically pleasing and durable. Lily swears by tables that effortlessly blend style and functionality, accommodating everything from family meals to crafting sessions with ease: “I never cease to be amazed by the daily grind our Blakeney table can forgive – the Verona quartz top is as close to bomb proof as they come so anything from a drippy bottle of red wine left overnight to a crafting session with slime and glue is a walk in the park”. (Blakeney table with quartz top by Humphrey Munson, from £5,365.00 incl VAT and delivery to UK mainland).

Lighting Matters

Plan your lighting scheme meticulously, ensuring adequate task lighting and ambiance. Lily recommends strategically placed floor sockets and various lighting circuits enhance functionality and create the desired atmosphere: “It’s so important to think about lighting as you work out your floor plan, lamps and accent lighting are so vital for creating a lovely, welcoming look and feel in the home but they must be planned from the get-go”.

Seating Arrangement

Tailor your seating arrangement to suit your lifestyle. Whether it’s a relaxed family space or a sophisticated entertainment area, strike a balance between comfort and conversation: “When you’re thinking about how you’ll use your sitting area in an open plan space, think about the use / need – if this is a spot for friends to gather pre-dinner then ensure there are enough spots for everyone to sit down comfortably and remember to position side tables so guests can place drinks down“.

Considered Colour Palette

Maintain harmony throughout the open-plan space with consistent colour palettes. Embrace natural materials and diverse textures to infuse warmth and character into your home: “So often you see these large extensions with plenty of extra light and space but they can feel soulless if they don’t have enough texture, warmth and character woven into the design – layering finishes is always key” says Lily.


Opt for practical fabrics that marry style with functionality. Lily recommends stain-repellent upholstery such as Perennials and wipeable surfaces ensure easy maintenance, allowing you to enjoy your space without worry or stress: “I recently added a bespoke rug from the unnatural flooring company and it’s really brought so much softness to the room and because I can clean it easily there is nothing to worry about with the odd spillage here and there”.

Thank you so much Lily for these excellent tips, if you’d like to follow Lily for more insights into her work check out her instagram here or to contact her for work enquiries you can view her portfolio and contact details here.

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