8 pros and cons of the open-plan kitchen

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Orford | A Classic Country Kitchen With coastal Inspiration, Davonport Davonport Classic style kitchen Wood
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We all know that exciting feeling of stepping into an open-plan kitchen to socialise with friends and kick-start a gossip session (possibly over a bottle of wine) while a delicious meal is brewing / cooking in the background. After all, the inviting living room and/or dining room are only a few feet away, adding to the comfort and potential of a modern open kitchen.

But this does not mean that there are no downsides to this design. So, before you start planning how you will be turning the heart of your home into an open layout, maybe consider these pros and cons (that we got from professional Kitchen Planners) first to help save you some time and money…

1. Advantage: Easy interaction

We pretty much covered this advantage in our introduction above: an open layout lets you interact quicker and easier with guests in your living / dining area while you, the host, are finalising some touches on that meal in the kitchen without missing a beat of the conversation. 

2. Advantage: That extra glow

Walls are barriers to light, which is why it’s important to commit to proper lighting in any room, but even more so in a separate environment like a closed kitchen. Tearing down a wall or two will immediately allow light (both natural and artificial) from the next room to flow into your cooking space.

Plus, you can alter your lighting design to ensure the wall sconces, floor lamps, and ceiling downlighters in your living room / dining room / whatever space help illuminate your new open kitchen as well. 

3. Advantage: Cleanliness

Of course visibility increases in an open-plan layout, which makes it trickier ignoring, for instance, that stack of dirty plates on the kitchen counter while you’re chilling in the adjoining living room. But of course this can be a great thing, helping you to stay on track with keeping your kitchen neat and spotless before that next round of visitors come knocking…  

4. Advantage: Encourages a watchful eye

Kiddies busy with homework at the kitchen island? Watching TV in the lounge or busying themselves with games / drawing / colouring at that dining room table? An open layout ensures a more welcoming vibe with those adjoining rooms blending into one another, meaning you can keep an eye on the youngsters (possibly even help out with some homework questions) while you’re cooking, reading, or doing whatever in your open space layout. 

5. Disadvantage: Lack of privacy

Now, for some negative features that can come with an open-plan kitchen… If you’re one of those who like to lose themselves in trying new recipes or getting busy in the kitchen, just know that a closed kitchen can encourage this. In an open layout you might just get distracted by the adjoining living room’s TV, the sound of chatter from the dining room a few feet away, etc. 

6. Disadvantage: Smells all around

The aroma of fresh coffee and baked bread are enticing to many, but what about bleach, soap, or grease that have been stuck to that oven top for a few days? These are smells you wouldn’t want to share with the rest of the household while you’re cleaning kitchen, right? And in a closed kitchen, that wouldn’t be much of a problem. 

7. Disadvantage: Noisiness

Washing dishes, chopping vegetables, setting the timer for that roast in the oven… there’s a multitude of noises vibrating out of your average kitchen, and not all of them will be appreciated by family and guests in that open-plan layout. 

8. Disadvantage: Uncontrolled heat

Speaking of ovens and other scorching surfaces, we all know that a busy kitchen can get hot – literally. Sure, an updated HVAC system can easily rectify this issue, but what if you have no air-conditioning system at home? That means the higher temperatures in that cooking (and boiling) kitchen will undoubtedly be transferred to the adjoining spaces – and you decide for yourself whether that’s a good or a bad thing!

Want to know more about how to put some extra style into the heart of your home? Then these 6 kitchen trends to get on board with in 2020 might be of interest…  

So, are you for or against an open-plan kitchen in your home?

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