The concept of the ideal kitchen has changed over the years in terms of its layout and design. From being an isolated room meant purely for cooking to becoming the heart of your home — the modern kitchen has come a long way. In your quest of finding the perfect kitchen design, are you having trouble deciding between open vs closed kitchens? If yes then this article is for you.
We have listed out the pros and cons of both an open kitchen and a closed one. You can decide on the best type of home improvement for your home. But first, some important questions for the uninitiated.
An open kitchen is a cooking space without walls and barriers. Since it’s visible to all, it integrates with the rest of the house quite seamlessly. An open concept kitchen is a good choice for smaller homes where the design can make the living space appear larger. Also, the open floor plan is quite popular as it boosts the resale value of your home.
And, don’t forget, you can show off your lovely pots and pans or kitchen equipment to your guests.
As the name suggests, a closed kitchen is a cooking room that’s covered with four walls and a door. The separate kitchen is more isolated and traditional in its layout. It’s a good choice for those who prefer to keep things private while cooking as the food prep and cleanup is hidden from view. If you love to cook daily, and elaborate meals at that, a closed kitchen is the ideal choice for you.
FYI: You can install a pocket door, sliding door, or a barn door. For those who want to feel connected to the world outside while they’re sweating it out in the kitchen, frosted glass material for the door is a good idea. It will even let in a good amount of light.
Great kitchen design for a small space: Since an open kitchen has no barriers or doors, it visually allows the spaces to flow into each other. Generally, the kitchen opens into the living room or family room. As a result, the house looks more spacious than it is.
Informal gathering spot: An open kitchen creates a friendly ambiance where the cook can bond with the other family members. Even when there are guests, you can interact with them while working in the kitchen. An open kitchen facilitates informal conversation.
Great for multiple cooks: You can have many people working in the kitchen at the same time without crowding it. No wonder it’s a great room choice for joint family homes. Also, carrying food to the living and dining room is much easier.
Can accommodate a kitchen island: Since an open kitchen doesn’t have a fourth wall, a kitchen island doesn’t disrupt the traffic flow.
Opportunity to multitask: You can integrate your meal prep with activities such as watching TV in the family room or catching a movie in a home theater nearby.
Welcoming vibe: There’s something wonderful about being able to invite your guests into the hub of your home and letting them into your culinary world.
Creates a brighter space: Since there are no walls, natural daylight is not reduced or obstructed. Moreover, such a room often has large windows, which can make the open kitchen seem brighter. Let’s just say, an open kitchen creates a happy space.
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Open kitchen cons
It’s visible at all times: Needless to say, your kitchen needs to be always tidy. It’s not an easy task if you indulge in regular, elaborate cooking that does tend to get messy.
Creates a lot of noise: Cooking and appliance sounds from the kitchen percolate into the house. The dishwasher or mixer/grinder sound will not make watching TV a pleasurable experience.
The heat from the kitchen spreads: The kitchen air may move to the rest of the connected spaces — making it stuffy and warm.
Limited cabinet storage: The lack of additional walls means that there is less scope for having kitchen cabinets.
Confined noises, odors, and fumes: These emissions are largely confined to the four walls of the kitchen. And do not affect the other members sitting elsewhere.
Hides mess: A closed kitchen is not visible to your guests. Therefore, you can afford to procrastinate clearing the mess after a meal. Well, only till sometime!
More opportunity for kitchen storage: More walls translate to more cabinet storage, countertop workspace, and room for kitchen appliances.
A true chef’s kitchen: If you hate to be disturbed when you’re preparing a meal, this kitchen is for you. Chances are your guests will not be inclined to enter your sanctuary and disturb you.
Formal dining experience: Since there’s a clear demarcation of the cooking and dining area, the interaction is more formal and traditional.
Closed kitchens cons
Isolated kitchen: The kitchen’s isolation creates a sense of formality and rigidness — with family bonding time getting lost. It’s difficult to interact with friends and family while cooking meals.
Not a smooth access to the dining area: The closed kitchen layout does not allow for seamless access to the dining table from the kitchen.
Makes the space look smaller: A closed kitchen makes a house appear smaller. Therefore, such a floor plan may be a bit restricting, especially in an apartment setup.
Open vs Closed Kitchens: Which Is the Better Choice? was last modified: July 30th, 2020 by Mark Oliver
Written by Mark Oliver
May 13, 2018
Mark Oliver is the president of San Diego Kitchen Pros. With several years of experience and knowledge in kitchen and bathroom renovation projects under his belt, he often writes about San Diego kitchen remodeling and home renovation tips for homeowners.
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