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Remodeling a kitchen is nothing short of a multifaceted challenge- there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to upgrades, and with a host of important things that can be easily overlooked, things can go wrong and you could end up with a busted budget!

Needless to say, planning is important, and starting with the layout and design of your kitchen can help you ensure your remodeled cooking space turns out to be just what you had in mind.

Here’s all you need to know about open and closed kitchen designs to make the right choice.

What Are They?

An open kitchen is one that doesn’t have walls on more than one side. As such, this type of kitchen is integrated with adjacent rooms, usually the dining or living room.

On the other hand, a traditional kitchen or a closed kitchen, as the name suggests, is a closed off space that is isolated from the rest of the house. It is like any other room with walls separating it from the other rooms.

What Are the Pros of Each?

Open Kitchen

blue open kitchenPhoto by NeONBRAND, via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Since an open kitchen has at least a couple of walls eliminated, it tends to appear spacious. Most open kitchens are integrated with a dining or living room; these rooms often have large windows, which can make the open kitchen seem brighter.

This type of kitchen lends a casual vibe to the house.

An open kitchen allows you to show off your pots and pans, china, and kitchen equipment to guests.

An important advantage of an open kitchen is that it lets you engage with family members or guests as you prepare meals.

Carrying food from the kitchen to the living or dining room is easier.

Closed Kitchen

close kitchenPhoto by Nancy Hugo, CKD on flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

As any kitchen remodeling expert will tell you, closed kitchens are perfect for people who love to cook without any interruptions and distractions.

A closed kitchen lends a formal vibe to your house, so if you’re not too keen on entertaining guests in your sanctuary, this is just what you need!

As you get more walls, there’s more countertop space and increased storage space in the form of cabinetry, drawers, and shelves.

A closed kitchen prevents guests from seeing any mess you make and keeps cooking smells from escaping to the rest of the house.

This type of design helps keep sounds of appliances like mixers and dishwashers confined to the kitchen.

TIP: Planning to Remodel Your Kitchen? Use our free Kitchen Remodeling Calculator to Find Out the Remodeling Cost Instantly.

How Do I Choose?

If you have the liberty of choosing between an open and closed kitchen design for your remodeling project, you’ll just have to figure out what’s best for you, your family, and your lifestyle. There’s no set formula as everyone has different needs and preferences, so list down your likes and dislikes, and work around them. Your choice of kitchen design should also depend on the amount of space you have!

Can I Have the Best of Both?

Yes, you can! If you want to incorporate the benefits of both these kitchen remodel ideas, you only have to keep a few design tips in mind. Note that it can be very expensive to give your kitchen a complete makeover by turning a closed kitchen into an open one or vice versa. So check out these tips to give yourself the best of both worlds!

If you have a closed kitchen, just add a pass-through window to connect spaces instead of tearing down the walls.

closed kitchen layoutPhoto by Famartin, from Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

A non-weight bearing wall can be taken down and replaced with a half-wall or kitchen island to create an open kitchen.

Install folding or pocket doors, or sliding doors to keep the kitchen area separate from the rest of the house. Use frosted glass or other translucent materials for the doors to still feel connected to the world outside while you’re sweating it out in the kitchen. This will also let in light while still keeping the kitchen closed off!

If you have an open kitchen, adding a vertical slab of the countertop material to the far end of the counter or creating a backsplash for the kitchen island can prevent the mess from being visible to guests seated in the adjoining room.

A quality ventilation hood and noiseless appliances are essentials for open kitchen remodels.

open kitchen layoutPhoto by Nancy Hugo, CKD on flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]


Remodeling a kitchen is a tough job, irrespective of the amount of work and money involved. Be sure to plan your remodeling project from the ground up, thinking through the kitchen design and layout. We’re sure you’ll find the information in this post to be of help!

Open vs Closed Kitchens: Which Is the Right Choice? was last modified: October 6th, 2019 by Mark Oliver

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