It seems rare these days to hear the word “kitchen” without first hearing, “open concept.” Having an open-concept kitchen is quite popular these days—people buying houses want them, and people remodeling houses are knocking down walls to get them.
But does an open-concept kitchen fit your lifestyle and work for your home and family? Not necessarily. There are benefits to closed kitchens, including more privacy and clear boundaries. The type of kitchen that works best for your family may not work for another family.
Read on to learn about the allure of having an open concept kitchen, the appeal of a closed kitchen, and tips for making an open-concept kitchen as functional and stylish as it can be, if you go that route.
If you are planning a kitchen remodel, also read the top 10 things to consider when planning kitchen renovations.
Open Concept Kitchens: The Allure
The trend of having an open concept kitchen isn’t a new one. Homeowners have been seeking open concept for years now, just as granite and stainless steel appliances have become a must.
What’s the allure of an open concept kitchen? There are benefits to having one (though, a benefit for one family may be a drawback for another family.)
The benefits of an open-concept kitchen:
- Provides a sense of airiness, and the illusion of having more space
- The kitchen becomes a gathering place
- Family members have more room to spread out, yet are still connected
- Parents can keep an eye on children while working in the kitchen
- Can help resale value
There are benefits to having an open-concept kitchen, but again, it all depends on what works best for your family and needs.
The Argument: Entertain Your Guests-Monitor Your Children
The idea of having an open concept kitchen can appeal to families with younger children because the open sight lines allow you to watch your children playing in the living room while you load the dishwasher or make lunch in the kitchen.
With a closed kitchen, who knows what will happen when you duck into the kitchen for a few minutes while the kids play. Paint on the walls, milk dumped on the floor, and jam handprints on the cat come to mind.
Even if you have teens, supervising homework time and computer and social media use becomes easier when there are fewer walls. You might also be able to eke out some nice moments with your teens while prepping meals.
When guests come over for dinner, you won’t have to miss out on the latest gossip because you’re in the kitchen basting the chicken. The party can go on, and you’ll be a part of it while you prepare the meal.
The Appeal of Closed Kitchens
Sometimes you just need a little bit of separation. You won’t get much of that with an open-concept kitchen, where everyone in the living room can see and hear what everyone in the kitchen is doing.
While having an open-concept kitchen might be a plus for a mom with young kids or even teens, the kids do grow up. At some point, you might want some privacy, to have a conversation in the kitchen without your kids having to (or being able to) listen while they watch TV or work on homework.
Or, if you’re hosting a dinner party, it might be nice to be able to take part in conversation while you prep the meal, or it might be tough if you’re trying to focus on the recipe. And, if the cooking gets frenzied, there’s no hiding from your guests as sauce splatters and the bread burns.
If an open-concept kitchen is right for you, and you’re ready for a remodel, there are some tips to consider to make sure you create a kitchen that is both functional and stylish.
Open-concept kitchen tips:
- Keep an unobstructed view. Panels, curtains, and bookshelves can look out of place. If you want separation, go with walls.
- Beware open shelving. Open shelving looks great in a magazine, but can put clutter on display in a typical kitchen. Coordinate colors and don’t overcrowd shelves.
- Divide and conquer. Having no visual division between the kitchen and the living room can look strange. Consider a breakfast bar, island, rug, or large dining table to clearly divide the space.
- Flowing flooring. It’s best to choose one flooring material for the kitchen and living room area, making the space look bigger and more unified.
- Color connection. Use color and texture as a way to link the kitchen and living room spaces. Pick one color, or use a color in one area and connect it with appliances or accessories of the same color in the other area.
- Consistent style. Choose one style, or a carefully designed melding of two styles, for your open-concept kitchen.
- Versatility. A breakfast bar or island can double as kitchen storage, something that can be lacking in open layouts.
Are you planning a kitchen remodel? Contact us today to start a conversation. We’re happy to help you come up with the best ideas for your space.