Closed or Open plan kitchens?

Oak Shaker kitchen with granite worktop

Closed or Open plan kitchens?

It is quite common for customers to come to us for a new kitchen that is being planned as part of a bigger renovation project. Often this project involves making their kitchen, living and dining area open plan. Or, customers come to us, keen to discuss whether they should go open plan or not, and the best way to go about it to provide more light and space.

The appeal of open plan is obvious; your home is given a light filled, contemporary feel, the family get together in the same space, it’s easier to keep an eye on children whilst food is prepared, and even better, everyone is on hand to help with dinner! With clever design, zones can be created to give you the maximum space and defined areas.

So are there any benefits to keeping your house in a more traditional, closed layout? You can’t easily keep an eye on the kids whilst working in the kitchen and it’s harder to create such a light bright space without the open plan renovations. However, there are a few things to consider before reaching for that sledgehammer.

An open plan kitchen space doesn’t always equal practical space 

If you don’t have many walls, you do lose some practical space for cupboards and storage, especially if you are taking out external walls and replacing with glass or bifolds. One of our customers was considering opening out their traditional galley kitchen and snug into an open plan space. When we explored the design options with them, it became clear that if one wall was removed, it would leave them with very limited storage and worktop space. In this configuration, the open plan wasn’t a practical option. So we only removed half the wall! This still provided plenty of practical wall space that the kitchen area needed, but then the room opened out into the dining room and snug, creating a great flow between all three spaces.

Sound carries 

Open plan living provides you with much less noise protection from whirring appliances, general food prep activity and the TV. If the family are using the separate zones at the same time to prepare Sunday roast, watch a film and do homework, there can be a lot of noise transfer infiltrating the different zones. 

Managing aromas 

Noise isn’t the only element that will infiltrate the area. If you have a lovely camembert in the fridge, every time you open the fridge door, that lovely ripe aroma is going to make its way to every corner of the room! 

The one thing you can rely on with both an open plan and a closed plan layout, is that whatever the seating/lounging/entertaining space you have on offer for guests. They’ll still all hangout in the kitchen with you! They’ll probably be in your way too and start eating the snacks you haven’t finished preparing yet. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our final take home advice? Whatever you decide, we have two recommendations; 

  • If you have the space, incorporate a separate utility room into your planning. Shutting a door on a noisy spinning machine, a pile of washing, or mound of teenagers’ trainers is so satisfying! 
  • If you go open plan, invest in a decent extractor. We love Falmec products, they look great and we think are the most efficient at extracting food odours.  

Whether you want an open or closed layout, clever kitchen design will optimise your light and space. Ready to review the options for your home? Book an appointment at info@kitchensbespoke.co.uk or give us a call on 01342 313133. Need some inspiration to get started? Have a look at our recent projects.

1 Comment
  • Jessica Darcey
    Posted at 09:39h, 12 July Reply

    Generally, I love the kitchen space which is modern and stylish as well as elegant. Well explained. Interesting to read!

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