What Is an Open Concept Kitchen & Is it Right for Your Home?
Take a look at home plans or decorating magazines, and you'll probably see plenty of designs that include open concept kitchens. You might be wondering if this style is right for your home. To learn more, check out the following guide. It will answer the question "What is an open concept kitchen?" and help you decide if this setup is right for you.
What Is an Open Concept Kitchen?
In some homes, the kitchen is surrounded by walls that separate it from the dining or living areas. An open concept kitchen is exactly the opposite. As the name implies, the kitchen is open to other common spaces in the home.
A house with an open kitchen is often said to have "flow." That's because one room flows into the next. When you're working in an open kitchen, you can see people in other rooms of your house, and they can see you.
It's most common for an open kitchen to connect to the living room or the dining room. In some houses, all three — the kitchen, the dining room and the living room — share one large space.
Keep in mind that the space may not be entirely open. There are typically some distinctions between one area and the next. For example, there may be wide entryways that allow you to maintain a clear line of sight from one area to another while still demarcating where rooms begin or end. There may also be changes in paint color, flooring or other decor.
Watch the following video to find inspiration for your open concept kitchen remodel:
Benefits of an Open Concept Kitchen
One of the top reasons to design an open kitchen is that it allows for a sense of togetherness. When you're in the kitchen, you won't feel shut off from the rest of the family. You can carry on a conversation with others or keep an eye on what they're doing.
Families with kids are often fond of this idea. Kids can feel close to parents during dinner prep without sitting underfoot. Parents can watch children at play or help with homework without needing to walk away from the stove.
Many people also enjoy this openness when entertaining. In an open kitchen, you can chat with your guests while mixing drinks or plating appetizers.
Because of the flow that's integral to an open design, this style is good for preventing traffic jams in a house full of people. You can see when someone else is coming or going and are less likely to bump into someone else who's trying to walk through the same doorway as you.
Open concept kitchens are considered especially nice for small homes. This design style can help a small amount of square footage feel spacious.
Furthermore, open kitchens often feel bright and airy. Because the room isn't as closed in by walls, more natural light often fills the space.
Many homebuyers are attracted to the idea of an open kitchen. Therefore, if you are remodeling with future resale value in mind, you might want to include an open concept kitchen in an effort to attract buyers someday.
Watch the following video to learn more about why one family chose to design an open concept kitchen:
Considerations to Keep in Mind
Although open concept kitchens are quite popular, they're not necessarily for everyone. Before you commit to an open kitchen remodel, consider whether this design will accommodate your personal tastes or if a closed kitchen would better suit your preferences.
For some people, the open feel of this style is considered a drawback. Many people want to have peace and quiet while they're cooking. They consider the kitchen a retreat and appreciate the opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of family life.
Along those same lines, some people want to be able to close off the kitchen when company comes over. They want to keep the food-preparation area and the entertaining area separate from one another, and they don't want to feel like their kitchen mess is on display.
In fact, some people feel that closed floor plans are tidier in general. Kitchen items stay in the kitchen, living items stay in the living room, and the two don't mix or blend.
An open concept kitchen may also cost you more. Because there are fewer dividing walls, you might need to rely on expensive steel beams to support the structure of the house.
Because a closed kitchen typically has more walls along which to install cabinets and counters, it sometimes offers more work and storage space compared to an open kitchen. However, careful planning can remedy this issue in open concept kitchens.
Modifications to the Open Concept Idea
If you like the idea of an open floor plan but are hesitant about some of the potential drawbacks, consider modifying the basic design.
One option is to place a peninsula or an island between the kitchen and the adjoining room. This creates a boundary between the two spaces without removing the open line of sight.
Another idea is to install large kitchen doors that can be closed now and then. Pocket doors are ideal for this purpose. When you have company over or need a moment of privacy, you can pull the doors shut, and it will be like you have a closed kitchen.
Finally, consider building a scullery — a small prep kitchen off the main kitchen. By equipping your scullery with a sink and a dishwasher, most of your mess can stay contained in there. Keeping your stove out in the main kitchen would still allow you to chat with others while cooking a meal.
For many families, an open concept kitchen can be a great fit. If you're considering an open concept kitchen remodel, let our design experts help you craft the layout that will work best for your house. To get started, contact our team to set up your free design consultation.