Open-concept kitchens are very trendy in the modern family home. It opens up sightlines, creates a single living space, and helps you extend your interior design. If you have children, if you love to entertain, or if you are trying to make the most out of a small living space, an open-concept design is ideal.
However, just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Before you start knocking down walls, it’s a good idea to consider all the pros and cons of an open-concept kitchen. Only then will you know for sure whether or not it’s the right approach for you.
Open-Concept Kitchen Pros
A big, airy, open space makes your house seem bigger. If you have a smaller home, this could be a distinct benefit.
Other plusses of an open-concept design include:
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, an open-concept design gives you more space, but it also keeps you connected to what’s going on in the rest of the house. When you’re in the kitchen prepping and cooking, you won’t be closed off from your family and friends. You’ll be able to see and talk to them, and they’ll be able to come and visit you (and maybe pitch in too).
Keep an Eye on Kids and Guests
You can’t leave small children alone for a minute. Having an open kitchen allows you to keep an eye on what they’re up to while you prepare meals or get things done. When you have people over, you’ll be able to keep a better handle on the beverage and snack situation too.
Better Use of Space
If your home has a lot of separate, closed-off rooms, chances are you don’t even use many of those areas at all. When you open up your floor plan, you will likely get a lot more use out of all of these spaces.
Open Up Sightlines
Without walls to get in the way, your open-concept space will maximize natural light and take advantage of any views that you have. For example, if you have a large bay window in the living room, now you’ll be able to enjoy that view from the kitchen.
Formal dining rooms are not often the norm these days. Most families prefer a more causal setup, and dining around the island is a great way to come together – without feeling so officious.
Open-Concept Kitchen Cons
Even though open-concept design offers a lot of benefits for some homeowners, it’s certainly not right for everyone. Let’s look at the downside of open-concept kitchens:
If you cook a lot, be aware that every bit of mess you create in the kitchen will be visible to your friends and family. Even for cooks who are meticulously clean and extremely organized, this can be a challenge.
Kids and their toys are another concern. In an open-concept design, be sure you have enough storage, either built into your furniture or in the form of extra closets.
When you remove the walls, you open yourself up to a lot of distractions. If you require quiet to work or make phone calls, for example, an open-concept design might not be right for you. However, there are ways to deal with it. Area rugs, throw rugs, or sound-absorbing flooring, like cork, can help to dampen the cacophony.
If you have art or collections that you hang on your walls, you’ll have less space to display them in an open-concept design. You’ll have to find other options for your displays, relocate some items, or downsize your collections.
Less Storage Space
You’ll need to consider where you will store your kitchen items. If you have the space for a separate pantry, that could be a solution. Kitchen islands and peninsulas also work for this purpose, but the bottom line is, you’ll have fewer cabinets, so fewer places to put things.
You Might Lose Purposed Spaces
If you have a small home office, a hobby room, or a TV room where the kids go to hang out, an open-concept design will require a shift in your routine. Everybody will be in the same room, essentially, so you need to be ready to love and accept everything they do.
In conclusion, an open-concept space has its good and not-so-good points to consider. In the end, it’s really about your family dynamics and what’s going to work best for you.