When you have a traditional home layout, each room is distinctly separated from the others with walls or other barriers. The open-concept removes these barriers between the kitchen and the surrounding rooms, most often the dining and living rooms in order to great one larger space that is commonly referred to as the ‘great room’.
So, why do so many people prefer the open-concept (also known as an “open-plan”) kitchen over the traditional layout?
Benefits of an Open-Concept Kitchen
An open-concept kitchen creates a fluid living space that ties together the kitchen, dining room and living room. This creates an flow between the various areas and can improve the dynamics of the space as well as give an open feel to the home.
1. More Space
This is the main benefit that an open-concept kitchen can offer. Even if you have a small kitchen an open layout can make it look and feel much larger. Unless they’re made of glass, your line of sight stops at the wall of a room. Without walls, even spaces that previously felt cramped can seem much bigger and easily accessible. The absence of walls also allows more natural light to enter the room which will make your kitchen seem not only more spacious, but also brighter and livelier.
2. Improved Traffic Flow
Another benefit that an open-concept kitchen can offer you is a smooth traffic flow between the various areas of the home. Family members can easily move between the kitchen and living areas, doorways are no longer places for awkward stand-offs and nobody gets pushed into a wall so that someone else can enter or exit the kitchen.
An open-concept kitchen can bring people closer together. Since there are no barriers between the kitchen and the living room, family members will be able to spend time together even while engaged in different tasks. It makes it easier for the whole family to prepare meals together, or to engage in conversation with the cook. Also, small children can easily be kept in the line of sight of the parents which can improve home safety.
Open-concept kitchens are also great if you’re someone who likes to entertain. Friends won’t be left alone in the living room while you’re in the kitchen preparing drinks or snacks. Instead, they’ll be in the middle of the main area of your home, which can create a closer, homelier and more casual feel to the gathering.
4. Added Value
Since the open-concept kitchen is such a popular layout style, remodeling your traditional kitchen into an open-plan one is a great investment. It will make your home look and feel more spacious and modern and will add significant value to the house.
Cons of an Open Concept Kitchen
Open-concept kitchens are a great choice for many homeowners; however, they may not be for everyone. As with any other home layout, they come with their own set of drawbacks.
Since there are no walls between the different areas in the space, there is nothing that can break up the various sounds. Since an open-concept kitchen ties togetherseveral different rooms, there will usually be multiple people within the same space engaged in different activities at the same time.
2. Visible Mess
Even the tidiest people have to deal with the standard kitchen clutter on a daily basis. When there’s no wall hiding your kitchen from the living room, all of the mess will be permanently on display to all family members and any visitors. If you’re someone who would be embarrassed by the display of kitchen mess, you can devote a bit more time to tidying up the kitchen or install a removable barrier.
3. Less Storage Space
Creating an open-concept kitchen means fewer walls. Fewer walls mean fewer places that can hold shelves and cabinets which automatically lead to less storage space. You can avoid this issue either by downsizing the amount of kitchen paraphernalia you own, or by adding a kitchen island that has built in under-counter storage.