Will Open-Plan Kitchens Close? 17th February 2014 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Over the last thirty years or so, an interior design revolution has been sweeping the globe. Open-plan kitchens have become the new black of home design, at once fulfilling a desire for more space and uniting the two sacred family spheres of kitchen and living room. Indeed, according to a recent survey conducted by Houzz, only a third of homeowners considered increasing the size of their kitchens, but a whopping 77% intended to open them up to another room by knocking through a wall.

However, more recently, there has been a small backlash against the open plan system. Some feel that the idea is not without its drawbacks and that in fact, some of the very points listed as its advantages, actually detract from its appeal. So what’s the story? Here are some of the finer points of each side of the debate.

For Open-plan Kitchens

Entertaining others – Open-plan kitchens afford busy hosts the chance to put the finishing touches to their courses whilst still wowing their guests with amusing anecdotes and witty quips.

Parents of young children – Mums and Dads of young ones can now keep an eye on them when working in the kitchen to make sure they are not scrawling all over the walls or sticking their fingers into electrical sockets or other places they don’t belong.

Watching TV while cooking – You can now watch your favourite soap or sitcom whilst chopping parsley and prepping the salad.

Making smaller kitchens look larger – For those with space constraints, an open-plan kitchen can be the perfect solution in creating the illusion of spaciousness and alleviating a cramped or claustrophobic impression.

Against Open-plan Kitchens

Others can always see you entertain – With dinner parties, it is not always desirable to be in plain view of your guests. If disaster strikes in an open-plan kitchen and you drop a dish, everyone can see. Concealing mess, grabbing a breather or surprising guests with an unexpected addition to the menu is out of the question with an open-plan.

Your kids can see you, too – Which means no more surreptitious snacking or escaping their attention. Plus, they aren’t going to be young forever; and as they grow, you will probably find you naturally both need more time apart.

You don’t always want to watch or hear what’s on TV – Hate sports? Well forget about escaping into the kitchen to get away from the big game and the raucous revelry that normally accompanies it. The same applies with infuriatingly repetitive children’s programmes and teen shows.

Which Way Will You Go?

In the end, there are pros and cons to open-plan kitchens, which need to be considered when deciding whether or not to incorporate one into your home.

They can be great for those looking to expand a smaller kitchen and make it look more spacious, or for those more extroverted and comfortable constantly being in the presence of others. They are especially suited to couples who have no secrets from each other and can engender a shared sense of intimacy.

On the other hand, implementing an open-plan kitchen will drastically reduce the privacy in your home. An open-plan kitchen essentially means you have a kitchen with a blaring entertainment system in it, and a living room with a sink full of dirty dishes in it. As such, more introverted people may be happy with the traditionally closed kitchen.

Both approaches are not without merit, though you must decide which is right for you; taking into account your spatial, familial and personal circumstances.

Author: Rob Truslove, Owner of Pink Kitchen – the UK home of cute pink kitchen appliances and accessories.