• Matt Newnham

Open Plan or Closed Kitchen: Which is best for me? - Part 2

In part one of this short two-part article on Open Plan vs Closed Plan kitchens we looked at the basics of both kitchens. At Gary Fullwood Designed Living we have created and installed a balance of both closed and open plan kitchens. Each kitchen has exceeded the expectations of each customer and whether they chose a modern, traditional or very contemporary design the results each spoke for themselves. But which is right for you when it comes to your new kitchen?

The Sights and Sounds of Your New Kitchen

Everyone knows that the kitchen is the very heart of the home. The kitchen has become the heart of the home because of its sights, sounds, and even smells. Food meeting people in the form of a family meal or kids doing homework while snacks are prepared. People meet food for entertaining and celebrating. People meet life where washing machines tumble and the kitchen becomes a hub of almost constant activity. A kitchen is, in many ways, a living breathing component of the home, and Gary Fullwood and his team appreciate this.

A Lifestyle Choice

Your lifestyle can determine whether a closed or open plan kitchen works for you. A closed kitchen can hide the untidiness if you wish to entertain others. Likewise it can hide the busyness of laundry and washing up. However, open plan makes mealtime a shared and open experience, and the smells of a good meal flow through the living space whereas a close kitchen closes this off. Kitchens can be noisy as washers wash and dryers dry and whether you want this as part of your main living space is up to you. In the end, who you are, your likes, dislikes and lifestyle have a lot of say in what design you choose.

Let the chef decide

The kitchen is a place of food and chefs have a great deal of say in the planning of a new kitchen. Some chefs like to keep their cooking away from the guests and thus a closed plan kitchen is favoured. However, cooking can be social and being watched or assisted in cooking a meal is becoming that us culturally accepted. At the end of the day it is your choice and how you choose to entertain or simply feed your family can determine your choice of kitchen style.

Cons of a closed kitchen

It is worthwhile pointing out some of the drawbacks of a closed kitchen. These drawbacks are more than likely what saw the shift from a separate cooking and cleaning room to an open shared almost multi-purpose space. Firstly, closed kitchens don’t always make the most use of the space they have, remember UK kitchens are often small. Closed kitchens can become hot and steamy and this is soon accompanied by noisy exhaust fans and thus the room becomes a somewhat uncomfortable place to work. Then comes the fact the closed kitchens, unless they are large and spacious, are not sociable enough the modern family.

Where Open plan wins

When it comes to airflow, light, optimal use of space and that all-important social factor, open plan kitchens nearly always win. Countertops become additional dining for more casual on-the-go meals, the chef becomes part of the family rather than feeling banished to a room with a hot stove and the flow of what we call home today is maintained.

But this is just an opinion. At Gary Fullwood Designed Living we are open-minded and can design the perfect kitchen for you. Neither open plan or closed plan is exactly right or wrong, you have the final say, all we can do is offer some advice gained through a lot of experience.

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