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Open-plan or closed-concept kitchens? Pros and cons

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  • 17/09/2023
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    Ever since open-plan living arrived (and came to stay), many people have dreamt of adding a kitchen to their living space. And it is not hard to see why! There are thousands of stunning examples on Pinterest and Instagram, interior design magazines and even examples from our favourite films and series.

    However, there are a number of downsides to this type of kitchen as well. Are you stuck in the past or are they right? We are going to list the pros and cons of open-plan living for your kitchen and see which one is best suited to you: open or closed.



    Pros of an open-plan kitchen 

    Let’s start with the most obvious advantage: light. Get rid of a wall and, as a minimum, you will gain a new window. Open-plan kitchens are super recommended if your kitchen does not have much natural light.

    We suggest the same thing if your kitchen or your living room (or both) have a small square metre measurements. In both cases, bringing the spaces together gives the illusion of a larger space. But not just this. It will also give you new layout options which could mean new extra storage space and include new elements that maybe weren’t possible before, such as a dining table or an island.

    It’ll also allow for easier movement between the spaces making day-to-day tasks quicker and easier. 

    Leaving interior design questions to one side, open-plan kitchens allow for people to interact easier, for example, when hosting a get together at home, you can interact with your guests whilst putting something together in the kitchen.


    Cons of an open kitchen

    Do you tend to be a bit of a messy person? If so, open-plan kitchens aren’t for you. If you leave anything out, such as dirty cups or spoons, it’ll clutter up the space quickly giving the impression the whole room is not ordered. In honour of a spacious and bright atmosphere that we have created with the open plan kitchen, it is best to keep it well organised.

    Another disadvantage of open-plan kitchens, any smells or smoke in the kitchen can spread through the room and get into the fabrics of other furnishings. It is true that there are many good options for extractor fans on the market nowadays, but this can be a costly option and they can be quite noisy. This could annoy people that are trying to do anything else in the space.

    Finally, remember that air conditioning and heating in an open concept space can be more expensive due to the extra power needed to cool or heat the larger space.



    Pros of a closed-concept kitchen

    The first pro is that the same con as an open-plan kitchen: smells and smoke generated in the kitchen will stay there.

    There is also a greater level of privacy and tranquillity in the kitchen as it is separated from the rest of the living space. This is especially recommended for households where several people live together, especially from different generations or lifestyles: one person can be cooking in peace, while enjoying a snack and their favourite podcast, while someone else watches the latest episode of their favourite show without being interrupted.

    But it doesn’t end there. Having a separate kitchen and living room means you’ll have greater design freedom. You don’t have to work the spaces together and can have two distinct designs, if you want. 


    Cons of a closed-concept kitchen

    The main con is that it is harder to create the illusion of space (but not impossible), which is much easier with an open-plan kitchen. We suggest speaking to one of our distributors and, of course, do not miss any of our articles for some inspiration.

    Something similar happens with natural light. Kitchens are usually located in the interior areas of poorly lit homes, so it will take some "tips and tricks" to maximise the space.


    Another disadvantage is that your furniture layout options is considerably more limited, especially if the space is small.

    Finally, you lose the option to multi-task, such as talking to visitors while preparing a snack or enjoying a chat with someone in the living room.


    Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of each one... What team are you on? Open or closed kitchen?

    And one last word of advice: if you go for an open-plan kitchen, don’t forget to read our article Avoid these mistakes for your open-plan kitchen.

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