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Pros and Cons of an Open Concept Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of every home. But some proponents of an open concept living space say the kitchen may also be the key to unlocking a more fulfilling and social lifestyle for families. Whether or not that’s true, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of an open concept kitchen so you can decide if your kitchen should flow to the rest of your home, or maintain its boundaries.


Pros and Cons of an Open Concept Kitchen

Let’s begin by looking more generally at the term “open floor plan”, which refers to a layout that features multiple rooms within a single space. A studio apartment can be one such example, and for good reason: open floor plans do tend to make the most out of less square footage, whereas larger-sized homes generally divide up the different spaces into separate rooms. 


An open concept kitchen doesn’t have walls separating it from the rest of the home, meaning that it opens directly onto a dining room or living room. This can be an advantage especially in terms of serving guests, since hosts can easily bring plates and platters directly from the kitchen to the dining table. What are some of the other pros to an open concept kitchen? What about the cons? Read on to see what some of the arguments for and against an open concept kitchen are. 



Pro: Fewer Walls Translates Into a More Spacious Layout

When a house or apartment has limited space, small rooms can feel really cramped. In a kitchen, this can be especially frustrating, especially when you’re trying to focus on cooking or cleaning. With an open concept kitchen, a kitchen island can do quadruple duty providing a work surface, offering storage, functioning as a table, and serving as a room divider. 



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Con: Walls Can Be Functional, Too

In a traditional kitchen, the large appliances such as the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are of course up against the walls. So are the wall cabinets and base cabinets, including any refrigerator wall cabinets, as well as the sink. Any refrigerator panels or dishwasher panels may provide a seamless look that integrates your cabinetry with your major appliances. Without four walls, you’ll need to be creative about your use of space to ensure you have all the functionality you need. 


Pro: Adds Value to Your Home

Homebuyers today tend to love the expansiveness of the open concept kitchen, which therefore adds to the asking price for a contemporary home. This kitchen design helps to make a space appear larger, and this is currently enjoying popularity on the real estate market.  


Con: A Noisier Kitchen

A more enclosed design will trap noises and odors inside a kitchen, whereas an open concept kitchen will tend to be quieter. Add this to the fact that traffic doesn’t move as easily between an enclosed kitchen and an adjoining room, and it’s easy to see why people who entertain guests frequently tend to prefer an open concept kitchen.


Pro: Hosts Can Be More Social As They Cook

Whether an open concept kitchen will work for you as a cook and a host depends on your style: Do you like to chat with your friends, family, and coworkers while you are preparing a meal, or do you prefer to concentrate, wrapped up in your own culinary creativity? If you are one of the lucky ones who can carry on a conversation and keep your eye on the stove, then an open concept kitchen might be right for you.


Those who want to be able to see what’s cooking at all times might find the open plan ideal. An open concept kitchen is great for those who like to cook or simply spend time in the kitchen. You can keep an eye on kids or pets while doing dishes, and it’s easier to chat with people in other rooms while cooking a meal.


Con: Mess Is Constantly On Display

Maybe you have a beautiful pot rack over the sink that you are eager to show off to those who are visiting your home. But what about dirty dishes? Cluttered countertops? If you are the type of person who never goes to bed with a dirty dish in the sink, this might not be a real concern for you. But those who are more leisurely in their cleaning habits are likely to find that they will need to change their habits or come to terms with their untidy kitchens being on full display to their guests — and themselves, too. A messy kitchen might not be such a problem when it’s hidden behind a wall, but could become distracting when it’s right next to the living room sofa.  


Open concept kitchens have a lot of various advantages that are related to the role that the kitchen plays in your life. One great way to further explore if it’s the right choice for you is to explore different kitchen layouts, and see how they could fit in with an open concept kitchen. Also be sure to check out a 3D kitchen design, like this one available from Nelson Cabinetry. 



If you’re still not sure whether you want this style in your kitchen or not, make sure you use our free consultations with experts. Get a quick quote or make an appointment at info@nelsonkb.com.


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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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