Honest look at the pros and cons of open-plan kitchens

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Double storey extension for artist in Bishopston, Bristol Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects Modern kitchen
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When it comes to kitchen plans, there are a few layout options at our disposal. We have the U-shaped kitchen which helps keep an effective “work triangle”. There is the L-shaped layout which is perfect for flats and smaller areas. And don’t forget about the one-wall kitchen, the ideal option for an efficient work flow.

In addition to these layout options and others, we also have the open-plan kitchen, which is when no walls are separating the kitchen from the adjoining rooms. The main purpose of this is to save space – but is the end result good or bad?

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons associated with the open-plan kitchen – and enjoy some stunning kitchen images in the meantime.

1. Con: A clear mess for all to see

Allnatura KitchenCabinets & shelves

We all have those days where we either don’t have the time to ensure a spotless kitchen, or we just don’t want to (don’t be too hard on yourself). In cases like these, that messy kitchen will mean a messy living room, a messy dining room, and whatever other rooms share the open-plan space with the kitchen. 

In addition, the clutter of pots and pans that you’ve just used to whip up your fancy dinner party will be visible from the dining room – also not a very attractive backdrop while you’re trying to impress visitors, right?

2. Pro: It’s visually bigger

Having no walls divide your kitchen and the adjoining space (which is usually the dining area) means that kitchen will look much bigger than it actually is – and whenever is a room seeming bigger a bad thing?

3. Pro: It lets you keep an eye out

With an open-plan kitchen, you have a direct view of the adjoining areas and what’s happening there, like the kids colouring at the dining table or watching TV in the living room.

Need a kitchen designer or painter? How about a tiler or lighting expert? Our list of professionals can help you out…

4. Pro: Dining convenience

Having the kitchen and dining area situated close to each other (and visually open with one another) makes carrying those dishes and cutlery much easier and quicker.

In addition, having an informal dining area at, for example, the breakfast bar, can help with additional seating spaces when the friends/family members are too much for your little dining table.

5. Con: Roaming smells

Not all smells that come from the kitchen is great. And you really don’t want that harsh scent of, let’s say, oven-cleaner spreading from the kitchen into the living room. 

However, an easy way to avoid this problem is to open a window or door, switch on that air-conditioner, or supply the living room with its own wonderful scent via incense or scented candles.

6. Pro: Easy communication

Family Living homify KitchenElectronics

Last but certainly not least, the open-plan kitchen allows you easy and effortless communication with the rest of the household, such as when your dinner guests are chatting away on your plush living room sofa as you’re finalising the last touches on dinner in the kitchen. 

Definitely a good thing, as you won’t be missing a single beat of the gossip!  

Planning some kitchen touch-ups? Better have a look at these: Kitchen mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Do you agree that the pros outweigh the cons?

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