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Open Kitchen Design

Pros and Cons of Having an Open Kitchen and Living Room

Are you looking for the perfect kitchen for your home? Does the idea of an open kitchen interest you? If you are considering getting an open kitchen in your home, here are some advantages and disadvantages of an open plan concept.

What Is An Open Plan Style Home?

An open-plan-style home has been around since the 70s but has made a come-back recently. It is a concept that combines the living room, dining, and kitchen spaces into one big open area without any walls or doors in the middle. The biggest advantage is the openness of space, ease of communication, and brighter and airier-looking spaces.

Open style concepts are excellent for smaller homes, making them look bigger and more spacious. When looking to invest in building a new kitchen or renovating an old kitchen feel free to visit our website for some fantastic ideas for a modern kitchen. If you are wondering whether to go with an open style concept, here are some advantages and disadvantages listed below.

What Are The Advantages of Combined Open Plan Kitchen and Living Room Space?

Open-style kitchens combine dining, cooking, and living all within the same space and have many advantages. Here are some of them mentioned below:

Looks Expansive and Spacious

Open plan kitchen, dining, and living spaces can make your space look grand and spacious. It is aesthetically pleasing. Without dividing walls, there is ease of movement around the house and spaces appear bigger and less cramped up.

High ceilings can make an open-plan home look even more spacious. Continuity in design and similar flooring running along the entire space makes the entire space come together and look pleasant and inviting.

It can also be used as a multi-functional space by moving the furniture around or adding more seating when you are entertaining guests.

Open Floorplan Kitchen

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Brighter With More Day Light

Due to no walls to close off the rooms or block the natural light, there is ample sunlight flowing through every room during the fay time, making an open-style home look bright and airy and even bigger. A well-lit home always looks inviting and breezy.

Dimly lit rooms look smaller, stuffier, and uninviting. Having more natural light in the kitchen and living space saves up on energy costs on the use of extra lights as well. Well-lit places have a positive effect on our minds making us feel happier and more energized.

Great for Entertaining

When you are entertaining guests, your list can increase from 6 to 10 guests over even more before you know it. With larger spaces, you don’t have to worry about having a large party of people at your house.

Due to no barriers, it is easy to make use of the space by adding more seating to accommodate a larger group comfortably. With the kitchen right there, the hosts don’t feel isolated, and everyone can help themselves.

There is ease of communication, and everyone can lounge together in the same room. If you have a garden or outdoor space, you can open the doors to extend the party partially outdoors for the ultimate summer party.

Keeps the Whole Family Together

Open-plan spaces are great for families as everyone is together and visible. It is ideal for families with small babies as parents can keep watching them while they are working in their home office or in the kitchen preparing meals.

The parent who cooks for the home often feels isolated and disconnected while preparing meals in closed kitchens and miss out on family time. This is not a problem in open-plan kitchens as they can interact with the family while preparing a meal and not lose out on all the fun chit-chat of the day.

Better Ventilation

Open spaces with large windows on either side provide for a breezier and easy flow of air between the spaces. This improves ventilation in the house, reduces stuffiness, and maintains a pleasant climate in the home. Cross-ventilation is excellent in open-plan homes as there is an unobstructed path for air to flow from one end of the home to the other due to the lack of walls.

Better Utilization of Space

Without barriers separating rooms, it is easier to utilize the space as closed rooms make them smaller. By combining the spaces and removing walls, you can use the space in a more efficient way. Often people make a dining room or living room and reserve them for when they have guests. These rooms remain locked and barely get used.

This wastes space and reduces the overall utility of space in your home. Closed formal dining rooms are more suited for homes that are larger, where you have enough rooms to reserve one to entertain guests and remain clean and tidy.

Better Resale Value

Open-plan homes have a higher resale value than those with many smaller rooms. Open-plan homes look more visually appealing and appreciate in value. Open plans are a universal concept with a modern and contemporary style. This will never be outdated and is always preferred over closed and traditional types of kitchens and living spaces.

After the COVID-19 pandemic and due to more and more mothers working, families are looking to maximize the amount of time they can spend with each other. Open planned spaces help keep the whole family connected and together even if they’re all busy doing their own separate activities.

Unified Overall Design

With an open-planned space, you don’t have to worry about choosing a different theme for each room. The entire space can follow a similar theme, such as the color of the walls, the flooring, and the furniture. This helps cut costs as well as reduces the time and effort that would go into planning a different design for each room.

Open Plan Kitchen Space

What Are Its Disadvantages?

There are some disadvantages to having an open kitchen and living room space. Here are some of them:

Lack of Privacy

Probably the biggest downside to being in an open-planned home is the lack of privacy. This is especially challenging when you are working from home and need to attend zoom meetings in a shared space with the TV on and the blender running in the kitchen.

If your kid decides to bring friends home or your partner invites a work colleague over, it can all become quite overwhelming and chaotic as you may end up having to hide away in your bedroom to get some privacy and time to yourself.

More Expensive Compared With Closed Plan

Open plans are more expensive to build and maintain. If you live in a city that experiences extremes in temperature, it might cost you quite a bit to cool such a large space in the summers and have the heating on in the winter. Smaller rooms don’t use as much energy to regulate the temperature indoors.


Since the kitchen and living space is shared, it can get quite noisy. The sounds coming from the blender, the clanging of pots and pans, and noise from the television can make the entire space very noisy. Even if you are trying to keep it down, the noise from one end travels across to the other side of the room. High ceilings can also make echoing sounds in the space as well.

This can be quite challenging during the busy hours of the day when work, school homework, playtime, and meals are being prepared simultaneously. A helpful tip would be to add rugs and thick curtains, which tend to absorb the sound and control echoes.

Smells from the Kitchen May Linger

If you and your family are fond of different cuisines such as Thai, Indian, and seafood, then be prepared for your entire house to fill up with the aroma of the dinner you will be having. Unless you have excellent ventilation or a heavy-duty chimney that can extract all the smoke from the cooking and expel it out, the smell can continue to linger for a long time.

Less Storage Space

You can install more shelves and cabinets in closed rooms for storage, which is very difficult in open spaces. The whole idea of open spaces is to make them look open and clutter-free. If you have a lot of stuff and require lots of storage space, then it is a good idea to reserve an area to build a small room that can be used for storage. This room can be a closed space, but it depends on whether your home allows it.

Looks Messy

An open kitchen requires constant cleaning and upkeeping as kitchens can get dirty within minutes. Even if you make a simple salad or fry an egg, you have dirty bowls and chopped-up carrot tops lying around your kitchen counters.

You don’t want to be lounging in a space with the view of dirty dishes that need to be washed. Closed-off kitchens are not always in your face, and you have the option of cleaning up the mess later. Nobody likes walking into a home that has a messy kitchen.

What Is A Semi-Open Kitchen?

A semi-open kitchen offers the best of both worlds. It has the advantage of maintaining a sense of openness as well as barricading the clutter and mess from a direct view. Here are some great ways to incorporate this in your home:

Introduce a Sliding Door

This is the most practical and affordable kind of partition that can be created to separate the kitchen from the living space. Consider using glass for the sliding door to allow visibility while you work and block the smell and noise.

Include a Breakfast Counter

A breakfast counter is a great way to create a raised partition or a demarcation in the kitchen. This adds an extra counter for cooking purposes as well as serves as a dining table. With this type of partition, a heavy-duty chimney is still required as it will not keep grease and smells out.

Bifolding Dividers

Bifolding dividers are an efficient way to convert your kitchen into an open or closed space, depending on when the kitchen is in use. When your kitchen is clean and spotless, you can open the dividers, and during cooking or cleaning, you can keep the dividers closed. You may even close the kitchen dividers when the air conditioning is switched on to keep the cold air in a smaller area.

Install a Glass Partition without a Frame

A frameless glass partition can be placed to partition the kitchen from the living space. This continues to maintain the passage of light as before but has the added advantage of keeping heat and kitchen smells out of the living space while providing a sense of openness of an open-style kitchen

See also: 15 Essentials for a Kitchen Remodel

The Bottom Line

Building a new kitchen or renovating your old one is super exciting. Since this is a significant investment, you must think it through as a kitchen upgrade or renovation is meant to last a long time.

Consult with our experts at Modern Kitchen Center for more ideas and innovative solutions for your kitchen. We have design experts who can cater to all your needs and queries. Whether you are looking to spruce up your old kitchen or start right from scratch, we can help design your dream kitchen.

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