Without a doubt, open kitchens are the “in” feature for floor plans in recent years’ home design. There’s some obvious benefits to an open floor plan where the kitchen is more “inclusive” in the living space. But there’s unquestionably some drawbacks as well that go unnoticed until your custom home is already built and being lived in. Only then, discovering what you might not have considered when planning with your architect or designer. Before we dive into the attractive nature and conversely the drawbacks of open kitchens, how did they come to the height of popularity we see today?
A BRIEF HISTORY
Not everyone has space as a luxury and resource. Many people have to utilize minimal amounts of space (and often for top dollar per square foot) to their utmost potential. So an open floor plan was something often employed in apartment and city living. Where studio apartments are a norm, and the idea of an addition isn’t even in the realm of possible. So due to the nature of apartment living, open floor plans really blossomed and were developed to the fullest extent in the city.
WHAT DO I GET?
Of course there’s allure to an open floor plan, or else they’d go the way of the dinosaur! So these benefits are easy to identify:
Open kitchens become more inclusive to the living space with the rest of the house. Albeit the living room, dining room, great room, etc. Those toiling in the kitchen are no longer segregated! Plus, those with young kids can do their necessary tasks in the kitchen, without leaving the very young ones unattended when they’re in the living room, while they perhaps try to take apart the Blue-Ray player.
Utilizing natural light
Open design brightens up a home. Regardless of where the strong sunlight is on the house, an open window can brighten up a very large space if walls aren’t an obstruction.
Custom kitchen? Showcase!
Chances are, if you’ve sank a pretty penny into your kitchen design, you’re gonna want people to see it in all its glory. This is no small point either; custom cabinets, sophisticated trim work, hand-picked back-splashes either tile or metal, and top of the line countertops add beauty and elegance to your home. WHY hide them?!
WHAT DO I LOSE?
There’s some sacrifices that come along with open kitchens. You lose some options, and other nuances that walls provide. Some of these things, you might miss…
There use to be an old saying, “what goes on in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen”. This is no longer applies when everyone is right there, can see what you’re doing and what’s happening while you try to cook. This also means no surprises! Open kitchens also “demand” it be up kept at all times. Least it contributes to a messy appearance for the rest of the dwelling. Walls also mean more specialized spaces. An office, study, activity room etc., where you perhaps may not want the distractions lent by the rest of the house.
Acoustics travel without obstruction. So all the noise from all the other living spaces, and vice versa, is going to be all over the house. And it does get hectic in the kitchen sometimes. The living room will be forced to endure.
Walls, though they take up space, offer a new angle of space as well. The absence of a wall or 2 means drastically reducing cabinet layout. A wall is honestly a feature. It offers shelving options, or mounting options. Or something simply to throw spaghetti at to tell if it’s done.
When it is time to design and build a custom home with your builder, remember this is your choice. Ultimately, we want to work towards the final project together with our eye on the ball. If it is a custom open plan you are looking for, or a custom closed plan, we have you covered.
Don’t forget! Make an appointment to check out our showroom at 20375 John J Williams Highway in Lewes. Give the office a call at 302-644-1015. We are open from 10—3pm Monday-Friday. Consultations are free!
Until next time friends…
Nicole D., Resident Toback blogger