Design Dilemma: Open or Closed Kitchen? | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Open or Closed Kitchen?

midcentury kitchen how to tips advice

It’s the perennial question: which is better — an open or closed kitchen? There are advocates on both sides.  Fans of open kitchens say that an open floor plan allows for cooks to interact with the rest of the family. It’s also great for entertaining, since a host need not wall himself away from guests while preparing dinner. Fans of closed kitchens, on the other hand, say they want to keep the mess and smells of the kitchen tucked away from prying eyes. For this reason, they feel a closed kitchen actually enhances entertaining.

Which side of the great divide do you fall on? Most of us instinctively have a quick answer. (I for one, favor an open kitchen, which I find far more appealing for daily life and for casual entertaining, which is the only type of entertaining I do.)  My dream kitchen would look something like this:

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

Or this:

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

I love the idea of sipping a glass of wine with guests while I simultaneously prepare dinner. They can choose to admire the view while they converse with me, or sit in front of the fire. It’s convivial, fun, and it works especially well for larger parties where people can mix and mingle and help themselves to whatever is in the kitchen.

Who appreciates the open-style kitchen the most?

  • Families with young children.  It allows parents to prepare dinner while keeping an eye on kids while they play or do homework.
  • People who host a lot of informal gatherings. This is the perfect style of kitchen for hosting an Oscar party, having a few friends over to watch football or having buddies over to play poker. Friends are at ease to grab a beer from the kitchen while still participating in all the fun.
  • People who are naturally orderly. Unwashed pots and pans are not a big deal to those in the habit of quick clean-up following food preparation.
  • People who prefer direct access to the dining table from the kitchen. This could include those with mobility issues or those who just want the convenience of quick access.


And what about the other side of the great divide? Here are some examples of some closed kitchens:

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

Or this:

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice


Who favors a closed kitchen?

  • People who prefer more formal entertaining. A candlelit dinner party can seem more “special” in a separate dining room where the host can make a grand entrance with a special dish.
  • People who tend to be messy in the kitchen and who are embarrassed about it. Guests never need see dirty pots and pans.
  • Singles or people without young kids. There’s less of a feeling of being shut away from the action when you’re on your own.

So which side of the great divide do you fall on? Send us your comments on whether you go for open or closed, and why!



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