What’s your kitchen style? Are you a lover of the wide-open range, or do you prefer a closed off galley? Open or closed, there are fans on both sides. An open floor plan enables the host to stay more involved and no be walled off from guests, it’s also argued that it’s better for families. Advocates of the closed kitchen say it’s nice to be able to close the door on the mess and smells of cooking, keeping them away from guests.
Which side do you fall on? Most of us have a quick, almost automatic answer. If you’re house hunting, or about to tackle a renovation, it’s time to give it some thought.
An open design will appeal to families with children, parents can cook dinner while keeping an eye on the kids in the family room. It’s also attractive to those who do a lot of informal entertaining—think football, game night or an Oscar party, any time you want to be able to serve food and stay connected to your guests. The classic image of sipping wine with your guests while you put the finishing touches on dinner is attractive. The downside, of course, is that everyone gets to see in. If you’re not a clean as you go person, an open design may not be for you. It’s especially important to stock your kitchen with gear that’s hard working, and good looking.
What about the more traditional closed kitchen? If your entertainment plans tend toward the more formal, and you like hosting sit-down dinners by candlelight with a beautiful tablecloth, then you’ll want that separation of space. If you don’t like the idea of guests (or family) seeing the cooking process, or the messes made during it, then you really want a closed in kitchen. If being in another room would make you feel cut off from your guests, this is not the right choice for you.
In larger homes, it’s not uncommon to have a kitchen that’s open to the family room and casual dining area, but closed off from the formal dining and living areas. But that trend has faded in all but the largest of homes. Few families opt for using up square footage for seldom-used formal spaces.
What’s your preference? Do you crave the space to keep your kitchen out of sight? Or do you want it all in one room?