Pros and Cons of Open-Plan Kitchens

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The kitchen is the heart of a family home, and a great design can improve your lifestyle while also adding value to your property. The modern feel of open-plan kitchens has grown in popularity since the 1950s, but the style may not be a good fit for every home or family. Kitchen renovations can cost you dearly, so before you embark on your next home improvement adventure, take the time to consider the positive and negative aspects of the design.

Pro: Creates a More Spacious Appearance 

It is often said that having more space is the ultimate sign of luxury, and any improvement project which makes your home feel larger is one to consider. Removing any barriers between the kitchen, living, and dining areas will do just that, which goes some way to explain the popularity of open-plan kitchens. By opening up your floor plan, you’ll not only be taking advantage of a clever design pointer, but also establishing a sense of togetherness through the use of those open spaces. Extra space and fewer walls will leave parents of younger children more able to keep an eye on the kids from the kitchen – a bonus when faced with the perils of meal prep plus childcare. 

Con: Kitchens Cost Money

In the world of renovations, there really is no such thing as a free lunch, and the kitchen is often one of the most expensive home projects you can take on – especially those that require walls to be taken down. On the other hand, the kitchen is also a key focus area if your aim is to boost the value of your home. For a kitchen renovation, the average homeowner should expect to pay up to $20,000, which is no easy feat. 

For a sizeable majority, that kind of cash isn’t found under the mattress and financing is usually the option that most need to consider when attempting such projects. Fortunately, finding competitive interests on loans shouldn’t be too hard in today’s climate, with many prospective lenders scrambling to offer consumers the best possible rates. Remember, adopting an open-plan design is more than a nod to modern trends, as it stands to increase the value and appeal of your property as a whole. 

Pro: You Can Entertain with Ease

If entertaining family and friends is as much a part of your life as food, then an open-plan design might just tick all of the boxes. The creation of a more social atmosphere starts with fewer walls, and once you have the extra space, there’s plenty to be done with it. A central island makes the perfect gathering spot, and can even turn into a seating area with the addition of a few understated stools. Even if you intend on maintaining separate spaces for the kitchen and dining room, an open-plan design will shorten the distance from the kitchen bench to the dining table and save you a few unnecessary steps per journey.

Con: Mess Can Be Difficult to Hide

There’s no getting around the fact that cooking creates a mess. Whether you’re battling against dirty dishes, busy bench-tops, or cluttered cupboards, there’s always an opportunity to clean and tidy. In a traditional-style kitchen with more nooks and crannies at your disposal, it’s possible to hide some of the mess and cut down on the amount of time spent cleaning before family gatherings. Open-plan kitchens, as an alternative, leave little to the imagination, and since the kitchen adjoins the living and dining rooms, the mess can seem to spread into other spaces as well. All of this might cause undue stress if you’re particular about keeping things tidy, so take your habits and lifestyle into account before you whip out the hammers.  

Pro: More Light 

Natural light is crucial and is widely considered one of the most important factors contributing to liveability in the home, and it goes beyond shrinking your electricity bill. By knocking out a few walls in an open-plan kitchen, you’re creating an environment that will be awash with brightness that will spill over into the rest of the surrounding area. Of course, the position and size of your windows play a huge part in creating a well-lit space. Adding a few extra windows is always a great option, but if your kitchen is in a less-than-ideal position to take advantage of the sunshine, there are other ways to let more light in, like adding a skylight in the ceiling. 

Con: Noise Spreads More Easily

A more open space is an attractive visual prospect, but it also leads to reduced control over the spread of noise and smells from the kitchen. Before you start knocking down walls, consider the proximity of the kitchen to other areas of the home where you might want peace and quiet. Depending on the distance separating the kitchen and the bedrooms (or any other room where too much noise is unwelcome), the sound of your blender may become more problematic than you expect once you start knocking down those walls. 

As is the case with any renovation, there are positive and negative aspects to any chosen design, with open-plan being no different. It is important to firstly weigh up your options, consider the space available and the finance needed to complete said project. Make sure you weigh up all the costs and benefits before making any big moves. Ultimately, the decision to go ahead with any such endeavor is how beneficial it will be for you and your family in the long run. 

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