Open vs. Closed Kitchen – Which is Right For You?


While an open kitchen gives you the convenience of getting to serve easily and spending time with your guests even while the meal is being prepared, a closed kitchen always gives that private space you sometimes need in your messy kitchen. Confused about which one will suit you best? Don’t know how either one will impact your way of living?

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We discuss what you can expect from both types of kitchens – open and closed, before you buy a home. We hope you’ll arrive at a conclusion once you’ve read through these kitchen design tips!


What are they?

An open kitchen is one which is more integrated with the adjacent rooms in the house – usually the living room and the dining room. Such a kitchen is commonly ‘open’ from more than one side, meaning that it doesn’t have walls on more than one side.
The concept of the open kitchen started becoming popular in the 1990s, and is still a favoured choice of many.

Open vs. Closed Kitchen – Which is Right For You?


1) Considering that a couple of walls are eliminated in the case of an open kitchen, open kitchens tend to be naturally brighter and well-ventilated, as compared to closed ones.

2) The person preparing a meal in an open kitchen gets to be involved in the conversations around or pass dishes to people in the adjacent rooms. Cooking time doesn’t mean missing out on watching your favourite programme on the TV in the living room. The family, or any guests who drop in, can feel like a part of the meal-making process, too. All in all, an open modern kitchen makes for better bonding with your family and/or guests.

3) Open kitchens lend an air of informality to the house.

4) Proud of the wonderful way you showcase the pots and pans in your kitchen? Or of the latest kitchen equipment that you have scouted hard for? With an open kitchen, it becomes possible for you to show off all of your beauties and the fabulous decor of your kitchen to your guests!

5) An open kitchen plan lends a sense of space to the house. It makes your house look bigger and, therefore, work great for modestly-sized homes.

6) With all the aroma of fresh food floating all over the house, the family’s appetite is increased and the meals end up being happier.

7) If you have kids who need supervision, an open kitchen can help you keep an eye on them while you cook.


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1) While an open kitchen layout makes for a wonderful way to showcase your pretty vessels and appliances, it also showcases any mess that might be made in the kitchen while cooking. When you are entertaining, are you sure you want your guests to see something like that?

2) Also, all the sounds of kitchen appliances – like the mixer or dishwasher – can be heard in adjacent rooms.


What are they?

A closed kitchen is just what the name suggests – ‘closed off’, or isolated, from the rest of the house. The walls separating the kitchen from the other parts of the house makes the kitchen a room of its own.

Open vs. Closed Kitchen – Which is Right For You?


1) If you are the type of person who thinks of the kitchen as your sanctuary, as your own place where you can sink into the cooking process without any interruption or distraction, a closed kitchen would be perfect for you.

2) All the smells and messes remain hidden inside the kitchen, away from the rest of the house.

3) A closed kitchen lends an air of formality, as opposed to an open kitchen. So, if you are the kind of person who prefers a formal cooking experience, silence and privacy included, a closed kitchen might be your best bet.

4) Considering that the number of walls in a closed kitchen is more, there is more space for a bigger countertop, more cabinets and shelves, and more storage space for appliances.

5) With a closed kitchen, not only are the smells of cooking confined (mostly, at least!) to the kitchen, but the sounds too.


1) If you have a closed kitchen layout and the you decide you like an open kitchen better, you might have to spend huge amounts of money in tearing those walls down to create an open-plan kitchen. Are you sure you want to do that? Or would you rather invest that money in newer and better kitchen appliances and fixtures?

2) A closed kitchen plan allows for lesser access to the natural light and air circulation available in the house, as against an open kitchen.

Can you have the best of both worlds?

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Yes, you can! If you would like to have the benefits that both open and closed kitchens have to offer but want to avoid the cons of both types, you can still do it with some simple kitchen design tips. Here’s how:

1) Incorporate sliding barn doors for your kitchen and your kitchen can be open or closed whenever you want it to! Installing metal mesh curtains can also give you a certain degree of privacy in the kitchen. If you want an open kitchen, just open the curtains and you have one! Opening the sliding barn doors and the metal mesh curtains will also allow for natural light and air to flow into your kitchen.

2) If space permits, you could install a small booth or fold-down table in your closed kitchen, to let your loved ones keep you company as you cook.

3) A glass partition separating the kitchen and the other parts of the house is another trick to allow natural light to flood the kitchen area while the sounds and smells stay in. This modern kitchen idea also proves worthy when you don’t want to feel completely isolated from the rest of the house. Choose translucent glass or hang curtains if you don’t want a  complete see-through.

4) You could even close up just a small part of the kitchen – maybe the part that sees the most action, like your gas stove or the sink? This way, you can hide messes, without having to compromise on interacting with your guests and/or family as you cook.

5) Do you want an open kitchen but can’t bear the thought of the cooking smells spreading to the rest of the house? You could use vents! Put up some high-quality, high-powered vents that carry the smells outdoors, so that they don’t linger on and spread.

6) With an open kitchen plan, are you scared that the noises from your dishwasher or blender spread to the adjacent rooms? Don’t worry – just invest in some noise-free appliances. You don’t have to give up on the very idea of an open kitchen just because of this one factor!

7) You could raise the height of the platform of the kitchen area in your open-plan kitchen, so that your cooking activities aren’t really visible to guests when they’re seated in the dining area.

8) Make a partition using indoor plants in between the kitchen area and the dining/living room. This is also a great way to introduce a few kitchen herbs into your tiny garden and use some fresh leaves in your cooking.

9) If you want an open modern kitchen but do not want guests peeking in all the time, create a seating arrangement for the guests where their backs are to the kitchen. Simple!

10) Want to chat with your family while cooking, but want some privacy when there are guests? In that case, why not close off the kitchen to the dining room, but keep it open to the family room!

Open vs. Closed Kitchen – Which is Right For You?

So, what do you think of these kitchen design tips? Are you an open kitchen- or closed kitchen-type of family? Tell us below!

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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