Kitchen Sense / A Blog About Kitchen Cabinets

Should I Have An Open Concept Kitchen

BLURB: When you go looking to remodel your kitchen these days, there’s only one design that’s on any designer’s lips: Open Concept Kitchen. It’s a new idea and one that’s caught everyone’s imagination – to have spaces with no boundaries and blend one into the other. It sounds great and looks equally tempting, but what it does also mean is that you lose out on a lot of essential storage. So, before you go ahead and open up your home, is it really worth all that effort?

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-1Before anything else, it’s important to understand how different people work. There are those that live to see the sea every morning from their bedroom and those that love the chaos of a big city with its concrete jungle. The same way, there are people like, say, your friend, who loves the fact that her kitchen is invisible because it’s a space where she can hide all the not-so-pretty things away and not worry about cleaning as soon as she cooks something. Then there’s, say, another person, who thinks open spaces are the way to go and talks endlessly about how beautiful it is. It’s all about looking at these differences and figuring out what you need and which side of the fence you fall on.

The Positives of an Open Concept Kitchen

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-6So, let’s look at the positives of an open concept kitchen first. And there are many, so to say. First, there’s a lot of space to move around, and be part of a conversation even while you’re cooking and making a meal. It makes sure you don’t feel alone or cut out from everyone else who’s having a good time.It’s also great when you entertain because everyone gets involved and lends a hand when they are a part of your plan.

If your home is one of those places that is naturally well-lit in the morning, open spaces are a great way to maximize the light in your home. Of course, apart from making it look brighter and cleaner, it also makes the home look bigger. So, this is a great option for anyone who has a constraint for space and lives in smaller homes or apartments.

If you’re a minimalist, this is your way to go. These kitchens have everything you need and, yet, are contained in a smaller, open space. And, because they are a part of your living area, there’s more reason to keep the place neater and less cluttered. A clutter-free kitchen is also good if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep things tidy. And of course, if it’s sparse then it’s also going to be easy to clean!

The Downside of an Open Concept Kitchen

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-2The good thing about a traditional kitchen is the amount of storage space you normally get. This is great for families or those who stock up their kitchens! Of course, there’s the advantage of no one being able to see any of the mess you make. That way, whatever kind of cook you are, your secret is safe in your big kitchen. The place also absorbs the cooking smells and it doesn’t let them waft around the house, which you would have in a house with an open concept kitchen. But if you’re someone who doesn’t mind the mess being there in the open or aren’t much of a cook, then the open concept will work for you. Just make sure that when the holidays are around you cook well in advance so that your guests don’t see all the mess that’s going to be around.

Finally, of course, we think one of the most logical reasons for not wanting an open concept kitchen is the breaking down of walls. It’s going to be a lot of work, money and mess if you want that model kitchen you’ve been ogling at in home improvement magazines. And changing the structure can also affect your home’s resale value. So give it a hard thought and really figure out what you want before all those lovely kitchens in the magazine overtake your imagination.

How To Solve The Space Problem

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-3If an open concept kitchen is still floating around in your mind, then one way to get more storage out of it is to use frameless cabinets. These are very popular in Europe and are fast gaining the same kind of popularity here as well. Called ‘full-access cabinets’ they have invisible frames especially when the doors are closed.

The shelves of these cabinets are easy to mount. All you have to do is slide the shelve in straight, not diagonally like you usually do. Since there’s no frame, you will have a little more storage than you normally get with framed cabinets. Of course, needless to say, if you’ve got a lot of appliances in your kitchen, then frameless cabinets may be your best choice.

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-7When you have a small home with an open concept kitchen, every inch of space is vital. So if you have an 18” wide cabinet with 15” of drawer width, then you will probably get only ten with framed cabinets. So, it does save you a ton of space, to be honest. And when you add up all the extra space from every cabinet you change, the result comes up to a lot of extra space that you didn’t have before.

If there are extra inches of space at the end of a cabinet run, they may not fit an extra one but you can have a lean spice rack or do something more creative with that space! The frameless cabinets also make the kitchen look very modern and big, and will blend in well with the living space.

Just A Phase?

LifeDesign Home: Open-Concept-Kitchen-5Although open concept kitchens are the hottest in the market right now, there are many people who still opt to go the traditional way. They like a little more space, or a room in your home that’s private, away from people who visit.

Then again, it takes a certain kind of person to have an open concept kitchen. If you are a minimalist, open spaces will be your best bet. But, if your kitchen gets messy when you cook big meals and that’s a part of you that you want to keep to yourself, then you may be better off sticking to your old kitchen, after all.

Whatever it is, figure out who you are and what you’re comfortable with before making the decision.

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