Open floor plans have become common and popular in the real estate market over the last few years, for a number of different reasons: houses are smaller and more expensive, people want to make the most of the available space or like to be able to have more people over and actually spend time with them.
Moreover, the industry – architects, real-estate agents and such – know that trendy, flexible floor plans can be sold more easily and at a higher price. This doesn’t, however, only mean that bedrooms include bathrooms en suite or that there is no division between dining and living areas – it has also prompted the rise of the open kitchen, which is visible and accessible from the aforementioned dining and living areas.
But while open kitchens have been quite a popular choice for a time, some people are now starting to find flaws in the concept, prompting the question of open plan kitchen vs separate kitchen and which of the concepts is better suited to their lifestyle.
Why are Open Plan Kitchens popular?
The main reason why open kitchens were created was so that the cook – the mother, for instance – wouldn’t be isolated. In a modern world, where social distinctions weren’t as rigid and kitchen appliances became a lot smaller and easier to manage than they used to be, it seemed unreasonable that someone would sacrifice their time with their family while they cooked, when in fact it was perfectly fine for them to be together or at least not have barriers between them, so that they could chat or do what they liked during the time it took to prepare a meal.
Of course, as times changed, this reason evolved into a different one. Nowadays, people like to have open kitchens because they allow them to entertain guests during a dinner party, as cooking has gone from being a lower class activity to something people are proud of and ’hanging out’ in the kitchen has become a common occurrence. Unfortunately, while some people may love to show their sushi –making skills or enjoy a glass of wine and good conversation while tossing the salad, not everyone is a multi-tasker, which is why separate kitchens seem to be making a comeback.
The Appeal of a Separate Kitchen Room
Today, separate kitchens are seen as something outdated. However, vintage style is somewhat trendy in all aspects of life at the moment, and people seem to be finding the charm of more traditional architecture and décor. That isn’t the main reason while people are shying away from open kitchens though.
The truth is, people who are serious about cooking or baking usually prefer to do it quietly, with no other people bustling around or distracting them. It is also true to that cooking can be quite messy, and seeing a messy kitchen from the dinner table – or having others seeing it – can be embarrassing or uncomfortable for the host. If you add in the fact that food can have quite strong odors, which can be quite unpleasant when things don’t turn out as expected, the scales will likely tilt in the direction of separate kitchens for a lot of people.
Given this, one has to conclude that what really differentiates a separate kitchen from an open kitchen is the space available and the level of privacy one is afforded. While an open plan may afford house owners more space to move and entertain guests, it will also leave them exposed. On the other hand, separate kitchens may be smaller and lonelier, but those who are serious about cooking will enjoy the privacy they offer.