Everything You Need to Know About Open Kitchen Plans
Watch any remodeling show on television and you’re sure to see open kitchens galore. The open kitchen plan has been a huge trend for a long time, and it seems to be continuing to grow in popularity. An open kitchen is connected to the living area, and this integrated use of space works well with a sociable, informal lifestyle. Because one room flows into another, with few or no walls impeding the sightlines, it’s easy to entertain without being locked away from your guests. Another advantage is being able to keep an eye on the kids while you’re making dinner. If you think you might like an open kitchen plan, take a minute to learn more about it. Despite what you may have seen on TV, there’s more involved in planning an open floor plan than just knocking down some walls.
What are some of the benefits of open floor plans? An open kitchen layout gives a sense of continuity, prioritizes airflow, and makes the most of your natural light. Once walls have been removed, a small kitchen can feel bigger, and an open kitchen can make room for a kitchen island. Open kitchens also lend themselves to gatherings, allowing guests and the hosts to mingle while food is being prepared. By connecting to the living space, open kitchens expand the room, and give you the opportunity to unify your design with accents in the kitchen that complement the rest of your home décor.
On the other hand, there are some downsides to an open kitchen floorplan. If you have an open kitchen, any messiness in your kitchen can be seen from the adjacent rooms. This means you’ll be under pressure to keep your kitchen clean, with the counters clear, so that the whole house doesn’t seem messy by association. Additionally, by removing some of the walls, you leave less space for cabinetry, so that will mean you’ll have to get creative about storage. You must be very careful when decorating an open-style kitchen, because the appliances, cabinetry, light fixtures, and paint colors will be visible from other parts of the house.
A closed kitchen is the opposite of an open kitchen, and in some cases might be preferable. If you’re a cook who doesn’t want to be disturbed while you’re working, it can be beneficial to be able to close your kitchen off from the rest of the house. What’s more, a closed kitchen allows for more storage space, and gives you the freedom to experiment with design without worrying about how it’s going to mesh with the other living spaces. Then, too, many people don’t want one large room. There is value to having separate spaces, like a formal dining room or a dedicated family room. When deciding what kind of kitchen you prefer, be honest with yourself about your preferences, so you don’t get stuck with a kitchen that’s trendy but doesn’t work for you.
If you do decide to go with an open floor plan, there are some design factors to consider.
- In the absence of walls, create zones. You may not want to divide your home with walls, but there should be some separation between different spaces. Maybe your kitchen and dining room will be in one zone, with the living room in another, separated by an architectural element. Alternately, you can create a boundary between the kitchen and living space with an island, peninsula, or dining table.
- Think about storage creatively. Taking down walls means losing upper and lower cabinets, so you may have to think outside the box when it comes to storing your things. Integrated cabinets, wall-mounted shelves, and built-in cabinets in the living room and kitchen that seamlessly blend the two rooms are all good ideas. You could also use ceiling mounted cabinets to keep your floor space free, but do this sparingly or it will take away from the effect you intended when you knocked down the walls. You can also make the most of your kitchen island by choosing one that features drawers, cabinets, and shelves to store your things without compromising your space.
- Choose your kitchen modules with care. An open kitchen spills over into other parts of the house, so noisy appliances and messy cabinets can be disruptive. Choose drawers that close quietly, closed cabinets instead of open storage, and whisper-quiet appliances. If you have something you want to display, like fine china, feel free to choose glass cabinets for that, but keep it tidy.
- Create continuity with your flooring. Choose durable, attractive flooring that’s appropriate for the entire space, for a cohesive look. While some people might consider using different flooring to define the spaces, that generally just disrupts the visual harmony. To warm up the living room, enhance it with a rug.
- Keep your space light and airy. Don’t weigh down your open kitchen with dark, heavy furniture, but stick with modern design and go for clean lines. Pick a light, neutral palette, and pick furniture that’s comfortable but not cumbersome. Maximize natural light to play up the airy feel of your space. And while we’re on the subject of air, make sure you have appropriate ventilation in your kitchen, choosing a quality range hood that’s up to the task of keeping your air fresh and clean.
- Make the color scheme harmonious. Pick a palette you can carry throughout the space, incorporating pops of color in the kitchen. You can choose an interesting backsplash, paint one side of the cabinets in a bold color, or use brightly colored barstools at the breakfast counter or island.
- Design your lighting thoughtfully. The right lighting is crucial to an open kitchen, especially if it’s on the small side. Differentiate your different spaces with diverse lighting, and make sure your kitchen is amply lit in all the spaces where you’ll work or eat.
When you’re ready for a kitchen renovation, Capitol Design Build can help. We’ve been performing custom remodeling since 1989 and building custom, high-end homes in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area for 29 years. We serve businesses and individuals in Virginia, Washington D.C, and Maryland, meeting every need from kitchen renovation and bathroom remodeling to custom home design and building. With experience spanning many disciplines, including engineering, design, remodeling, construction, and customer service, we look forward to working with you. Feel free to shop our website, call us at (703) 436-6919, or contact us online for a free, no-obligation estimate.