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Kitchens - open plan or traditional?


Kitchens - open plan or traditional?

Your kitchen is probably the busiest room in your house.  It’s the heart of your home - where you congregate for coffee or a meal with family and friends or maybe try out new recipes when you have time.

When thinking about renovating your house it can be hard to decide what type of kitchen would best suit your lifestyle and needs.  Open plan kitchens have become extremely popular over the last few years and the demand for them has gone through the roof. However, you shouldn’t follow trends that don’t fit in with the way you live.

Why choose open plan?

If you spend the majority of your time at home in the kitchen then open plan designs are likely to be the most suitable option for you.  They provide a large space where everyone can spend time together at once.  If you like to entertain informally and chat to your guests whilst cooking this is the perfect space. If you have a young family and need to supervise homework or hobbies whilst making dinner, open plan works really well.  Open plan kitchens have bags of potential you just need to decide what activities you will use your kitchen for besides cooking and eating.

Living in an open plan kitchen

Living in an open plan space means clutter is exposed so if you aren’t the tidiest of people or a messy cook you might want to think carefully before forging ahead with the idea of an open plan kitchen.

Creating an open plan kitchen is likely to be costlier than a traditional closed kitchen.  This is because you will need to reconfigure you downstairs space, usually by knocking through into one or two other rooms and will need to add structural support to any load bearing walls you take down to create your new kitchen. 

This type of work needs to be checked by building control as not only do we need to ensure that the steel supporting the walls above the new kitchen is sufficient to carry the load but also that the work is carried out safely and in accordance with the building regulations.  You can read more on removing internal walls here in our Guide.

One very important point to note is that if you don’t have a closable door between your new kitchen and your staircase you will need to ensure your means of escape is not compromised in the event of a fire or emergency. (Our next blog will cover this issue in more detail.)

Traditional closed kitchens

If you aren’t a keen cook or don’t tend to spend much time in the kitchen preferring to spend time in your living or dining room it might be more beneficial to concentrate your renovation budget in these areas too.  If you prefer to cook without an audience, then a closed kitchen could be for you. If you choose this option beware of the room feeling too closed in and ensure you have thought about making best use of the space, including spending enough time trialling layouts and how lighting will affect different areas of the room.

Our Guide to Renovating your Home has a section on kitchens containing some useful tips on what to consider, whether you are debating an open plan or traditional closed kitchen layout.   

If you’d like to discuss your project in more detail please get in touch with us.


Categories: Blog