Open Kitchen, Yay or Nay?

Open kitchens have been one of the most popular kitchen styles with homeowners for years, and for good reason. They are highly aesthetic and customisable. But they also come with some drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of open kitchens you should consider before taking the plunge.


  1. Aesthetic
    It’s no secret that open kitchens look really good. When done well, they blend in seamlessly with the rest of the home, and give it a larger appearance overall. Kitchen islands especially, which are common in open kitchens, add a touch of luxury and sophistication to the space.


    Image courtesy of Ethereall

  2. Communication
    When everyone is closed off in other rooms, food preparation can become a lonely experience. An open kitchen layout facilitates communication with family and guests, and can also make it easier to keep an eye on kids.
  3. Ventilation and brightness
    Due to their lack of walls, open kitchens are naturally well ventilated, as air is allowed to travel freely through the entire home. They are also likely to be bright, thanks to light coming in from adjacent areas of the house.

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  1. Smells and sounds
    Unfortunately, smells and sounds travel easily from an open kitchen to living and dining areas. If you are set on an open kitchen, invest in a high-quality extractor fan or cooker hood to install above your stove, from brands such as Rinnai and Fujioh. Consider getting hold of noise-free appliances as well to reduce noise pollution across the home.
  2. Renovation
    If you currently have a closed kitchen, switching to an open one will involve heavy renovation work. The removal of walls in an HDB flat will require permits. The work might take a few weeks and will certainly make a mess in your home. Switching back to a closed kitchen will be an equally long-winded process, so make sure you are happy with your decision.
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  4. Visible mess
    If you have a tidy, beautiful open kitchen, you will be proud to show it off. However, if your kitchen is messy, the mess will be visible from other areas of the house. You might come to miss the privacy of a closed kitchen if you ever want to hide what’s inside.

If you love the spaciousness and look of an open kitchen, but don’t want to open it up entirely, consider some in-between options. Installing glass partitions instead of walls will block off smells, dampen noise pollution, but still allow plenty of light. An even niftier alternative is sliding doors. These can disappear into the walls when they are not wanted, but can equally seal off a kitchen when needed.