In the past, kitchens were considered utility areas, but today, they’re often showpieces of homes—inviting, beautiful areas that integrate food and entertainment. Unfortunately, many people are still living in outdated homes with kitchens that are tucked away, hidden behind walls, and kept separate from living rooms and entertainment hubs.
“Openness and connection inside the home are so important,” says Robert Clifford, president of Building Pros in Danville. “Homeowners want their kitchens to connect with their living spaces so they can use the whole space as an entertainment area to bring food and family together.”
Real estate and construction experts agree that the preference for open floor plans is more than simply a trend—it’s evidence of a lifestyle shift and is likely to become even more important in the future. So, what should you consider if you live in a home with a closed-off kitchen?
Learn about the pros and cons of combining kitchens and living spaces. Open floor plans combine more than one room to create a larger space with multiple uses. One of the most popular open floor plan formats is a combination kitchen, dining room and living room.
Benefits of open floor plans:
- Better traffic patterns, distribution of natural lighting, and use of kitchens and living rooms.
- Highlight great views, interesting architecture and home features.
- Homes feel bigger without adding square footage.
- More connectedness to family and friends. No one is stuck alone in the kitchen—the lack of barriers lets you cook and clean while keeping up with company, visiting with family, and watching children.
There are plenty of reasons to consider an open floor plan, but they aren’t a good fit for every home. Before making the transition, think about these possible drawbacks to opening up wall space:
There’s less privacy. If you like smaller, quiet spaces, you may not want to combine rooms.
It’s harder to hide or prevent messes. Open format homes make it impossible to close off a messy kitchen or hide the everyday clutter of the living room.
Noise can be a factor. Whether entertaining a large group or immediate family, having no walls means less containment of sound. Kitchen noise will travel to the dining room, and living room sounds can disturb dining space.