Over the past couple of decades there has been an ever-increasing trend of more open space around the kitchen. While there are still plenty of homeowners opting for more separation or closed off space, an increasing majority decides to tear down those walls (being mindful of load bearing walls, of course!) and turn their kitchen, dining area and main living space into one huge room.

If youre trying to determine which is right for you, were here to help. There is no single correct answer, as it is a personal preference first and foremost. Nevertheless, as with many other decisions in life, there are plenty of pros and cons. Listed below are the ones we hear frequently:

OpenKitchen resized 600Why people love open kitchens

A great feeling of relief and freedom occurs to many people that elect to open up their kitchen and other rooms. After feeling closed in for years, it can be exhilarating to achieve a new open floor plan. Heres what many of them say:

  • It makes my home appear larger –Opening your kitchen to the adjacent rooms can certainly give the illusion that your kitchen has growneven if it hasnt. Walls set borders that determine the feeling of size, so removing them makes it less obvious.

  • It keeps things less formal and stuffy – Less privacy, surebut this makes for a more casual feel, which many people find more inviting.

  • Entertaining is a breeze –In an open space, you can add creative guest seating options, and potentially invite twice as many guests or more! As your food is ready, just pass it on over to the guest seating areano walls or doors in the way anymore!

  • Theres more to look at –In a closed space, you may be staring at walls, cabinets and appliances. While those may be beautiful, opening up the space means you can look at what is going on in other rooms as well.

  • My home is much brighter –Light flows not only from your kitchen window and light fixtures, but also from windows in the adjoining rooms; so naturally, things will be brighter.

  • My home design flows more –Continue your flooring, paint colors and style throughout the entire space. No more being limited by constraining walls.

Why you might hesitate to be open

As great as those points seem, not everyone is so quick to take a sledgehammer to the walls of their closed concept kitchen. There are still many challenges that come with designing an open kitchen. Heres what some might say:

  • Tearing down walls gets expensive. Once you begin structural changes, many times the bill begins to climb quickly. If youre on a limited budget you may choose to save your money and focus on updating the cabinets, appliances and countertops only. It all just depends on what is more important to you.

  • My load bearing walls pose an extra challenge. Not every wall can be removed easily and load-bearing walls can only be removed if measures are taken to support the load in its absence. This can be a large expense, and not worth the hassle to many homeowners.

  • Where will I hang my decorations?Without separating walls, there are fewer places to hang your paintings, shelves, and other dcor. Not to mention your new inexpensive 80 flat-screen TV!

  • I dont want to bother everyone else. Noises and smells travel quickly in an open concept space, so if you dont want to bother your family with cooking sounds, etc., thats something to keep in mind. And vice-versa if you dont want the football game, TV shows, or other conversation to distract you in the kitchen, walls can provide desired privacy.

The choice is up to you, but choosing between an open kitchen and a closed kitchen can be difficult. It all comes down to your wants, needs, budget and existing footprint.

Thanks to technology, we can help you see very clearly what an open floor plan will look like in your home. If youre making plans to remodel in the Orlando area, well be happy to help you see your options. Contact usfor an appointment.

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