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Kitchens – Open Or Closed?

We have given ourselves until 2020 to save up for a new kitchen so recently I’ve been slightly obsessed with saving hundreds of my dream spaces on Pinterest.  Because of our stone walls, we’re limited to working in our current footprint – a 12′ x 12′ room with four walls, one window and two doorways.  We have some great ideas on how to re-arrange the space but it doesn’t make sense to spend a small fortune and months of construction to get the open concept spaces that are so trendy on makeover shows like Fixer Upper (my fave!).  Plus, even though they look stunning in photos and on television, are open concept kitchens practical?

First, everyone can see your stacks of dirty dishes.  I love to cook and I cook with enthusiasm.  By the time I’m done making dinner there are at least a dozen utensils in the sink, dirty pots, pans and bowls not to mention a counter sprinkled with spices, vegetable peels and other remnants.  Luckily, in our house the cook doesn’t do the dishes (hubby grumbles but is a good sport about cleaning up) but I wouldn’t want to sit down to a meal with my family or friends and have them stare at the mess I’ve made while they’re eating.  A separate kitchen space means I can close the door and worry about tidying up after the meal is over.

Also, the process of cooking can get a little smelly – especially if you’re frying something.  I love a delicious piece of fried chicken but that doesn’t mean I want my living room smelling like one.  In an open concept kitchen smells carry to other rooms and are hard to control but in a closed space I can shut the door, open the window and not worry about lingering odors.

Controlling the temperature is easier in the rest of the house too!  When our house was built over 60 years ago no one was planning for air conditioning.  It would have cost a fortune to fit it out with central air so we decided on in-wall split systems instead.  Having a separate kitchen is handy because we can close the door and enjoy cool air in the living room/dining room without worrying about the extra heat generated by the stove.

Finally, sometimes you just want a little piece and quiet.  I love my hubby but we work together which means that at the end of the day we both want our own space.  It’s sometimes nice to close the kitchen door and spend an hour cooking on my own.  That also gives hubby a chance to unwind after a long day in piece and quiet!

That’s not to say open plan kitchens don’t have their benefits!  With a busy household it’s the perfect layout for keeping an eye on the kids while you’re preparing meals.  Plus, in a smaller home it’s a great way to create the impression of bigger spaces.

Leave me a comment below and let us know which kitchen style you prefer!  Need some inspiration?  Below are a few of my favourite spaces.  Don’t forget to Pin YOUR favourite!

Replacing a few upper cabinets with open shelves is a great way to not only show off your pretty cookware but also create the impression of a larger space.

Two is better than one! Using a contrasting colour on the lower cabinets or island is a great way to introduce a bold shade to the kitchen.

Warm it up with wood! Use butcher block counters, wooden shelves or wood beams to add a farmhouse feel to the kitchen.

One of the easiest, fastest and most economical ways to update the kitchen is by replacing old hardware. Why not experiment with fun metals like gold or copper?

Open concept! This kitchen puts everyone in the middle of the action!

Divide and conquer! Even if you don’t have walls you can still separate an open space into “zones” with furniture, lighting and accessories.

Need a little help picking the right paint color for your space? See how my virtual color consulting service can help. Click here to learn more.

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