Why the Open Concept Kitchen Is So Popular

Why the Open Concept Kitchen Is So Popular

The convenience and comfort of an open-concept kitchen are heavily sought after in the modern house plan. For most people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s not just where food is created and consumed; the kitchen is one of the most used areas in a house. Families tend to congregate in the kitchen to converse and socialize, making this room just as important as a living room.

 

What Does an Open-Concept Kitchen Mean?

Creating the best kitchen in your new home is essential to the cohesiveness of the rest of the house. Open-concept kitchens are a good option because they flow effortlessly into the living room, the dining room, and any other accompanying areas, such as a hearth room or a breakfast nook. A typical floor plan traditionally included far more walls than current, modern home designs. Kitchens were normally closed off from the rest of the house for many reasons, such as keeping cooking smells and sounds confined inside the room. These closed-off kitchens also eliminated any chance of guests seeing a messy kitchen. However, open-concept kitchens aim to eliminate any physical barriers like walls and doors, creating an adjoining flow between the kitchen and living areas. This design style promotes a sense of spaciousness and connectivity throughout the home.  

 

 

What is the Opposite of an Open-Concept Kitchen?

In contrast to an open concept,  a closed-concept kitchen is characterized by having physical barriers like walls and doors. This concept is designed to enclose the kitchen and make it feel like a separate space. Some individuals prefer this design layout as it creates a more defined and private kitchen environment. 

 

Key features of a closed-concept kitchen include: 

  • A designated entrance or doorway
  • A clear separation between the kitchen and other parts of the home
  • Offers more privacy for cooking activities and may help contain cooking smells and noises within the kitchen space
  • Typically seen in traditional homes vs. modern layouts

Open Concept Kitchen vs. Closed Concept Kitchen

But is an open kitchen concept better? Well, that largely depends on your individual needs. On one hand, a traditionally closed-off kitchen offers more privacy. That’s a major benefit if you’re the type that likes to concentrate on preparing a good meal without the distraction from adjoining rooms. On the other hand, by utilizing a more open-concept layout centered around the kitchen, you may reap benefits that fit your family’s needs more than a traditional layout. 

 

Whether it’s a small open-concept kitchen or a large one, the reasons people love these layouts include:

  • More useable space because unnecessary walls aren’t included
  • The kitchen feels larger without walls closing it in
  • Increased space for family gatherings and entertaining friends
  • Creates one continuous flow
  • Allows for communication throughout the open floor plan
  • Easier to keep the kitchen cool while cooking 
  • Can cook and socialize with your friends and family at the same time
  • Without walls, it creates a brighter kitchen with more natural light
  • Parents can see their children throughout the open floor plan

The features of open-concept kitchens make this layout highly beneficial for some families. Implementing an open-concept kitchen allows for a more family-friendly environment where the person cooking can chat with family members, watch television, and be a part of the gathering, all while cooking a meal. There are multiple areas in the kitchen and surrounding areas that make an open-concept kitchen an amazing option for a well-thought-out and comfortable area.

 

Why The Working Triangle Is Still Important?

Creating an effective and efficient layout in your kitchen is essential to getting the most out of the space. Have you ever heard of the working triangle? As you prepare a meal, you primarily use the sink, refrigerator, and stove the most. Look at your current kitchen or your favorite house plan and imagine a triangle connecting the fridge with the sink and the stove. Ideally, you want an equilateral working triangle, and if yours seems more like an isosceles triangle, that layout is not as efficient as it could be.

Having all three areas close together allows you to cook in the easiest way possible with the fewest steps. If the refrigerator is on the other side of the room from the sink and stove, you will waste a lot of collective time walking to and from the refrigerator. That is why creating a working triangle in the kitchen is so important.

As you look at your favorite house plan, are these high-traffic areas close enough and in the correct places to give you that working triangle? If not, use our modification services to rearrange your kitchen and create the most effective layout possible. 

 

Working Triangle

With Plan 5032-00151, you’ll find an open-concept kitchen with an island and cathedral ceilings throughout. A working triangle connects the sink, refrigerator, and oven to offer the easiest and best layout for a kitchen. 

 

Working triangle in kitchen

In Plan 963-00627, there is a large open-concept kitchen that looks out into the dining room and great room. This plan also has a working triangle with the refrigerator and stove on one wall and the sink on the island. Such a helpful layout makes cooking easy! 

 

Kitchen Islands in An Open-Concept Kitchen

 

Nothing is more essential to creating the working triangle than a kitchen island. Its multifunctional purpose forges a deeper, more efficient, and effective layout within the kitchen by providing more space and opportunity for you to include extra features. In the past, kitchen islands were considered luxury additions that most kitchens did not automatically include. Nowadays, including a kitchen island in your floor plan is fairly normal and essential for a well-thought-out and efficient kitchen. 

 

 

 

With an open concept, large kitchen islands don’t feel as cumbersome or intrusive as they might with a more traditional, closed-off kitchen. Instead, they define the kitchen, add extra storage and counter space, and create a hub for your family. The options for kitchen islands are endless, from a butcher block kitchen island to a granite waterfall kitchen island. Or go the farmhouse route with a shiplap kitchen island! Having a kitchen island with stools also allows you to host and converse with family and friends while you cook. This beautiful element can add style and functionality to your kitchen!

 

Double Islands

Two is often more convenient for larger kitchens than one – and double islands prove it. This beneficial layout offers tons of counter space and storage for large families who love to entertain or share the kitchen with more than one cook. Creating a double island kitchen is a unique layout that isn’t featured in many house plans but can be incredibly useful when included. Imagine family holidays and how helpful a second island would be to house all the food and drinks. Even though there aren’t many house plans with this feature, you can absolutely add a second kitchen island using our affordable modification services

 

Pantries

Homeowners are more likely than ever to include a pantry in their kitchens. A pantry to house food and appliances is just as essential as the working triangle for a well-thought-out kitchen. In fact, perhaps it should be the working rectangle because a pantry needs to be as close to the fridge, sink, and stove as possible for an easier, more efficient way to cook.

 

Walk-In Pantries

What’s more, walk-in pantries are commonly found in our floor plans. With the goal of efficiency and convenience in mind, walk-in pantries add a load of storage and assist with keeping your kitchen organized, making it your new best friend! Their built-in cabinetry often allows for food storage as well as cookware or cleaning products. You can also add a secondary fridge in the pantry to give your family even more food storage space. Many of our floor plans even include hidden pantries where the entire pantry looks like the cabinetry but really rotates around to reveal a full-functioning pantry. 

 

Another type of pantry that is finding its way into modern kitchens is a butler’s pantry. Once a common amenity found in larger or luxurious homes, a butler’s pantry has become a modern homeowner’s answer to a smart and strategic storage solution. But what is a butler’s pantry exactly? Think of it as a supersized pantry located between the kitchen and dining room.

 

The difference between a butler’s pantry and a regular pantry is that instead of mainly storing food, they are typically used for storing and setting the dining room. The space is useful for storing silverware, fine china, wine glasses, table linens, and small kitchen appliances like air fryers or crockpots. There is also countertop space that is often used for prepping food, making this design feature the perfect luxurious amenity for the average home. 

 

 

Breakfast Nooks

While dining rooms are located in some of our house plans, a lot of our home designs include a more modern area – the breakfast nook. This smaller space is located near the kitchen and is perfectly sized for sharing a meal with family. Creating an open-concept kitchen allows those in the breakfast nook to interact with anyone in the kitchen, adding to the ability to converse and entertain family and guests while you cook.

A modern breakfast nook is usually built in the back of the home, surrounded by windows, so you are graced with natural light and views of the backyard while you eat your meal; many consider it a breakfast table nook. The harmony between the window views, family space, proximity to the kitchen, and natural light offers the best of all worlds, which is why many modern homeowners prefer this feature. 

 

 

Keeping Rooms or Hearth Rooms

What is a Hearth room? A keeping room or hearth room is a small lounging space off of the kitchen, typically with a fireplace. Hearth rooms are not common in many modern house plans, but the space is nostalgic for times past when family members would lounge in the keeping room by a fire, while watching and conversing with the person cooking the meal. Remember, traditional kitchens were closed off, and therefore, these rooms brought comfort during cold, wintery days while also keeping the cook entertained with company.

 

Are open-concept kitchens going out of style?

In decades past, kitchens followed a more traditional layout with walls that kept the cook and the smells of their culinary creations from creeping outside the kitchen. Keeping the living room free of cooking smells is far less important in modern times. Nowadays, homeowners are more inclined to choose an open-concept kitchen that allows everyone to join the cook as they create dinner. This layout encourages participation, entertainment, and gathering around the kitchen island, the hearth room, or the breakfast nook.

As you search through our house plans, you will find many kitchens follow the popular open-concept layout. Though we have many traditional kitchen house plans, if you have found a plan with an open-concept kitchen and would like to close it off, remember modifying our plans is quick and easy.

 

Brandon Hall
Brandon Hall

Our "go to guy" and company expert, Brandon is the visionary and dreamer of all we do here at America's Best House Plans. He manages quality assurance, audits existing processes for maximum effectiveness, and develops strategies to increase productivity and efficiency. With over 15 years experience in the home design industry, Brandon has a hand in every aspect of the day-to-day operations of our company, in addition to ensuring an unparalleled level of service to our customers.

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