For centuries kitchens were closed off from the rest of the house and were considered strictly a workspace.

Today, that’s all changed and it’s safe to say that most homes built in the past 10-15 years have an “open concept” kitchen, usually adjoining a family room or a dining room. Closed kitchens are considered passé — or are they?

A New Debate Rages

Lately, the idea of a closed kitchen is gaining favor among traditionalists, those who like to keep their cooking messes out of view of their guests, and those who aren’t thrilled about cooking smells wafting willy-nilly through their homes. Could it be that we’re witnessing the beginnings of a shift back to the kitchens of yore? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each. See if you can decide what side you’re on in the great open vs. closed kitchen debate!

The Open Kitchen

Open kitchens, as mentioned, are the epitome of modern style today, but they don’t necessarily work for every type of home. If you’re a purist, for example, and living in a 1930’s-style bungalow, an open kitchen would seem a bit odd and out of character for your home. On the other hand, if you’re living in a modern, open-concept home with cathedral ceilings and a zillion windows, a closed-off kitchen might seem out-of-place.

On the plus side, open kitchens let you have conversations with guests (or family) who are sitting in the family room, and they show off your beautiful cabinets and fancy appliances to everyone entering the house.

The downside, of course, is that everybody can also see dirty pots and pans in the sink, fingerprints on the fridge, and detect the lingering smell of the fish you cooked for lunch. It also means that family and guests will congregate at the island, which is a prerequisite in most open kitchens. Now that’s probably a good thing if you’re good at multi-tasking and can carry on a conversation and still pay attention to preparing a meal. Not everybody can.

The Closed Kitchen

It’s expensive to “open up” a closed kitchen, and many a homeowner has done just that after buying a house with a closed kitchen. If you didn’t spend the money tearing down walls (which involves electrical, plumbing and structural work), you could spend that money on nicer cabinets, counter tops and appliances. You could put in that pantry you’ve always wanted. Plus, you can make a mess and nobody has to see it except you, and smells will be less likely to infiltrate the rest of the house.

The main downside is that you’ll be stuck in the kitchen listening to the muffled laughter of your guests and the rest of your family in the next room!

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, your kitchen layout — open or closed — is a personal choice. If you’re the social, gregarious type, you’ll probably prefer an open plan. If you like to concentrate on your cooking and don’t feel comfortable viewing the kitchen mess while you dine, a closed kitchen is probably the better choice for you!

Whether your kitchen is open or closed when the time comes to install new cabinets, contact us at Edgewood Cabinetry in Clayton, North Carolina. We build and install the finest custom cabinetry, wall pantries, islands and more in all of Eastern North Carolina!