Individuals and families have their homes partially or completely renovated for an enormous variety of reasons, but renovations and modifications for the kitchen are a particularly popular choice, and many homeowners choose to have their kitchens renovated with the aim of creating a more open plan space for their cooking, dining and entertaining. An open plan kitchen never really goes out of style, but there is also substance to go along with this style, and converting your ordinary kitchen to an open plan kitchen can have numerous practical benefits.
However, there are also a few drawbacks associated with open plan kitchens, and they may not be the best choice for every home. To help you decide before you begin an expensive and time-consuming renovation, keep the following pros and cons of open plan kitchens in mind:
What are the advantages of converting my kitchen into an open plan kitchen?
Makes the most of limited space
Many homeowners who have their kitchens converted into open plan arrangements will tell you that they never realised their homes contained so much space before. Opening up the space between your kitchen and dining area, even by knocking out a single wall or room divider, can massively increase the amount of space available to you, even in more compact homes. Your newfound freedom of movement in the opened space will make it feel even larger.
Increased natural light
With less barriers to block it, natural flight can flood your newly opened kitchen, even if your windows are modest in size. This can significantly reduce your reliance on natural light (and the energy that powers it), and can also have numerous mental and physical health benefits associated with increased exposure to sunlight.
Open plan kitchens are particularly prized when it comes to holding dinner parties, as the flowing, unobstructed space allows a host to keep their diners entertained and their food from burning simultaneously. They are useful to the parents of young children for the same reasons, allowing them to keep an eye on their children while they cook -- a very useful ability if your kids are picky eaters.
What about the disadvantages of open plan kitchen conversions?
May be limited by structural design
All of these advantages assume that you are actually able to achieve the open plan design you desire for your kitchen, and some kitchens are surrounded by essential load-bearing walls that cannot be safely removed. In some cases, they can be replaced with load-bearing pillars, which still open up your kitchen without compromising structural integrity, but these conversions can be expensive.
Sounds and smells carry
Open plan kitchens can also be more of a hassle than a help if people in your family tend to use the kitchen at all hours. No walls means that both sounds and smells can carry much farther throughout your home, and a midnight snack that may have gone unnoticed before can wake you up if cooked in a well-ventilated, poorly-soundproofed open plan kitchen.