There are so many design options when it comes to renovating or designing a house, especially downstairs. While you’ll want all the bedrooms and bathroom upstairs to be fully defined and separated, you have a bit more flexibility with the rooms downstairs. Your living room and dining room could open up into one large room, or your kitchen and dining room, your kitchen and your living room, or even all three!

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of having an open plan kitchen merging with your living room and/or dining room.

The pros of open plan kitchens

An open plan kitchen/diner or kitchen/living room can make your home a lot more social. Friends or family members could be relaxing on the sofa watching TV while you cook, allowing you all to socialize and continue spending time together in a comfortable environment. Eaven if you live alone, you can have the TV on in the background while you cook or do the dishes, which makes these tasks more enjoyable if they usually feel like chores to you.

If you live in a small house or apartment, an open plan kitchen can make it feel more spacious and help you make the most of the space. Removing the barriers that are usually put in place by walls opens up the space, making it feel bigger and perhaps giving you more space for furniture and appliances. Having this open space is also likely to make it lighter, and this can also give your room a roomier and airier look and feel. At the same time, this can help you reduce your electricity bills.

The cons of open plan kitchens

There are also downsides of opening up the kitchen into a space where you socialize and relax, too. If someone’s cooking strong-smelling food in the kitchen, such as fish or curries, then there are no barriers to contain these smells to the kitchen, which could be unpleasant for those in the rest of the house.

The same goes for noise carrying from one room to the next. One person might want to listen to music while they cook and the other might be watching TV in the living room, which can be disruptive without a wall dividing the two rooms.

An open plan kitchen/living room/dining room will also give you less wall space due to their literally being fewer walls. This could limit you slightly in terms of decorating as you’ll have less wall space to hang photos and paintings, for example. It could also reduce storage space if you would usually hang shelves or have a storage unit against a wall.

If you’re planning and designing an open plan kitchen, try our kitchen visualizer tool to help you make the important decisions. And contact Amanzi Granite if natural stone countertops, floors, or backsplashes have a place in your open plan kitchen design.