Keeping Walls, Breaking Trends

Let’s talk about this. It might make many of you uncomfortable. Maybe you saw it on TV and got sucked into the light and freedom of it. Maybe you went to a friend’s house and they encouraged you to do it. Possibly, you could have been attracted to these three little words on a shiny piece of new construction. OPEN FLOOR PLAN. I get it. Really, I get it. You have kids and you want to be able to make dinner while watching them watch TV, and soon after watch them eat at the table. You can also see who is at the front door and the backdoor.  You don’t even have to leave your post behind the stove and between the sink.  However, I do not find anything chic about the convenience of an open floor plan. In fact, you are doing yourself a disservice if you like design (If you are reading this I am assuming you do).

I spoke of this in just a small comment at the end of my last post. The comments I received from readers were very reaffirming. Think about going to a restaurant- do you ever get annoyed sitting at the table right by the kitchen door? I do. It makes me wonder why it is so common in our homes. Do we not we deserve peaceful meals? Do you want guests to see the mess of your kitchen preparations in the same eye line of your beautifully set dining room table? Do you really want to display your china cabinet in your living room? Do you really want to walk in the front door and see straight into your kitchen and the backyard? Do you not want the mere privacy of being able to close the door to a room? I would hope your answer is no.

We’ve become so engrained with the concept that the open floor plan is a positive thing. Like I mentioned above, it does have it’s benefit, but to me it is lacking. It is lacking intimacy, poise, and genuine purpose. This article from the BBC says it all, so does this article from Yahoo, and so does this article from Slate. I will quote them below. Really, I am just happy to know I am not alone in this trend to kill the open floor plan. Mr. Builder- do NOT tear down this wall!

Pictures of some of my favorite closed kitchens below.

“…here is one distressingly popular design choice that has spread throughout HGTV’s stable of shows like black mold through a flooded basement, and I can no longer abet its growth by keeping silent. I’m talking about the baneful scourge that is the “open-concept kitchen.”- Slate Article

 

kitchen via AD

I love the simplicity and thoughtful detail of this kitchen, from the exposed shelving on the island to the splash of windows above the second area of the kitchen. A functional and chic enclosed space. Via AD

 gray and white cabinets in kitchen via house beautiful

I love the color combination of this kitchen. Very sophisticated gold hardware and a walk-in pantry that is worthy of praise. Via House Beautiful

Kitchen by Alexa Hamton via AD

 

“Oh and did you know the open-plan kitchen can lead to uncontrolled snacking and is perhaps to blame for the recent obesity epidemic? It also encourages shouting; who needs to walk to the next room and merely talk when you can stand still and yell at the top of your lungs to announce dinner?” – BBC ARTICLE

 

Kitchen by Mick de Giulio via AD

Entering the kitchen through a pair of doors, love that. A clever way to display pots and pans. Mick de Giulio via AD

Kitchen by Suzanne Kasler via AD

Beautiful enclosed kitchen. Love the siding all around the room. Suzanne Kasler via AD

 

“If I can see my kitchen all the time, I can’t relax,” Roxanne said. “When someone walks in the kitchen, I’ll impulsively start wiping down the counter, even if it’s already clean. An open kitchen is very impressive looking – but it really depends on how you’re living.” –Yahoo Article

 

Kitchen via Veranda

Pretty enclosed hues via Veranda

 

9 thoughts on “Keeping Walls, Breaking Trends

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Christina. I’ve been saying this for the last 15 to 20 years, at least. There is nothing wonderful about living your daylight hours in one big room, basically. That’s what people did in caveman days. We don’t have to do that now. We have bedrooms, bathrooms and even laundry rooms. Rooms each have a purpose, and shouldn’t overlap. A room for living, a room for dining and a room for cooking. That is all right and good. Let’s go back to being civilized, shall we?

  2. Well, again, feel I want to leave a reply! I love this post, and I love the kitchen in the top picture. And while I think the kitchen in the third picture down is lovely obviously, if it were mine I, too, would be wiping down counters 24/7 to keep it looking like that since it’s open to what I assume is the front of the home. I do try to keep my kitchen tidy, but my kitchen is the “heart” of our home, and my island is unfortunately the catch-all of mail, my teenage sons’ things, drinking glasses, etc. Then you throw in any dishes that haven’t been immediately put in dishwasher, the toaster and blender that’s still out from breakfast; well, you get the picture! Again, not a view I want seen from the front door!:) Oh, and we can’t forget my little dog’s food and water dishes!! Don’t want those in the dining room!

  3. I am a twenty-something design enthusiast and I 100% agree! I’ve been saying this since I was in college and living in an “open concept” apartment where if you wanted any privacy you either had to go to your room or leave the apartment. Now that I’m at the point of buying a home and really settling in, I’m completely turned off by new houses and trendy renovations boasting of an “open concept.” I like my privacy! And I’m a messy cook, so I don’t want my guests to see a messy kitchen at dinner parties nor do I want to spend extra time cleaning the kitchen before guests arrive. I’m glad to see others who are feeling the same way.

  4. Could not agree with you more!!! There is nothing more lovely than a beautiful dining room table – not to mention the conversation that comes from sitting around a table – away from THE KITCHEN!!! – well said!

  5. Could not agree with you more!!! There is nothing more lovely than a beautiful dining room table – not to mention the conversation that comes from sitting around a table – away from THE KITCHEN!!! – well said!

  6. I will never forget the first time I walked into a newly built luxury home that had an open concept. All I could think about was if you were entertaining and the kitchen was open to the dining area- how on earth do you keep all the clutter out of sight. Much less how to keep the caterer hidden. I thought it was some builder guy’s brilliant idea since obviously no woman would ever think of it. The only exception I understand is if you have little ones and your kitchen is too small for them to join you, it makes sense to be able to see them at all times. ( I raised my children with the help of a playpen.) You are so right about the noise too- nothing like boisterous echoing. I understand the formal living and dining areas… they always are presentable when you have someone drop over. Thank you for the post.

  7. Well, I admit, I like both. I am building my own house and had a long debate about this… Actually decided to have a separate dining room away from the kitchen for reasons you listed above and the kitchen is separated from the living room via a fireplace like in Patina Farms book. I think the open concept is incredibly difficult to decorate plus you have less walls to hang “stuff”… And agreed, makes for yelling, but also nice because the cook can partake in the party and not hide… Pros and cons for both, I really like the one you show above with the door!

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