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Ask a Designer: Open vs. Traditional Layouts


Have open floor plans replaced traditional kitchen layouts?

It depends on your lifestyle. A lot of clients are getting away from the formal living room, formal dining room, doing more of an open plan. The kitchen’s always the place where people all gather.

Opening it up to the living space is nice. People want their families to be integrated within that. Again, it depends on the household and the area that you’re in in terms of resale value.

For the most part it is nice to open it up. You’re spending the money to create the space and furniture for your kitchen. It’s nice to share it with the rest of the house.

The role of the kitchen has changed dramatically since the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s. Open plan kitchens … the kitchen has truly become a hub of the home if the house is run from that area.

Open plan kitchens are definitely here to stay. Through the design process, one of the things customers should do is spend time thinking about how things are going to work when that final plan is done. It’s a multifunction room now. It’s not just a room where we cook. It is a room where we live.

I would definitely look at the option to take down a wall or put an opening into another room or expand the opening into another room to join the two rooms together; that way families can spend more time together. Mom or dad, whoever’s the cook doesn’t have to be relegated to the kitchen while the rest of the family is in the family room watching television.