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Open Versus Closed Kitchen: How to Make The Right Design Choice?

Deciding on the layout and interior design concept for your kitchen in your very first home? Not sure whether the newly popular open kitchen concept or the classic closed kitchen layout would be more suitable for your needs?

Well, to help you make a practical decision, our team at Redbrick Homes has helped to compile some of the important considerations that you need to keep in mind when making this decision. 

Ready to make the right kitchen design choice? Scroll on to learn more.

Open Versus Closed Kitchen

Before we jump into the considerations, we just want to make sure we are all on the same page when we use the respective terms “open kitchen” and “closed kitchen”.

Open kitchens as their name suggests are all about an open layout – where there are usually minimal wall structures, and a sense of spaciousness with visibility of other parts of the home.

A closed kitchen, on the other hand, is the exact opposite – where the kitchen is typically enclosed and separated from the other living spaces by walls.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let’s start reviewing the considerations that could influence your choice of kitchen interior design.

Space

A defining feature, the lack of walls in an open kitchen, helps to make a space look brighter and as a result roomier than it is. Hence, when it comes to spaciousness or rather the illusion of space, the open kitchen concept is a clear winner – particularly in HDB flats which are commonly quite small.

However, if we are talking about storage space, then a closed kitchen has a bigger advantage. With more walls, you will be able to build top as well as bottom storage compartments to hold all your kitchen appliances and equipment compared to an open kitchen that is typically limited to bottom storage cabinets only.

Style of Cooking

When it comes to kitchen design, one of the most important questions you have to deliberate on is, “What is your style of cooking?”

Do you enjoy preparing meals with strong smells, involve a lot of deep-frying, or involve very noisy kitchen appliances? 

If the answer is yes to any of the factors, then perhaps a closed kitchen might be more suitable to help keep the cooking smells, oil fumes, and noise from spreading to other parts of the house.

With a closed kitchen, these cooking externalities are easily confined within the kitchen space and clean-up will be limited to the kitchen. However, with an open kitchen, you may end up finding your soft furnishings smelling funky or feeling grimy to the touch over time. 

Interior Design Firm: Crescendo

Private Vs. Public 

Do you prefer a private space where you can prepare your meals in peace and quiet away from the rest of the family? And do you prefer to keep the messiness of what goes on in the kitchen tucked away behind a door?

If so, then you might prefer a closed kitchen. With different personal habits and preferences, some might enjoy the seclusion that a closed kitchen offers, whilst others might desire the ability to carry on conversations or mingle with guests while in the midst of meal preparation.

So, the question to ask here is which is your personal preference?

Safety Considerations

When it comes to kitchen safety, both open and closed kitchens have their disadvantages.

For open kitchens, due to the open layout, there are many entry points into the kitchen and as such may be more difficult to childproof – and as such a more worrying aspect for families with younger kids.

Whereas for closed kitchens, because of the enclosed space, if you are preparing a meal in the kitchen, you will not be able to keep an eye on your kids who might be somewhere else in the house.

Interior Design Firm: Idfferent Design

Space

A defining feature, the lack of walls in an open kitchen, helps to make a space look brighter and as a result roomier than it is. Hence, when it comes to spaciousness or rather the illusion of space, the open kitchen concept is a clear winner – particularly in HDB flats which are commonly quite small.

However, if we are talking about storage space, then a closed kitchen has a bigger advantage. With more walls, you will be able to build top as well as bottom storage compartments to hold all your kitchen appliances and equipment compared to an open kitchen that is typically limited to bottom storage cabinets only.

Interior Design Firm: Studio Two

Your Overall Home Design 

How does your kitchen concept work with the rest of your home design? While the kitchen is one of the important spaces in a home, when it comes to interior design, it is usually considered as a whole with the rest of the other living spaces.

If you are going for an overall open concept throughout the house, then it would make sense to consider an open kitchen for a consistent look and feel.

Alternatively, if you are looking to create separate living spaces, then a closed kitchen would work well for that purpose.

Budget

Depending on whether you are renovating a new BTO or an existing resale flat with a closed kitchen, you may need to spend quite a bit of money to achieve your ideal kitchen concept.

For instance, if your BTO does not come with any structural walls for the kitchen, then it would be cheaper to build an open kitchen since building up a wall structure for a closed kitchen would cost a lot more.

In contrast, if you are renovating a resale flat with a closed kitchen, it is cheaper to stick with a closed concept as hacking away the wall alone costs anything starting from  $600 (depending on the wall length and thickness).

In short, any structural changes will definitely increase your renovation costs, so where possible look for alternatives like glass walls or a separate kitchen island as a middle ground.

Which works better for you

At the end of the day, there is no one right answer for everyone. Instead, choosing between these two popular concepts is dependent entirely on what you value most.

Is it privacy for your meal preparations that you value above all? Or is it having a lot of storage space for your kitchen equipment?

Still cannot decide? Perhaps you can consider a hybrid solution? With glass or foldable partitions in place of walls, a semi-open kitchen concept offers you both the benefits of an open and closed kitchen all at the same time.

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