By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
Open floorplans have been in high demand in recent years, with buyers showing preferences for open kitchens and dining areas tucked into great rooms. But could that be changing? A New York Times article highlights a “separate kitchen comeback,” as some home owners say they want a more defined space for a kitchen and dining area. More new buildings are opting to feature separate kitchens and formal dining rooms due to a rising demand for separate corridors, according to the article.
Why are some home owners suddenly wanting to close off the interior of their homes again? Some point to a “dirty dishes” driver. Home owners are finding that when entertaining they prefer to have a separate kitchen space so their guests don’t have to see the food being prepared or look at the dirty dishes afterwards.
The separate kitchen and dining space also helps to remove one popular sticking point for home buyers: How to fit their existing dining room table into an open floorplan? “The issue of where to put the dining table kills more deals than anything else in real estate. If a family is moving, the dining table is the one thing they say they can’t part with,” Barbara van Beuren, a managing partner with Anbau Enterprises, told The New York Times. Anbau Enterprises is developing new duplexes in New York City featuring dedicated dining rooms.
For some home owners, they’re preference for separate kitchens is more nostalgic. They desire it because it reminds them of their childhood home.
“So much new construction features open floor plans that there’s a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” broker George Case with Citi Habitats told The New York Times. “They offer charm, they’re better for entertaining, and you don’t have to see your partner first thing in the morning. For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”
Some listing ads are even highlighting homes with a separate dining room, viewing it as a selling point. Some architects also are responding to the increase in demand with what they’re dubbing “hybrid kitchens,” using pocket doors that can be opened or closed to give home owners the option of an open or closed kitchen.