Open Floorplans Getting Closed Off? Demand Grows for Separate Kitchens

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  1. I have been advocating this for years…I love the idea of a combined kitchen and casual dining area or family room but the formal dining room should be separate. The best argument for separate dining and kitchen is to sit down to dinner (or lunch) without seeing all the work it took to prepare or the work yet remaining to clean-up. Just enjoy the meal and the company!


  2. I agree that there is a certain percentage of the population desiring a separate kitchen area however, in new construction serving both first time homebuyers and empty nesters, I find the younger buyers LOVE our open kitchen/dining/great room concept. I’m curious if there is a demographic tied to this article? Would be interesting to follow. Thank you.

  3. Interesting subject…most of my designs include a formal dining room in addition to the open kitchen, eating family room concept. There are strong arguments for both hence the term ‘formal dining’. Here in Southern California (a real melting pot) I embrace imported customs such as separate cooking or “wok rooms” to control pungent aromas, oils and such. Multiple dishwashers also help with the clutter.
    One important matter is having enough square footage to work these spaces in. I can imagine this is a luxury in most downtown Manhattan apartments and congers up mental images of grand space to the prospective buyer.

  4. Emilie George

    Opened up the walls on my last house, a 70’s split entry, and loved the effect of the open floor plan. Sold that home in February and moved to a condo with a closed kitchen. My first reaction was to open up the floor plan again, but after living here for a few months I’ve changed my mind. Some of my neighbors have opened their kitchen up to the living room/dining room and the rooms always look messy because you can see all the “stuff of life”. My stuff is contained and behind the walls and I love it. Entertaining is a little tricky because people tend to want to stand in my smallish kitchen and talk to me while I cook. I started handing them a cutting board and giving them a job which makes everything more casual and intimate. I agree with the article and adore my “closed off floor plan”!

  5. I’m in No.California. clients here are still looking for the open floor plan. As far as dining room furniture, very few seem attached to their dining room furniture. They are more attached to their giant living room sets and TV’s. I find that most think of a formal dining room as a waste of space.
    I’m sure that these preferences are very tied in with locals. We are a long way from New York.

  6. Alice Moore

    I love a closed-off kitchen and a separate formal dining room. The best is to have a separate eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room so you have a place for formal dinners but also a place for daily meals and visiting children and grandchildren who come to dinner.

  7. James Lucia FAIBD

    We are designing a large number of projects and can say that approximately 2% of our clients are asking for a formal dining room. No clients are requesting a closed in kitchen, all are open to the Great Room and oriented toward the outdoor living, pool and views.

  8. I think this may be a requirement that is driven by location. After living in the Midwest, I grew up with a somewhat formal lifestyle, especially when it came to holidays and entertaining. Now that I am in the Southwest where the weather is usually perfect for out door entertaining, and quite casual, everyone is loving the outdoor /indoor lifestyle and the very open floor plans. I cannot imagine reverting back to little cubicles that are very rarely used when the open floor plan feels so spacious and airy and the spaces are used to the fullest…

  9. I agree with the “open” plan…however, where possible, we add a formal dining. As for the kitchen being open,we always opt for a large kitchen adjoining a large great room to accommodate a big family and lots of friends.

  10. I haven’t noticed an increasing demand for closed kitchens so far

  11. Megan S

    In many areas, including the Seattle metro area, open floor plans have proven to still be in high demand, according to a local home builder:

  12. Alejandro

    I definitely prefer closed concept. I dislike open concepts. I am in my early 40s, and live in Arizona. Originally from Pennsylvania.