Which is better: a closed plan or open plan kitchen?

Inspiration Station - Dining Room

industrial dining table and chairs

There are plenty of pros and cons associated with a closed and open plan kitchen, respectively, but, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the options your floor plan grants you as well as personal taste.

A closed plan kitchen is more traditional as each area of the home - be it living, kitchen or dining - is its own unique room, separated by walls. On the other hand, an open plan kitchen is large and limitless, with no walls to section out the different home areas. In these homes, a kitchen and dining room may share one space and, in others, a kitchen, dining and living room become one.

If you’re weighing up the options, here’s some design ideas for you to pluck inspiration from and work out what’s best for you and your family.

Benefits of an open plan kitchen

  1. If you have a small home, open plan kitchens can make your space feel a lot bigger and less restrictive.

  2. Without obtrusive walls, you’re granted space for plenty of furniture - and those larger pieces you’ve had your eye on. Plus, the limitations for how you arrange everything will be almost non-existent.

  3. This kind of arrangement promotes a more sociable home atmosphere with family members able to interact with one another whatever they’re doing. You’ll also have plenty of space to welcome guests.

  4. It’s a modern home design aspect that has a highly contemporary aesthetic with a great line of sight, not only for aesthetic purposes but also to help you keep an eye on the family.

  5. The openness encourages natural light to flow through the home.

Furniture for open plan kitchen with family dining room

Oak table and chairs set in an open plan kitchen

You’ll want a strong, sturdy and impactful dining table to draw focus away from the kitchen. Something like our Crossley dining table will do the trick thanks to its unique contemporary farmhouse look - it’s truly a design statement that will turn heads. The X shape of the legs is featherlight and airy, just the look open plan kitchen-diners should be going for. For a modern twist, pair with our comfortable fabric upholstered Curve Back chairs to complete this pleasing dining setting. Take a look at the dining set here.

Long tables, like our Shay dining table, fill out big open plan spaces. This one is particularly useful as it’s extendable, allowing you to welcome up to eight guests to dine. Cosier rooms, however, would benefit from round dining tables; they’re both practical and elegant. Don’t let a small room suffer from lack of storage, either - there are plenty of small sideboards and console tables# that can effortlessly slot in to tighter spaces, breaking up the layout of the room and creating natural ‘zones’ for living, eating and cooking.

Arranging furniture in an open plan kitchen

open plan living dining room with oak furniture

Make a partition with the dining room table and move it into a bright corner to allow plenty of light to flood in. Make sure to leave plenty of space between your kitchen units and dining table and for a cohesive look, accentuate with matching furniture pieces. - delve into the dressers that accompany all of our ranges and stand them up against an adjacent wall.

Open plan dining/living area furniture

curved modern dining room furniture in open living dining room

If you happen to have a kitchen which integrates into your dining and living area, there are plenty of options when it comes to arranging furniture. Create a sectional seating area that’s separate from where you eat and face your sofa away from the kitchen so you’re not distracted by whatever creative creations are being cooked. This will help establish a living area that’s still calming despite its proximity to the kitchen. Corner sofas are useful as they’re natural separators that carve out room for a functional corner, else use a two or three seater sofa and offset with a matching armchair.

No matter the size or shape of your open plan space, it’s important to remember that pulling your furniture right up against the wall will make everything feel too sparse. Leave a bit of space between your furniture and walls to increase the airflow in the room - you’ll be surprised to know it actually increases the feeling of spaciousness.

Benefits of a closed dining room

  • It’s more private and cosy. We all want some alone time every once in a while, plus doors allow for quiet and the ability to lock away your dirty dishes for another day.
  • You have to think less about how you want your space to look as your walls do the work for you. They also allow artwork and photos to hang.
  • Rooms have more purpose and give you the chance to experiment with completely contrasting design schemes: you won’t have to worry if that accent chair you fell in love with doesn’t match your breakfast bar.
  • Small spaces are easier to climate control, so you’ll save money on energy bills when heating or cooling your home.

Closed dining room furniture

Oak and grey painted dining table with bench and chairs

For maximum use of the room, use an extendable dining table that only takes up space when you need it to. For everyday use, it can be folded away with the flick of a wrist without swallowing up the room. Alternatively, maximise space using a round dining table for an intimate dining setting. For something more informal with the ability for flexibility, try a solid hardwood bench for a relaxed look that the whole family will love. Plus, you’ll find so many uses for the benches throughout all the rooms of your home.

Explore our dining room furniture today and browse all our seating, sideboards, console tables and more to find pieces that are a perfect fit in your dream home.

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