An open and closed affair

An open and closed affair

design Both open and closed kitchens have their pros and cons. The preference depends on your living style, says Sudha Jain

An open and closed affair

Kitchen forms the most integral part of any household. No house can be complete without a kitchen for we all need to eat, don’t we?  As technology advances, so do kitchen design and efficiency. You can either go for an open kitchen or a closed one.

An open or closed kitchen really depends on what role you want the kitchen to play in your home. An open kitchen is best if the kitchen plays a big role in the living and lounging part of your life. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, or while preparing food you want everyone in the living area to be able to connect and communicate, then open kitchen is ideal for you. So if you love to cook dinner for friends and entertain at home, you would want an open kitchen. That way you can remain social throughout the evening. It suits our modern sensibilities because you can entertain guests and cook at the same time. So, be dressed for the evening and still carry on with your work.

Especially if you have a nuclear family, you can keep an eye on your household or your toddlers while cooking in the kit­chen. This way accidents can be avoided.
If most of your time is spent in the kitchen, open kitchens save you from isolation. You can keep an eye on things around you and also make chit chats with your family or friends.

This style of kitchen without walls gives you more space at home. The physical absence of walls makes it spacious to move around. Mentally, it gives you the illusion of space. It is ideal for small apartments as they bring the light in, make the area look spacious.

 If you have lots of stylish crockery, then a kitchen without walls is just right for you. You can display all your cut glasses and fine plates on the kitchen shelves. Open kitchens provide space for interaction with the living area of the apartment creating a harmonious living, cooking, eating, wine drinking and socialising environment.

An open kitchen does add drama and excitement and adds to the ambience of the space but there are a number of pitfalls that you have to be careful about. Kitchens can provide the wrong entertainment too! Kitchens on a busy day can get a bit dis­h­e­velled, littered with a mess of dirty pots and pans, so extra attention must be paid to keep things at all times. So in an open environment, the kitchen becomes part of the décor. This means that the kitchen must be spotless at all times. You would not want your messy kitchen to be on permanent display during dinner parties. If you are the kind to keep the cleaning of yo­ur mess for after the meals are over, then open kitchen does pose a challenge for you.

Often there are kitchens with no ventilation to the outside. As a result any smoke or grease just re-circulates. Especially in Indian homes where we use lot of spices, oil and make paranthas and onion salads, this can be very unnerving .Who wants the smell wafting into the next room?

Kitchens are noisy places, what with chopping and sizzling and the thumping and clinking of pots and utensils. All of that noise can be pretty annoying to whoever is trying to watch TV or listen to music in the living room. Open kitchens do not always give you that peace or quiet.

A closed kitchen gives you privacy and you can be working any which way without having to worry about cleaning immediately or the noises that your pots and pans would make. If you like to work in isolation and keep your space a little private, closed kitchen is just right for you. You can have your helpers or cooks work in the kitchen without listening in to your conversation and guests do feel comfortable that way. Cooking can go on discreetly while you entertain guests in the living room.

Both open and closed kitchens have their pros and cons. The preference depends on your living style. For small families and bachelors, open kitchens work well as you can feel a part of all that is happening around you. Whereas in a larger family, when there’s some cooking always happening, closed kitchens are preferable.