Kitchen/living room area, work kitchen or open kitchen: what suits me best?
If you follow residential publications and housing catalogues, there are only open plan kitchens. With that said, other variants have their advantages: you can potter about in peace in a work kitchen while a kitchen/living room area makes an unbeatable cosy family room. Which is best for me?
For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It is where food is cooked and often eaten as well as a spot for chatting, daily activity planning and even debating. The type of kitchen which best suits you remains a decision for you and you alone, not interior designers from magazines and exhibitions. What looks charming in a picture may not be the best solution for your needs.
The open plan kitchen
In this concept which is currently very popular, living and dining rooms seamlessly blend into the kitchen. There is nothing separating the cook from his guests except for sometimes a half-height kitchen range or island in between. Those who tinker have a dining table and a television in sight and can chat with guests while seasoning the food. A feast for expressive people which is meant as much for distraction as it is inspiration. The disadvantage is obvious: the Coq au Vin will no longer be a surprise once finished and the smells waft up into the curtains (unless, of course, you treat yourself to a special downdraft ventilation system that also functions without the bothersome hood). In addition, there is no peace and quiet on the sofa in the evening to read or watch the tele if someone else is loading the dishwasher within sight and earshot.
The living room/kitchen area
Kitchens are the epitome of comfort and of rural romance – the centre of a lively family life. This is where you bake with love while your son does his homework and your daughter opens up about a budding relationship. It’s where to throw the best parties! And after it’s over, everyone can gather around the table to enjoy a torte or spaghetti. Marvellous, isn’t it? To be perfectly honest, there may be a few guests who don’t particularly care for the sight of leftover food on the stove and sitting where garlic was minced or fish was steamed only minutes before. A clear separation between work and leisure or specifically indulgence can be a beautiful thing.
The work kitchen
This model is designed from a practical point of view, features plenty of storage and work space and is fully furnished. A dining table, curtains, or other dust collectors are all for naught. The person pottering about in this kitchen appreciates certain conventions and enjoys shutting the door behind him. Noise and odours stay put, no one catches sight of food on dirty dishes and the living room is exactly that. The downside? Work takes place far from all other goings on. The cook keeps his own company while the rest of the family or guests do the same.
Which of the three concepts best suits you? Consider which requirement is the most important to you: contact with family and guests while cooking and a generous use of space. This speaks to the open kitchen. Or would you simply like to close the door behind you at times? In that case, the work kitchen and living room/kitchen area would be better options. Sometimes certain advantages may also be combined by installing a sliding door between the kitchen and dining area.