Open floor plans are trendy right now, and open kitchens have had the spotlight for a while. In fact, open kitchens have become so popular during the past few years that I can almost guarantee that they will be here to stay.

Keep in mind that open floor plans obviously don’t work for every house, and an open kitchen isn’t always a great idea. If you’re renovating an old home that was designed with a closed kitchen in mind, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to change it or if you should go with the cards you’ve been dealt. There’s a good argument for both sides of this problem, and taking each side into consideration can help you make better decisions as to whether you should or shouldn’t open up a kitchen in a renovation.

Keeping It Closed

Perhaps the most compelling reason to keep a closed kitchen in a renovation is the cost. The kitchen is already going to be the most expensive renovation project in the whole house. Do you want to tack on additional costs for knocking out walls, refinishing entryways, and redoing plumbing?

Another reason to maintain the kitchen’s current layout is for privacy’s sake. If you aren’t able to finish the dishes right after dinner, then you know one benefit of a closed kitchen. With a closed kitchen, you will be able to entertain guests in the living room and dining room without the guests seeing a stack of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

Of course, a closed kitchen does come with disadvantages. A closed kitchen means access to the dining room is limited, and so is the space in the kitchen. Many older homes have spacious dine-in kitchens that won’t suffer from the close quarters, but others have smaller kitchens that don’t afford the luxury of a breakfast nook or a kitchen table.

Opening Your Kitchen Up

While opening one or more walls of a kitchen can add expense to your renovation, it can add space and light to the kitchen and to the dining room or living room area. In fact, you may not even have to knock out a whole wall to achieve this feeling. You may just be able to knock out the top half and install a breakfast bar where you can enjoy a morning coffee and cereal before heading off to work.

Open kitchens create a warm and welcoming feeling. They make any space feel larger, and they offer more room for kitchen tables, nooks, and other casual dining areas. Plus, with an open kitchen, if you have a few friends over for a party, there will be more open space for everyone to spread out and relax.

Where Is the Kitchen?

As you apply these ideas to your next renovation project, think about where the kitchen is situated in the house. If it’s central to the living room and dining room, it could be converted to an open kitchen pretty easily. If it’s in the back corner of the house, though, opening it may just make the space look unfinished.

Try to picture the floor plan of the house with an open and closed kitchen. Then consider whether or not it will feel out of place, and if it will actually add value to the house if the kitchen is open. If the renovation doesn’t add value, you will want to look at other places where you can spend your money.