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Bye Bye Open Kitchen: Closed Kitchens Make a Comeback

Closed kitchen viewOpen kitchen design vs closed, you decide

For years the open kitchen has been touted as the best kind; something every house should have, but today, closed kitchens are making a comeback. This is just another example of how everything comes full circle in design. Countless walls have been knocked down as a result, and it’s increasingly rare to find newer houses that don’t have kitchens open to some kind of adjoining family room. But lately, I’ve been reading about the benefits of the closed kitchen.

The closed kitchen used to be designed so the smell of dinner (or lunch, or breakfast) wouldn’t go through the entire house when you were cooking. We all know that today it’s very en vogue to have kitchens open to the den so everyone can watch you cooking, but now designers are rethinking this choice. Even the New York Times did a story on the new/old trend.

It is a personal preference, but designers are saying homeowners are beginning to complain about the huge, open interiors that can be found in almost every home that’s been built in the last 10+ years. They say a big kitchen is great, but they don’t want this area open to the family room, or any other room in the house, for that matter.

Decades ago, the eat-in kitchen with the dining table set in the middle of the space was commonplace, but over time and with our desire for more storage, it was replaced. You can still get that open feel and abundant storage but within the walls of your closed kitchen. Just consider replacing upper cabinets with bistro style shelving when you are doing your kitchen remodel. Then replace that weightier center island with a lighter, leggier table. You’ll also have to replace those walls you took down years ago, but in the end, you might be happier because:

  • Messes are hidden.
  • More walls mean more cabinet storage, countertop workspace, and room for appliances.
  • Guests aren’t inclined to enter the kitchen and disturb the cook.
  • Cooking odors are confined to the kitchen.
  • The dining experience is more formal.

I hope reading this blog gives you some food for thought about preference between an open kitchen and closed kitchens. If you are ready to remodel, I can help by putting you in contact with my extensive list of resources that include the best building contractors in the area. Whatever your needs in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities I’m here to help. I can also help with buying or selling your home. Just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at

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