Open Vs 'closed' kitchen - design help needed

Angela Cook
12 days ago

After 30 years in our dilapidated farmhouse, we've finally made the decision to build something new. I'm so bloody excited! I'm an ex-chef whose worked in a half renovated tiny kitchen for the last 20 years. One that has barely any bench space or storage, two dead-space, under-bench corner cupboards that house my ingredient hoard, and ugly cheap 'temporary' garage shelving that holds my pots and pans and various machines for making delicious things.

I've been given the go-ahead to design my dream kitchen. Woohoo! Now I'm panicking. I've got 20 years of ideas stored up as magazine clippings (it's been that long!) and folders of photos saved off the internet, But it's the basic open Vs closed is something I need to work out before I can use all that stuff.

My husband wants a big, modern, open-concept space. Great. I love that idea. But in reality, do they work?

Our current kitchen is a dingey, small, enclosed room that's cut off from the living area. There was never any room for anyone to help and while hubby and kids caught up for the day, I'd be alone, head over the pots. I resented that for years. BUT I could make as much noise as I liked, run the juicer/blender/food processor etc and it wouldn't interfere with anyone's movie or computer game. I make a lot of stocks that simmer for long periods and often aren't always the most enticing of aromas.

How do kitchens in these big open spaces deal with noise/smells? I've never met an efficient overhead hood that can be run without eventually sounding like an aeroplane taking off.

How can we have a lovely big open concept living space that has a great 'open' service/eating/entertaining area, but a working heart that can be closed off when needed?

I'm kind of toying with some kind of 'T' shape with a galley style kitchen ( i hate dead space, I will NEVER have corner cupboards again) The top part of the 'T' being a large island bench housing all my oversized bowls and platters etc, with stools on the living room side. The stem of the 'T' being the galley kitchen that would have the stove and the sink etc. that could be closed off with a pocket door of some kind.

Could that be a kind of a thing? I've kind of scribbled an idea while I've been typing this. It does not follow the old 'working triangle' theory, but it looks kind of workable.

Is anyone using an open/closed kitchen that could share any design and/or working advice?

with thanks, Angela

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