The Great Debate: Open Kitchen Vs. Closed Kitchen

The Great Debate: Open Kitchen Vs. Closed Kitchen

It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. The key an ideal kitchen layout is to think about your preferences, and how you intend to use the space. Some homeowners look at their kitchen as the main social area of their home, while others use their kitchen more traditionally – as a room where meals are prepared, and dishes are washed.  

If you are caught choosing between an open concept kitchen or a closed kitchen, in this blog we will look at three different kitchen configurations for a two-bedroom suite with a balcony and large terrace. We are going to explore combining and separating spaces in different ways to cater to different lifestyles and how a resident may use the space. 

Open Concept Kitchen (option 1)

Open concept kitchen design

Option 1: Our first layout can be considered the most “traditional” design for condominium: the kitchen is open concept and shares space with the living and dining areas. This is perfect for anyone who enjoys cooking while chatting with their family/friends in the main space or enjoys spending time in the kitchen casually.  Some space by the entrance has been partially sectioned off to create a small den area; in the plan you can see this space is anticipated to be used as an office desk, but it could also double as a small secondary seating area as well. 

Condo Layout Downtown Toronto

Benefits of Option 1:  

  • Combined living/dining/kitchen.
  • Kitchen island with separate smaller table
  • Separate multi-use area partially separated from main living space
  • Two full bathrooms

Closed Kitchen (option 2)

close concept kitchen in condo downtown Toronto

Option 2: Many love the open concept combined kitchen/living/dining room, and this type of living is certainly the dominant design approach in Toronto, North America, and many parts of the world today. There are, however, people who prefer their kitchen to be more separated from the main space. This could be for a variety of reasons:  

  • They may prefer a very visually uncluttered space and keeping the kitchen free of dishes/small appliances and other items is too much work.
  • Professional and/or amateur chefs will know that getting that perfect pan-sear on steak, or other meats takes high heat and makes a lot of smoke in the process, so having a more confined kitchen means that the smoke doesn’t spread as much throughout the suite.
  • Different styles of cooking may produce more odour or vapours that you do not want lingering throughout the entire suite.
  • You may enjoy hosting dinner parties but stress because your kitchen ends up a mess and you want to be able to host in a separate space.
Condo design in Toronto

In the floorplan we removed the walls that partially enclosed the den in Option 1 allowing for more extra prep space. We also flipped the door to the laundry to the opposite wall and put the kitchen along this newly extended wall. In Option 2, the kitchen is separated from the living and dining space. Furthermore, we have replaced the kitchen area from Option 1 with an office space; this time with built-ins along one of the walls in the dining area.  

Instead of creating a combined living – dining – kitchen (option 1), we have now created a combined living – dining – workspace with an enclosed kitchen. This configuration also allows for more kitchen prep space, and for more living and dining space. You could even add a pocket door to close the kitchen off completely if needed. 

Benefits of Option 2: 

  • Increased living and dining space with room for a larger dining table Kitchen is separated from the main area
  • Increased kitchen work/prep surfaces and storage

Bonus Option (option 3) 

Option 3: Our bonus option builds on option 2: By shifting the door to the main bedroom further towards its window we are able to use the original ensuite as the suite’s main bathroom. We are then able to remove the secondary bathroom, freeing up additional space to increase the size of the walk-in closet, create a dedicated work/study space at the entrance in a more spacious foyer, and reprioritize additional living space by creating a secondary seating space with a built-in bookcase in the dining area. The idea of moving from two bathrooms to one may seem strange to you! North Americans love bathrooms and our homes have considerably more space dedicated to them compared to other parts of the world. Ultimately, how you prioritize your space is personal, it’s all a matter of how you live and intend to use the space you have. 

Kitchen redesign in condo downtown Toronto

Benefits of option 3:  

  • Most amount of living/dining space
  • Separated work/study space
  • Separate/ enclosable kitchen. 
  • Extra closet space in main bedroom

Keep in mind that there isn’t a secret formula for an ideal kitchen layout. Everyone’s needs are different, so don’t let trends dictate your preferences. When choosing a suite layout with one of our Sales Representatives, think about what works best for you, how do you foresee using your new space? These types of questions will make sure you buy the right layout for your needs and help you personalize your space best during your design appointment.  

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Which option is your favorite? If you were purchasing this condo which floorplan would you choose? Head over to our Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and share your thoughts with us!  

 Tag us @tridel and use #TridelDesign in your posts. 

Stella Salvador

Stella Salvador, Principal Interior Designer 

For Stella, Home is a creative laboratory: a personal sanctuary that fosters health,, productive energy and creative thought. Stella credits empathy, honesty and travel and design inspirations. Her signature style is unconsciously comfortable with an elevated aesthetic.

Jim Stoops

Jim Stoops, Director Design Services

Jim believes in ignoring the rules and creating spaces that are personal and tailored to the client. His design style leans toward layered, saturated spaces with an identifiable history. His pro-tip: in small open concept spaces, make the kitchen as seamless and integrated as possible.