Friday, December 31, 2010

Tiny Kitchen Tour: Open or closed kitchen?

The one thing that hasn't shown up in the other photos is this countertop and kitchen pass-through. 

I like the idea of an open kitchen, and enjoy talking to friends while I'm in the kitchen and they sit at the dining room table.  But this pass through opening is too low to do that, and, it feels like I'm a short order cook in a diner.

Also, the pass through visually chops up the room.  You can tell from this photo that there's way too much going on for such a small space (and that doesn't include all the repair work that needs to be done on the walls!)

A while back, I read this post on The Kitchn, about open v. closed kitchens, and I have to say, I'm really torn on what to do.  Opening the kitchen would create an island, and I could hang out with friends in the living room and the dining room while I'm in the kitchen.  The other part of me wants a closed kitchen, and to keep my dining room more formal.  Do you prefer an open or closed kitchen?

One thing I know for sure is that it needs to be all or nothing--completely open, or completely closed--because standing at this pass through makes me want to say, "Do you want fries with that?"


  1. I have the same problem in my little house.There is a goofy bar/island diving the space and you can see the kitchen anyway so it does not good. think I am going to remove the bar and get a fabu French hutch that creates a prettier division of space and provide storage for books and treasures & goes with my French look. The kitchen will be more closed off this way while the hutch will add tons of ambience to the living/dining room. I previously tried hanging a curtain of scrim from ceiling to floor in front of the goofy bar but it just looked like I was trying to hide the kitchen and it wasn't working. I think this will be my solution.

  2. I understand wanting to keep your dinning room formal but an open kitchen would make the kitchen feel much larger, and I imagine a more pleasant place to be when you have much to do.

  3. I'm torn! I currently have a more open kitchen. My dining room actually is an add on (my house was originally built in 1900 I believe) but it's not walled off, so it's right next to my kitchen. I have a big island so it's nice to chat with people sitting while I cook. We gather in there even when we just have guests staying for a weekend.....we all end up sitting in there eating. But I honestly prefer a more formal dining room and wish it was walled off (and have considered using an IKEA track system and curtains to do so).

    But with a smaller kitchen making it more open might make it feel larger.

  4. It looks like that small wall is only there to support the upper cabinets. I like it either open or closed off. Mine is closed off and sometimes I like it because it becomes a little escape when I'm cooking. I can turn on music and it doesn't interfere with what anyone else is doing. But I also like the open kitchens too.

  5. I personally would go for the open kitchen- even if it means losing some precious storage space. We have a partially closed kitchen, and everyone ends up in here anyways, because I'm happiest hanging out at my stove. Hands down I would open it up, it will give you more visual space, even though you won't get more floor space.