The Popularity of Open Plan Kitchens

Kitchens were once considered a strictly utilitarian space — hidden behind closed doors and disconnected from other rooms — has become a full-fledged member of the home’s design scheme. 

Lifestyle Changes Precede the Open Kitchen Layout 

Today, we are more casual in everything we do; family members are always on the go, each needing to get things done and a place to do them. In this on-the-go lifestyle, the kitchen is a grand central station for family activities of all kinds. 

This is where the kids do their homework during the week, where you have friends over on Saturdays, and where you watch football on Sunday. If you need a family meeting, this is where it happens. 

Cooking is no longer a one person activity. If you’re entertaining, several people could be cooking at once. In fact, having space for more than one cook is high on many wish lists. This means that space has to be found so that two people don’t continually bump into each other. This space isn’t usually inside the confines of a work triangle. 

This evolution of kitchen design is underpinned by a change in lifestyle. The attraction of this style of living is the luxurious feeling of open, clear, and light space. 

When Walls Come Tumbling Down 

Today, there are no partition walls. They have come tumbling down. Kitchens are part of open living areas that include a place for casual eating and a family room. Often, there will be a home entertainment center focusing on a wide-screen TV. The dining room is pretty much a thing of the past. If used at all, it’s only for special events.

The Importance of an Island in the Open Plan Kitchen


Open plan kitchens, with their adjacent family rooms, great rooms, or casual living spaces led to the use of kitchen islands. Islands do important things. 

They add useful counter space to the kitchen and provide an almost automatic location for a second sink, or cooktop closer to a sink –which reflects the idea that the cook shouldn’t have to walk away from the sink in order to check on what’s on the stove. Islands add storage space, cut down the walking distances between work centers, and establish traffic patterns that direct people easily through the kitchen and out of the cook’s way. 

Large islands function like big tables, providing room to eat or to put food out for buffet parties. They have lots of space for younger kids to do crafts or play games. For older ones, it’s an after-dinner homework areas — mom or dad, finishing cleanup chores, close by to answer questions. Islands are also natural room dividers. In open plans they are shared elements between rooms, with specialized storage on both sides. They are also a shared design element. 


An Open Plan Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

The kitchen is the heart of the home; it has always been so. In the 21st century, kitchens are expanding and becoming the welcoming focal point of family life and a family-oriented lifestyle. What has evolved is the notion of the kitchen as the heart of the home. An open plan kitchen fully encapsulates that notion. 

Thinking of an open concept kitchen? Let the experts at Raleigh Kitchens help you.

A well-organized bathroom

Because bathroom space is often limited, there is a greater premium on organizational tools that make using the bath easier and more enjoyable.

Bathroom Designs for Efficiency

Because often bathroom space is smaller, there is a greater premium on organizational tools that make using the bath easier and more enjoyable.

In master and secondary baths and even powder rooms, the vanity or sink often do the heavy lifting for storage, and thanks to recent innovations, storage options have increased significantly.

Bathroom Design for Storage

When storage space is at a premium, vanities with open shelves create storage space for towels and baskets around drains, traps and other plumbing components. Open shelving is an extremely attractive option that can provide a visual focal point.

Shelves and roll out drawers maximize the space under and around plumbing in vanities with doors. Roll out drawers can hold baskets or be equipped with dividers for cosmetics, curling irons, hair dryers, etc. Many vanity manufacturers offer drawers and shelves with notches in them that help to minimize loss of storage space. In some bathroom designs the vanity also can be wired for electricity or used as a cell phone or tablet charging station.

When it comes to vanity drawers, keep in mind that the depth impacts storage. Shallow drawers help to work around the sink’s plumbing and can be used to store makeup, shaving tools, tweezers, brushes, etc. While shallow drawers may be great for storing small things, they don’t offer the functionality needed for storing larger items. One possible solution is to specify a double drawer to double the depth. The exterior is fitted with two pulls to provide a consistency of look but there is only one drawer.

Toe kicks can make space along the floor functional for storing less commonly used items such as back up rolls of toilet tissue. Tip out drawers can be used where the top of the cabinetry meets the countertop. They are created for storing tooth brushes, tooth paste, dental floss and other small items.

Outfitting drawers and storage space with adjustable compartments, reconfigurable bins, vertical dividers, tool slots and trays provide endless opportunities to get the look and functionality that keep your bath looking fresh and functional.