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Open vs closed kitchen: Which layout is perfect for your home?

  • Kitchen Design
May 05, 2021
Modular open kitchen design attached to living room with a kitchen counter & kitchen island for a spacious kitchen design - Beautiful Homes

Kitchens are some of the most used spaces in the home. While choosing between an open, closed or hybrid kitchen design, the most important factor remains personal preferences. Kitchens are spaces that are used multiple times a day. They get a lot of foot traffic and tend to get messy in the bargain. An open layout might be appealing but not work in your favour. Alternatively, closed kitchens lend privacy but may not work for your lifestyle.  Read on to understand what each layout brings to the table as well as their pros and cons to help you decide what simple kitchen design works best for you.

Closed Kitchen Design


What is a closed kitchen?

Here’s a concept we are all quite familiar with. Closed layouts are usually the norm with Indian kitchen design. With this layout, the kitchen is a room unto itself which a lot of people prefer as it lends privacy. However, the renovation costs of later changing a closed kitchen to an open layout are very high.

An ideal closed kitchen design layout for more privacy & more storage potential & work space - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, The Seasons- ABM Architects

The pros and cons of a closed kitchen layout

A typical indian modular closed kitchen layout with more work surfaces & private cooking space - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, KNS Architects


  1. This layout can make optimum use of space for drawers, cabinets and counters. A closed kitchen has more storage and work surfaces.

  2. With the option to cut off the kitchen, heat, noises and smells from cooking don’t percolate to other parts of the house.

  3. Cooking and related activities turn into a more private affair. The kitchen, which can become quite messy when in use, isn’t always on display to guests.


  1.  A closed kitchen doesn’t have as much natural light and ventilation as an open kitchen design.

  2.  Indian kitchen designs in smaller apartments may not be big enough to accommodate features like an island.

  3.  This layout can make the house look smaller as the walls create physical and visual barriers. 
An indian kitchen design in small apartment with smaller space for kitchen island but more storage cabinets with pendant lights - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, FADD Studio

Open Kitchen Design

An open kitchen attached with the dining space & living room with a big kitchen island partitioned by single wall - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Plusch

What is an open kitchen?

Open layouts are becoming more popular with Indian kitchen design. With this layout, the kitchen is essentially open from one or more sides, typically connected with the living or dining room or even a combined living and dining area. Usually, an open kitchen does away with one partitioning wall, sometimes in favour of a kitchen island or breakfast nook.

The pros and cons of an open kitchen layout



  1.  An open kitchen design works well for both large and small spaces.

  2.  With smaller homes, this layout opens up the main living area, making the room look bigger.

  3.  Doing away with at least one wall makes the kitchen bright and well-ventilated.

  4.  The person who is cooking can always be a part of what’s going on in the dining and/or living room.
Modular open kitchen design attached to living room with a kitchen counter & kitchen island for a spacious kitchen design - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Aparna Kaushik

5. This layout can easily accommodate a island kitchen design, adding extra counter space to work and eat as well as extra storage area. Alternatively, it could incorporate a  breakfast nook, eliminating the need for a dining table in a small house. 

An open kitchen design attached with the living room with a kitchen counter & kitchen island with reduced storage capacity - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, MADS Creations


  1.  With an open kitchen design, everything in the kitchen is on display – both the good and the bad. This means always keeping it tidy.

  2.  Noises from appliances (like the blender), heat and cooking aromas carry over very easily to the rest of the house.

  3.  With at least one wall missing, the storage and work areas are substantially reduced.

  4.  The cooling from the air conditioner carries over to the kitchen area, reducing its efficiency. 

The Best Of Both Worlds: Hybrid Design


A hybrid layout is essentially taking features of both layout that work for you and incorporating them in your kitchen design. There are a few ways to go about combining open and closed layouts for that perfect kitchen design:

  1.  Instead of completely closing off the kitchen, consider semi see-through partitions like glass doors, wood slats, decorative jaali or metal panels as seen here. This can lend enough privacy when required but still keep the space airy and well-lit. A design that allows for these partitions to slide open and shut when need be, works even better. 
A hybrid kitchen layout partitioned with metal panels for privacy but also with open space experience - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, ADND

Modular closed space kitchen for privacy attached balcony for some open space kitchen experience making it a hybrid layout - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Mold Design Studio, Photography by Noughts Crosses

2.   Instead of opening the kitchen to the rest of the house, connect it with the outdoor spaces. Here, the kitchen opens out on to a balcony area which can double as an informal eating area as well. A patio or large balcony can also have a barbeque or grill. With this design, privacy is maintained yet the kitchen is well ventilated and receives a lot of natural light. Additionally, noises and smells from the kitchen don’t travel as much to the rest of the home. 

3.  If the kitchen is large enough, consider adding a small eating area within the kitchen itself. A cosy dining set allows eating and cooking to be shared activities even with a closed kitchen layout.  You could also consider a semi-open layout where instead of getting rid of one entire wall, you only open up the top half. With this you can keep counter space and the area below it while getting rid of the top half of the wall. You retain counter and storage space, can create a cosy eating area and open up the kitchen as well. 


A hybrid kitchen design layout with an open kitchen counter & a small breakfast nook - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Plusch

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