Closed or Open Concept Kitchen – Which One Is For You?

Renodots article- Closed or Open Concept Kitchens - Which One Is For You_

First things first, what is the meaning of closed or open concept kitchens?

An open-concept kitchen is one that is exposed to the living spaces in your home. It has no walls to separate it from the rest of the house. For most open-concept homes, you can view the kitchen once you step into the home. They blend seamlessly with the dining and living area. This design gained popularity in the 1990s when more and more people wanted their home to appear more inviting, where you can entertain guests from the kitchen.

A closed-concept kitchen is, as you would guess, the opposite of the open-concept kitchen. It is isolated from the rest of the living space. All walled up, there is usually a door to keep it isolated. This is very common in traditional houses where the kitchen is located at the back of the home. A closed-concept kitchen also consists of those that are partially closed with walls separating it from the whole area. This is more common in apartments and condominiums.

To know which is best for your home and lifestyle, we will look at the pros and cons of each concept.

Open-Concept Kitchen

Zenith Arc at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 - kitchen 1

Design by Zenith Arc at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8


  1. Spacious living space – A room always feels bigger without walls. Sometimes, working from a closed kitchen can be claustrophobic. By removing walls, the open-kitchen concept can make any small space bigger.
  2. Easy to entertain guests – If you are one who loves inviting people over, an open concept kitchen is perfect to keep guests entertained, even when you are busy chopping away in the kitchen
  3. Abundance of natural light – Having a kitchen without walls really helps with air ventilation and natural light. It makes the kitchen a welcoming space.
  4. Be proud of your kitchen – after all that renovating, it is time to show off your dream kitchen, a place where you “work for your meals” and enjoy them too. It also serves as an informal dining space where people can come in and feel welcomed to nip a little bit of what you are cooking and compliment your crockery.
Zenith Arc at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 - kitchen 2
Design by Zenith Arc at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8


  1. No chance for clutter – The kitchen is a space where mess is allowed, after all there is equipment in use that will cause spills and splashes. There is no other way to go around it other than to clean as you go.
  2. It can be noisy – It may be the kettle, the bread maker or the mixer that is making the noise but there is no way to hide them away from resounding around the home when you are cooking.
  3. Be careful if you have young children – The open-concept kitchen is great for you to keep a lookout on your kids when you are busy in the kitchen. But be sure that they don’t stroll into the open kitchen area and pull plugs or appliances around.
  4. Can’t do too much heavy cooking – If you are going to fry a delicacy on the wok, the smoke and smell may float about the home and may make your furniture smell.
Livspace at Queens peak - kitchen 3
Design by Livspace at Queens Peak

Closed-Concept Kitchen

Fineline Design at Rivervale Crescent - kitchen
Designed by Fineline Design at Rivervale Crescent


  1. Privacy to cook – If you want to be focused and get the meal out in time for everyone to enjoy it, you’ll need privacy for concentration. A closed-concept kitchen keeps you isolated so you won’t get people (and your children) buzzing in and stealing some food before it is served.
  2. More space for storage – An extra wall means you have extra space to fix your kitchen cabinets to store more items!
  1. A formal space with a clear objective – If you are the type that designates a space based on what is to be done, a closed-concept kitchen would be a better choice. That way, kitchen work does not “overflow” to the dining table or worse, the living area!
  2. Option to incorporate another theme – Because the kitchen is separated from the main area, you have the option to design it differently because the theme does not need to flow. Your kitchen, your rules!
Fineline Design at Rivervale Crescent - kitchen 2
Designed by Fineline Design at Rivervale Crescent


Charlotte’s Carpentry at Bishan Street 22 - kitchen
Design by Charlotte’s Carpentry at Bishan Street 22
  1. Tight space to work – This is apparent in smaller homes, but if you have a larger home with a space for an island, a closed kitchen is no biggie.
  2. Less light with poor ventilation – When the kitchen is all walled up, expect little natural light streaming into the home. It can also get stuffy when the air can’t circulate out fast enough when you are steaming or frying.
  3. Less open space in the home – Closing off the kitchen may mean insufficient use of your interior. It makes the layout more rigid.
  4. Cooking and cleaning becomes an isolated activity – If you enjoy cooking and cleaning together as a family, a closed kitchen concept may not be the best idea as you are removed from the family. Plus, when it is time to clean, voluntary help may not come easy as the kitchen is out of sight, and hence, out of mind.
Charlotte’s Carpentry at Bishan Street 22 - kitchen 2
Design by Charlotte’s Carpentry at Bishan Street 22

If you are unsure about getting a closed or open concept kitchen, it is always best to weigh the pros and cons to your lifestyle. Do note that there is a possibility of merging these two concepts to create a design that is unique to your home. Also, remember that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Get linked up with professional interior designers through Renodots.

If you want to browse through other projects, we’ve got a list of them here. Whatever you need for your home, we’ve got it on our site.

Types of kitchen layouts


5 Open Concept HDB Flats To Inspire You