Open your eyes and your heart to open-plan. It’s a living concept that is going nowhere.
Yes, there has been talk of broken-plan, but where’s the evidence that open-plan isn’t working? And what is broken-plan anyway? Open-plan living has revolutionised family living. It’s inclusive. It works. Broken-plan on the other hand is quite frankly a little bit meh and can go back in its box.
Open-plan is a fabulous concept that has breathed new life into age-old arguments over division of labour at home. You could go as far as to say open plan is breaking down those pink-versus-blue job stereotypes.
Forget visions of some guy in an armchair in the living room with his pipe and slippers, while his wife slaves over a hot stove in a cramped kitchen framed with Formica worktops.
That era has long gone. Modern living has monumentally changed our relationship with the kitchen at home. OK it’s not just kitchen design that is responsible, but it is a part of that revolution.
How the kitchen became the heart of the home
Prior to the 1970s the kitchen was a very functional part of the home, tucked away from the living space where women (mostly) slaved away perfecting rather unappetising dishes such as spam fritters and fondue.
Even in the 1970s when dinner parties were de rigueur, the kitchen, food and recipes were a long way behind free love and flares. You only have to take a look at these 1970s food favourites to see how far we have come.
In some ways, the kitchen has always been the engine room of the home, but in the 1990s people started spending less time in the kitchen, preferring to eat out or stick a ready meal in the microwave instead.
But in the last decade the open-plan living concept has brought people back to enjoying life in the heart of the home. Cooking and entertaining at home is becoming simpler and more informal and it’s largely due to the open-plan concept, which features the kitchen at its very core.
Here are 5 fabulous reasons to make the kitchen the heart of your home
Kitchens built with living in mind do foster collaboration. In business, open space layouts have been shown to improve communication and foster collaboration. The mere nature of open spaces fosters collaborative team work without people even realising that it’s happening. By making the kitchen the heart of your home, you are signing up to a more harmonious way of living.
An investment worth making
Kitchens are no longer an after-thought or a utilitarian space tucked away at the back of the home. Kitchen and bathrooms are now the most expensive rooms in the home, and if we are dedicated to chucking money at them, then it makes perfect sense to spend more time in them.
People invest heavily in kitchens because it adds value to their property. Investing in a new kitchen requires careful consideration, as does open plan living. See here for more ideas on designing your perfect kitchen.
A healthier approach to eating
Today our kitchen reflects the way we want to live. According to research published last year by Euromonitor, healthy lifestyle habits are becoming the normal way of life. With growing concerns over obesity, food sensitivities, disease and animal welfare, people are making healthier, more conscious lifestyle choices and that includes how they cook at home.
Technology in the kitchen, modern appliances and a spate of healthy cooking programmes on TV are all influencing how people are making the kitchen the heart of their new approach to food. Cooking more at home has a positive impact on the quality of a person’s diet and subsequently on their overall health.
The social implications
Open-plan living has had a profound effect on men taking on roles once reserved for women. Educating your family to take an all-muck-in approach is easily achieved when your kitchen is the heart of your home. That is why open-plan kitchens work so well. They create spaces where everyone gets involved.
Gone are the days of host or hostess spending the evening hidden away from guests preparing elaborate dishes to impress. Relaxed open-plan living is giving hosts and hostesses the opportunity to cook and join in the conversation while prepping the food.
As you can see, with the kitchen as the heart of your home, you get to enjoy some great benefits. It’s why you should definitely make your next kitchen remodel a fabulous one.