Why You Should Think Twice Before Setting up an Open Kitchen to Make Your Home Appealing

A photo of an open-plan kitchen next to an outdoor window
A photo of an open-plan kitchen next to an outdoor window
Magnet UK

Owning a house is a major life goal for many Kenyans. 

The joy of moving from rentals in Nairobi to a cozy family home in a serene neighbourhood is unmatched. 

Some prefer fully furnished houses, while others choose to build from scratch, incorporating their ideas inspired by social media.

One trending choice among homeowners is the open kitchen plan.

A photo of an open plan kitchen
A photo of an open-plan kitchen

An open kitchen is one without walls, usually part of a bigger living space and used for entertaining. 

It's becoming popular among new homeowners and young Kenyans in apartments.

However, there are downsides. It might mean less privacy, more noise, and smells from the kitchen spreading into the living area.

Lack of Privacy

An open kitchen, as the name implies, means more exposure to others in the same house. It doesn't take much for someone cooking to glance into the living room. 

This can be a concern, especially when hosting guests, as the plan might reveal any clutter in the kitchen.

For those seeking an open kitchen with a bit more privacy, a good option is to adopt the semi-open plan.


Walls typically help in blocking unwanted noise, but with open kitchens, this isn't the case. 

The absence of walls between the kitchen and living area might lead to unnecessary shouting in the house.

In open spaces, sound tends to travel more loudly and easily, sometimes causing echoing. 

To mitigate this, you can consider adding rugs to the living room to help reduce noise.


In a closed kitchen, the option to lock out unwanted individuals and pets is available, a concept often absent in most open kitchens. 

Having a lock on the door can be a crucial safety measure, preventing toddlers from accessing the kitchen and putting themselves in danger.

Unwanted Smells

An open kitchen may allow foul and unwanted smells from the cooking area to spread into the living room, creating an unpleasant environment, especially when hosting guests. 

These oduors can stem from cooking or even the trash bin, potentially leading to the presence of pests and flies throughout the house.

To address this issue, homeowners with open kitchens can maintain a higher level of cleanliness or consider incorporating a glass enclosure to contain the smells and maintain a more pleasant living space.

However, it's not all drawbacks; open kitchen designs come with their own benefits. 

They allow more light into the living space, provide additional ventilation, and create a sense of more space. 

Moreover, an open kitchen plan can foster togetherness within the family.

For those looking to enjoy the advantages of both closed and open kitchens, a recommended option is the semi-open kitchen plan.

"When it comes down to it, open-concept kitchens should be viewed as an investment more than anything else. You may spend more money than you expected up front, but with the help of home remodeling and design professionals, you are guaranteed to end up with a space that’s not only functional but beautiful and that will last," advised Kitchens by Eileen, a lifestyle website. 

A photo of closed plan kitchen with white decor
A photo of a closed-plan kitchen with white decor
Lilian H. Weinreich Architects