6 Kitchens That Will Persuade You to Embrace a Closed Floor Plan

published Jan 27, 2023
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Credit: Erin Derby

Open floor plans have had their moment… or their decade. Lately, people have rediscovered how lovely and indulgent it is to have rooms. While an open kitchen is fabulous for entertaining or watching rambunctious toddlers roam, there’s something to be said for a dedicated space to cook and bake, while leaving the television screen out of sight.

With that idea in mind, these six kitchens prove just how nice it can be to have more walls than HGTV might suggest. Whether people couldn’t knock anything down, preferred to keep an original footprint, or opted to embrace more separation despite major renovations, these homes show that it can be worth it to go against the open-at-all-costs trend. 

Credit: Katie Pellegrino

A 1950s Cape Cod Home That Kept Its Sweet Charm

Cape Cod properties are known for their charm, not for their sweeping open floor plans. And when Kate Pelligrino moved into a Massachusetts Cape Cod home, she embraced its 70-year-old history, but updated it with her own grandmillennial style. The kitchen is “small but mighty,” she says, and it’s her favorite room to spend time in. 

“We kept all of the original cabinets in the kitchen and even the sweet little scallop above the sink,” says Pelligrino, and the result is a darling space that’s the perfect size for her family.

An East Village Renovation Didn’t Change the Galley Kitchen’s Footprint

Sarah Jacobson’s East Village co-op needed a total renovation when she bought it, but unlike many gut renos, she didn’t open up the galley kitchen — instead, she chose to lean into the footprint. She did, however, utilize both sides of the room to include open shelving, a farmhouse sink, and striking patterned cement tile. Jacobson was even able to work in a clever breakfast bar into this dreamy small space. 

A California Craftsman Modernizes a Vintage Floor Plan

Just because it’s not an open floor plan doesn’t mean the kitchen has to lose all connection to the rest of the house. In this vibrant California craftsman, Francesca fell in love with the classic layout and let the kitchen stand as its own space. The decor of the kitchen echoes the eclectic style throughout, including the unique-to-the-era ceramic tile counters and ribbed wood ceilings.

Credit: Erin Derby

A 1910 Home Takes the Opportunity to Go Maximalist 

Kate Pearce’s 1910 home on Long Island underwent serious renovations, which included knocking down walls. But that was done to make the space bigger, not to open it to the rest of the home. An open layout wouldn’t fly with her motto: More is more when it comes to decor. 

Her maximalist style relies on layers of vintage details, paint, pattern, hardware, and plants, not on stuff for the sake of stuff. “​​When we renovated our kitchen, I was set on having open shelving, but that meant less cabinets to hide things in. I ended up bringing about half of what was in my kitchen to the thrift store,” says Pearce.

A Century-Old Spanish Home Exemplifies a Relaxing Retreat

At first glance, Diogo DeLima and Michael Hahn’s kitchen in this 100-year-old Spanish Revival home could appear to be something out of a Nancy Meyers movie. With tall ivory cabinets and a dramatic chandelier, it has all the trappings of open kitchens — yet it’s a quiet, light-filled retreat, perfect for morning cups of coffee and chatting as the natural light spills in. 

The rest of the house is filled with nods to the moody, “tropical seclusion” vibe that the couple has created, but the kitchen exists as its own relaxing space, something that wouldn’t be possible if it opened up to the dining and living rooms. 

Credit: Enrique

An Austin Home Amplifies Its Original Architectural Details

Andie Day’s small Austin bungalow features many of its original architectural details, including the windows, floors, and even a phone nook. She’s embraced its quirks with her mid-century style, and opted to work with the vintage details, rather than against them. That includes a kitchen that only opens through a cutout to the dining room — a practical detail when serving guests! Yet, despite the kitchen’s relative privacy, it still feels bright and airy, thanks to windows and the cabinets that run all the way to the ceiling and surrounding clean lines.