Any idea that’s worth a darn can stand up to scrutiny, so when the real estate industry’s leading periodical, Realtor.com, first posted the “I Hate the Open-Plan Kitchen” article, it wouldn’t have been a dereliction of duty for home design aficionados to go ahead and read it. That’s true even if (like me and the majority of Madison, Wisconsin home buyers) you appreciate open-plan kitchens for all the entertaining and family-gathering features they foster.
You may not be head-over-heels in love with open-plan kitchens–but hating them? It made the article definitely worth a read…
The author, Audrey Brashich, explained the origin of her enmity. It all bubbled up as she contemplated the remodel of a hopelessly out-of-style (“think yellow oak cabinets paired with linoleum countertops”) kitchen. Her architect, she writes darkly, “hatched a plan” for an open-plan kitchen that would have involved knocking down a wall or two. She rejected this at once, explaining that she loved “the old-fashioned swinging door” it would have demolished. Worse, it also would have removed “the opportunity to leave the kitchen a mess during dinner parties.”
While any Madison, Wisconsin party-giver may empathize with that reasoning or with the author’s appeal to history (Julia Child’s “if you drop something, you can always pick it up if you’re alone in the kitchen”); agreeing that you actively hate open-plan kitchens means being willing to ignore the facts of 21st century reality. Even the author has to admit that “open kitchens maximize space and minimize cost” in an era when “house prices are rising as never before.”
Even so, Ms. Brashich remains unconvinced. Her primary reason is that, for her, turning out culinary masterpieces with guests chattering around her in the kitchen is “beyond challenging.” She also admits that she is happier when her whole world doesn’t smell like bacon grease.
Ultimately, it boils down to something that might be called the author’s Fear of Frying. Since she’s writing for Realtor, even after the full rant about open-plan kitchens’ drawbacks, she has to admit to “another bitter pill” for fellow haters: “Open-concept kitchens might boost a home’s resale value.”
In other words, Madison, Wisconsin homeowners whose own kitchens are more open-plan than not can breathe a sigh of relief. For this decade at least, their willingness to go ahead and cook in plain sight makes them members of a fearless majority. The fact is underlined by a Newport Beach agent who quotes the question would-be buyers ask most often: “Can we knock [a wall] down to open things up?” And even Ms. Brashich is ultimately forced to grumble, “There’s more daylight in an open kitchen, too.”
Open or closed, “cozy” or “expansive,” the kitchen is a focal point in any Madison, Wisconsin home being offered for sale. I’m here to offer an experienced helping hand when you’re ready to explore the many possibilities in today’s market!
Jen Stauter Kornstedt
HomeTeam4U-Stark Company Realtors
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