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8 Ways to do a Semi-Open Kitchen in your HDB

Last month, we came up with an article showing you the numerous ways you can do an open kitchen in style. This was following the HDB announcement that they will take away the option for closed kitchen schemes in new BTOs. Instead, all BTOs will now be open ones.

While open kitchens are gorgeous (and oh-so-trendy), there are certain blights to having one. If you cook often, fumes and grease will pervade your space, furniture and clothes more easily in an open setting. You will also hear the clunk and clatter of cooking and see the mess in the kitchen.

Still, don’t be in a hurry to close off your open kitchens with concrete walls. If you entertain often, an open kitchen is a wonderful layout for engaging your guests while you prep your meals. It’s also a great way to invite more light and ventilation into your home, and will make your small apartment appear a lot more spacious.

So what’s the solution? Semi-open kitchens. The best of both worlds, they offer the openness without all the mess, noise, or the pervasion of oil and smells.

Here are some ways to work them into your HDB flat:

1. Using frameless glass panels

Openness: 8/10
Concealment ability: 6/10

Design: 4Mation ID

Frameless glass walls are perhaps the most elegant way to block of unwanted grease and noise when you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen, while still allowing you to see what’s going on in the rest of your home.

Design: Carpenters by Habitat

Design: Obbio Concept

Design: Studio 20 Concepts

You can opt for a hinged glass door or sliding glass panels that take up a lot less space.

Design: 2nd Phase Design

 

2. Using framed glass panels

Openness: 6/10
Concealment ability: 7/10

Design: Third Avenue Studio

Trending since 2014, black-framed glass walls arise from the industrial style. But it works even in a more contemporary setting. While not as clean-cut as frameless glass walls, they are great for providing a dramatic flair.

Go for larger panels and pencil-thin frames if you’re after a more minimalist contemporary aesthetic. Chunkier frames work better in industrial homes, or with period themes and Victorian settings.

Design: Dots ‘N’ Tots Interior Design

Design: Akihaus

Design: Dream Creations Interior

Not a fan of black? Go for white frames instead. They are fresh and modern, and recommended for country style kitchens rocking the farmhouse vibe or even Scandinavian themed homes.

Design: Cozy Ideas

Design: I-Chapter

Design: Intrigue-D Design Consultancy

To add warmth to an interior, opt for wooden frames, which are usually constructed by swathing the frames in woodgrain laminates.

Design: Free Space Intent

Design: KWYM Interior Designs

 

3. Separating the wet kitchen from the dry kitchen

Openness: 5/10
Concealment ability: 8/10

Design: Fuse Concept

Separating the wet zone from the dry zone in a kitchen with a partition in the middle helps to keep the noise and cooking fumes restricted to just the wet area, while still giving you the sense of an open kitchen. You don’t need a physical barrier to make this design work, but it does help to keep unwanted sounds and grease from entering the rest of your home. If you do opt for a physical divider, consider going for glass.

Design: Rezt & Relax Interior

Design: I-Chapter

Design: Amoz Boon

The dry kitchen is sometimes used as a pantry, sometimes used to prepare lighter meals. But you can always include a breakfast bar that lets you have casual meals in. It also provides the perfect spot for you to mingle with your guests when you have them over.

Design: Ace Space Design

Design: Design 4 Space

 

4. Incorporating bi-fold/folding dividers

Openness: 9/10
Concealment ability: 7/10

Design: DB Studio

Design: Distinctidentity

Bi-fold dividers give you a convertible kitchen. They fold up neatly to reveal an open kitchen, and when closed, help to conceal the clatter and cooking grease from the rest of your home.

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

Design: K U R O +

This bi-fold mechanism is a particularly great asset for smaller kitchens, since they don’t take up that much room when the panels are stacked neatly against one another.

Design: Intrigue-D Design Consultancy

Design: Versaform

Folding windows built on top of counters create a kitchen pass-through that makes serving meals a lot easier. When opened, they create more countertop space for food preparation.

Design: Ace Space Design

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

 

5. Placing a glass casing around the hob area

Openness: 9/10
Concealment ability: 5/10

Design: Clifton Leung Design Workshop

If you rather not have a fully enclosed kitchen, you can surround just your hob area with glass. Glass doesn’t have visual obstruction yet still blocks the cooking fumes.

Design: Intrigue-D Design Consultancy

Design: Studio 20 Concepts

 

6. Installing a kitchen pass-through window

Openness: 5/10
Concealment ability: 7/10

Design: I-Bridge Design

A kitchen pass-through window is meant to provide you with the convenience of passing food through to the dining and eating area after cooking. But it’s also a way to open up the space in a small kitchen, while ensuring that it still retains some privacy.

Design: Fuse Concept

Design: VOILÀ

You can do a cut-out however big or small you want, depending on how private you like your kitchen area to be. If you entertain often, consider opting for a larger pass-through.

Design: Le Interi

Incorporate a glass panel or just leave it open. Opt for the former if you do heavy cooking at home.

Design: Boon Siew D’sign

Design: KYDA Interior

 

7. Built a raised counter

Openness: 8/10
Concealment ability: 6/10

Design: Design 4 Space

A raised counter such as a breakfast or bar counter, when placed at the entrance of your open kitchen, helps to hide your kitchen mess partially when you view from the outside. It’s also a great way to sneak in an extra eating area in your home. However, it doesn’t quite block out unwanted smells or grease.

Design: The 80’s Studio

Design: VOILÀ

Design: Design 4 Space

 

8. Planning for strategic wall structures

Openness: 6/10
Concealment ability: 7/10

Design: Ace Space Design

Rather than erect concrete walls that surround your entire kitchen, opt to place wall structures at strategic points that can still conceal what you need to hide while keeping the rest of your kitchen open to light and airflow.

Design: Design 4 Space

 


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