American or independent kitchen: pros and cons

American kitchen or independent kitchen? It’s a question you may be asking yourself if you’re looking for a house to move into.

The truth is that it is not an easy decision, since both distributions enjoy advantages and disadvantages.

So that you are clear about which option is the one you like the most, I have prepared the main advantages and disadvantages of each type of distribution.

In addition, at the end you have a comparative table to see everything in a more visual way and help you with your choice.


The American kitchen, or open kitchen, is a type of distribution in which the kitchen is in the same room as the living room.

There is no wall to form a division between the living room and the kitchen.

It is a very popular type of distribution in the US, but in Spain it is not uncommon to find.

Since the activities of the kitchen are very different from the rest of the house, it is necessary to be clear about what it takes to unify both rooms.


Let’s start with the positive aspects of American kitchens.

  • Open space

The first thing that comes to mind is the large open space you will get in your home. For me this is a great plus point in smaller homes.

A separate kitchen and living room will make both rooms seem smaller. However, if they share the same space, you will have a much broader view of your home.

  • Brighter rooms

When you have an American kitchen, it is normal for the windows to face different sides of the house.

This has a great advantage, since there will be more chances of the sun entering any of them, regardless of the time of day.

This way there will not be one room darker than another, as natural light will illuminate the entire space.

  • Ideal for meetings

If you have visitors at home, both family and friends, you will have a large space in which to be together.

In addition, it will allow you to have a conversation with the rest of the people while you finish preparing the dishes.


This type of distribution also entails a series of drawbacks that you should know.

  • Odors

The smells will be distributed throughout the space. This is something you should count on. Both the smell of the kitchen will reach the living room and that of the living room to the kitchen.

Even if you put the extractor hood the smell of food will reach the living room. This usually has no major problem, but if you cook a lot you will have to have this detail.

Also, if someone is smoking in the living room, you should know that you will smell it from the kitchen. It is a common room.

  • Noises

The same goes for noise. Imagine that you are using the mixer while the rest of the people have a conversation in the room.

As there is no separation, all the noise generated when cooking will be heard in the living room.


Example of American cuisine
Example of open kitchen
Tpos of American kitchens

Independent kitchen

The independent kitchen is the classic kitchen, in which a single room is dedicated to place all appliances and kitchen utensils.

It may be more or less large, with or without a table, but it is a kitchen that is independent of the rest of the house.


As advantages you should know that it lacks all the disadvantages of American cuisine, but we will also highlight other positive aspects.

  • Independent decoration

You may think this doesn’t matter, but it does. Think that EVERYTHING in the kitchen can have its own style. You will not need to combine with the rest of the house.

The curtains, the tiles, the color of the furniture… All this in the American kitchen should go according to the decoration of the living room. In the independent kitchen no.

You can use the style you like without having to complicate yourself. The appearance will be independent and you will not have to squeeze your head to think about how to combine both rooms together.

  • Tranquillity

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen it will be good to have tranquility to cook. You will not have interruptionswhile preparing meals.

If it were an open space you would get the noise of the television or the stereo. Being independent you will have your own environment in which to cook at ease.


In the same way that it happened with the advantages, you will have the disadvantage of not enjoying the advantages of the American kitchen.

But in addition to this there are other negative points. Let’s see which ones.

  • Difficulty having a kitchen with an island

Effectively. If you want to have a kitchen with island it will be easier for you to get it if your kitchen is open.

This happens because you need a lot of space to be able to put an island in the kitchen. If your independent kitchen is not big enough you will have to forget about this element.

If on your wish list is having a kitchen with an island, value this point. Either you find a separate kitchen that is large or you will have to opt for an American kitchen.


Example of independent kitchen
Example of a closed kitchen
Positive points of a closed kitchen

American kitchen vs independent kitchen

There is no good or bad option, simply each type of cuisine will fit better with the lifestyle of each one.

To find out what type of cuisine is best for you, review the key points of each. Rate which advantages you like best and which disadvantages matter less to you.

Kitchenette Independent kitchen
Space Open Closed
Lighting Increased natural light Separately
Odors The cooks will be smelled throughout the rest of the room They are in the kitchen
Noises All the noise from the kitchen will be heard in the living room Doesn’t bother other people
Decoration You have to decorate the living room and kitchen together You can use independent decorations. Less complication
Environment You can communicate with people in the salon Separate environments

As you can see there are important differences, but both solutions are very interesting.

Discuss with your family what interests you most, valuing the use you give to the kitchen and what you would most like to have.

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By Catharine Bwana