Prepping for an Open Floorplan Kitchen Remodel

One of the most common requests we handle for kitchens at Fine Home is a conversion to an open floorplan. An open floorplan kitchen can create a light, airy, and modern feel in your home, however, remodeling to an open floorplan is a major project requiring careful planning and preparation. Here is an overview of key considerations when prepping for an open concept kitchen remodel.

Design Considerations for Open Floorplans

There are several design factors to think about when planning an open floorplan kitchen.

Aesthetics and Visual Appeal

An open floorplan allows sightlines through the entire space, so the look carries through the kitchen, dining, and living areas. Decide on a cohesive design aesthetic for finishes like flooring, cabinets, and lighting fixtures. Neutral backsplashes like subway tile and open shelving help rooms flow together.

Lighting and Visibility

Lighting is crucial in an open floorplan. Ambient, task, and accent lighting ensure the space has visual continuity. Recessed ceiling lights, pendant lights over islands, and accent lighting built into cabinets illuminate the entire open area. Consider lighting design early in the remodel.

Furniture Placement and Traffic Flow

Without walls dividing rooms, furniture placement impacts traffic flow. Islands and peninsulas act as natural space dividers between kitchen and living areas. Arrange furniture to allow movement between zones while maintaining a cohesive look.

Kitchen Workflow and Functionality

When walls come down, kitchen workflow can suffer without thoughtful planning. Place refrigerators, pantries, ovens, sinks, and other kitchen components to maximize efficiency in preparing, cooking, and cleaning up meals. Ensure proper clearance zones around appliances and countertops. An island with seating can become a natural breakpoint between kitchen and living areas. Pay close attention to kitchen layouts in an open floorplan to maintain functionality.

Pros and Cons of Open Floorplans

There are benefits and downsides to weigh when considering an open concept.


  1. Airy, spacious aesthetic
  2. Natural light fills the space
  3. Promotes conversation and togetherness
  4. Tasks like cooking remain connected to family activities
  5. Open sightlines create enlarged appearance


  1. Cooking smells and noises spread easily
  2. Clutter is visible throughout the space
  3. Areas can feel less defined and intimate
  4. More difficult to control ambient temperatures
  5. Floorplan limits furniture arrangements

Common Work in Open Floorplan Kitchen Remodels

Remodeling for an open layout involves significant structural changes. Common updates include:

Knocking Down Walls

Removing walls opens up your space and creates flow between rooms, and is almost always the first task to approach when going for an open floorplan. Load-bearing walls that support the structure require installation of a beam before they can be safely removed. Identify all load-bearing walls early in the planning process. We recommend that you have structural drawings and calculations made to ensure proper sizing and structural integrity.

For non-load bearing walls, the demolition is more straightforward. However, properly routing electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other systems before knocking down any walls is crucial. Damaging these systems can add significant time and costs to the remodel. Plan ahead where new plugs, switches, lights, and switches need to go. For these reasons, we always recommend hiring a certified General Contractor for any kitchen remodels where floorplans are expected to change.

Installing New Flooring

Unified flooring like wood or tile visually expands the space and creates flow between rooms. This often requires subfloor work to ensure a flat surface for new flooring installation. (The subfloor may need repairs or may be replaced entirely.) Once walls are removed, you can match flooring trim and level transitions in doorways for a flush, seamless look throughout the open concept. This requires skillful installation and thorough planning to ensure your flooring is placed correctly and aesthetically benefits your room.

Consider whether you want the same flooring material in the kitchen, dining and living spaces, or if you want to delineate spaces with different but complementary materials. For example, glossy porcelain tile can define a kitchen area, while stained hardwood unifies living and dining rooms.

Updating Appliances

New modern appliances not only improve functionality, but also give your kitchen a fresh new look. Stainless steel and integrated appliances with a sleek, built-in aesthetic work well with open floorplans. Be sure to plan for proper venting above the stove, as well as adding new outlets and circuits to support appliance locations and usage. For example, a new refrigerator may require an added outlet, or countertop appliances may need more outlets spaced along a kitchen island or peninsula.

Common Complications in Open Floorplan Remodels

While beautiful, open concept kitchen remodels have unique challenges that will often require an experienced contractor to remedy.

Structural Issues

The highest priority in your remodel is identifying load-bearing walls, inadequate headers, and outdated framing to form a plan for how they will be addressed. It’s important to know the details of your home’s structure before knocking down walls, and if there is any question about placement of utilities, which walls are load bearing, or what additional structural support is needed, you may want to consult a contractor, architect, or structural engineer.

Permitting and Inspections

Major demolition and reconfiguring rooms often requires permits and code inspections. If you’re working with a general contractor for your remodel, it is likely they will handle these steps for you, but it is important to plan ahead for any delays caused by waiting for permits or inspections. The impact of the local building department on your project’s timeline will vary heavily depending on your locale.

HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing Changes

Opening up rooms impacts heating, cooling, and plumbing layouts. Evaluating your needs for ventilation, plumbing, and electrical hookups ahead of your remodel is important to ensure that the underlying utilities are planned and installed correctly.

When upgrading appliances in particular, it is important to keep in mind that more appliances, and especially new appliances, will increase the overall power draw of your kitchen, and can sometimes necessitate an electrical service upgrade to accommodate the increased load. New lighting layouts, added circuits and outlets, and reworked wiring requires expertise to be installed efficiently and correctly. Improper electrical work can not only become a safety issue, but has the potential to cost thousands down the roads in repairs or redoing work that was not done correctly.

Creating an open concept kitchen requires extensive planning regarding design, structural changes, systems updates, and finishes. While challenging, the results provide beautiful, functional spaces that bring families together. Thorough preparation and a meticulous remodel process leads to successful outcomes. With good project management and skilled contractors, your dream open floorplan kitchen can become reality. If you’re ready to move ahead with creating an open floorplan in your home, our teams of skilled designers and kitchen remodelers are ready to help!


Do I need a design-build contractor for a kitchen remodel?2023-09-22T13:56:57+00:00

You can definitely hire a design-build firm for a kitchen overhaul, but a general contractor or construction manager working with an architectural designer can also execute this well. Design-build makes the most sense for whole home renovations, larger kitchen renovations, and those looking to minimize costs.

How much does professional cabinet refinishing cost?2023-09-06T17:14:01+00:00

Expect to pay at least $1000-2000 for a medium-sized kitchen, just for labor and materials. Costs go up significantly for larger kitchens.

How long does a refinished kitchen cabinet last?2023-09-06T17:13:13+00:00

Most refinished cabinets show noticeable wear, fading and damage after just 1-2 years of use. Factory finishes last 5-10 times longer under normal kitchen conditions.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace kitchen cabinets?2023-09-06T17:11:46+00:00

In most cases, replacing kitchen cabinets is only marginally more expensive than refinishing them, and gives you longer-lasting results. Factor in long-term costs, and replacement provides a better value.

What size pizza oven should I get for my kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:59+00:00

Choose an oven at least 45-60cm (18-24 inches) wide to comfortably fit a 12-14 inch pizza. Larger ovens allow you to bake multiple pizzas at once.

What design tips make a great pizza kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:10+00:00

Focus on workflow, adequate counterspace, durable surfaces, ventilation, high BTU burners, and refrigeration for ingredients.

How much does a pizza oven cost?2023-09-05T14:28:50+00:00

Prices range widely from $300 for entry-level consumer models to $10,000+ for professional-grade pizza ovens. Built-in brick ovens cost $10,000 to $25,000 installed.

Should I remodel the kitchen before selling my home?2023-08-17T17:41:58+00:00

Yes, an updated, high-end kitchen with smart layout and finishes can greatly increase your home’s value and appeal to buyers.

Is it worth it to add a second dishwasher?2023-08-17T17:40:27+00:00

Yes. A second dishwasher keeps clean dishes available while others wash and provides extra capacity when entertaining large groups. A secondary dishwasher focused on glassware is perfect for home bars.

What are the most popular countertops for luxury kitchens?2023-08-17T17:39:41+00:00

Quartz and granite are top choices. Quartz offers a high-end look with less maintenance. Granite provides a rich, unique aesthetic at a lower pricepoint. Other common choices include butcher block, laminate, and corian.

When is the best time of year for a kitchen remodel in CT?2023-08-02T14:54:57+00:00

Winter and early spring are ideal as contractors may have more availability. Summertime leads to higher demand. Discuss timing with your contractor.

Should I choose custom or stock cabinets?2023-08-02T14:54:18+00:00

Stock cabinets cost less but offer limited sizes and finishes. Custom lets you customize the design, dimensions, materials and features. Assess your budget and design goals.

What are the most popular kitchen layouts in Connecticut?2023-08-02T14:53:49+00:00

Open concept kitchens that integrate cooking, dining, and family living spaces are very popular. Islands for extra prep space and casual dining are also in demand. Prioritizing workflow is key.

Do I need a permit for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:37+00:00

The answer to this question depends on the scope of your project, your location, and local building codes. In general, if you’re doing any work that involves structural changes, electrical or plumbing work, or adding or removing walls, you will likely need a permit. Check with your local building department to find out what permits you need and how to obtain them.

What are some common design mistakes to avoid in a kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:22+00:00

Some common design mistakes to avoid include choosing trendy designs that may not stand the test of time, not considering the flow and functionality of the space, and neglecting lighting and storage needs. It’s also important to avoid over-personalizing the space, as this can make it less appealing to potential buyers if you choose to sell your home in the future.

How can I save money on my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:05+00:00

There are many ways to save money on a kitchen remodel without sacrificing quality. Start by setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. Consider doing some of the work yourself, such as painting or installing light fixtures. Shop around for materials and appliances to get the best deals. And consider using lower-cost alternatives to high-end materials, such as laminate countertops instead of granite.

Should I hire a designer or architect for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:16:43+00:00

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the scope of your project, your budget, and your personal preferences. If you’re planning a major remodel that involves moving walls, plumbing, or electrical systems, it’s probably a good idea to hire an architect or designer to help you with the planning and permitting process. On the other hand, if you’re just replacing cabinets and countertops, you may not need professional help. Consider consulting with a designer or architect to see what they recommend for your specific project.