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Will whole house smell of food if we go open-plan?

(29 Posts)
Garnett Mon 22-Feb-16 13:42:26

We're moving house and have found somewhere we really like. My wife has big plans to make the ground floor more open plan which will involve removing the kitchen door and part of the wall - this will mean there's no divide between kitchen and stairwell.

On hearing these plans, my ever-caring but always "glass-half-empty" mum immediately said, "Food and cooking smells will go straight up the stairs and the whole house will smell of food".

I'm thinking a decent hood extractor should see to that.

Am I being naive?

Pinkheart5915 Mon 22-Feb-16 13:43:32

We have a open plan home. Our house doesn't smell of food

mupperoon Mon 22-Feb-16 13:47:46

We have a non open plan house and the first floor still smells of food! Was woken up on Friday night by the smell of pulled pork in the slow cooker.

We're going to get a humidity controlled extractor as well as a cooker hood when we redo the kitchen.

Wuffleflump Mon 22-Feb-16 14:09:06

Not what you asked, but might want to check fire regulations if the house is three storey. An isolated escape may be required if it is, or a sprinkler system or other mitigation if there isn't one.

I've never quite worked out why anyone wouldn't want their house to smell of food. I like food.

lalalonglegs Mon 22-Feb-16 14:41:36

I think it depends how much you like to cook and what you cook. I have friends with open plan houses that don't really smell because they don't cook from scratch or prepare very smelly food. It is something I would be worried about if I were to move to an open-plan house (as well as not being able to escape the rest of the family, everything always looking a mess, not being able to keep the cat out of the rest of the house...)

BackforGood Mon 22-Feb-16 15:07:31

I was going to say the same as lalalonglegs - it will depend on what you cook.
Wuffleflump - I like the smell of food while it's cooking, but less so some hours later when the smells are never so attractive.

For me though, it's more the noise / lack of privacy. surely we can't be the only family who will have 1 dc practising their instrument whilst another wants to listen to their music and another is watching TV, but I want to listen to the radio when I'm cooking or dh might want a bit of piece and quiet when he's concentrating on things?

Gazelda Mon 22-Feb-16 15:10:23

I agree with Back, it's the noise that's the worst. Having previously lived in an open plan house, there was nothing worse than trying to have a conversation or watch to while the washing machine was on full spin cycle.

SavoyCabbage Mon 22-Feb-16 15:22:12

What I hate is sitting watching tv or reading in the same room as the fridge. I seem to plan my whole existence on when I can put the dishwasher on. "And the murderer is....." Dishwasher rinse cycle

shovetheholly Mon 22-Feb-16 15:26:28

I don't think it depends on what you cook so much as how good your extractor is. If you're going open plan, make sure you have a proper, high quality ducted extractor that vents everything outside.

SnuffleGruntSnorter Mon 22-Feb-16 15:32:56

I live in an open plan house and as others have said the noise is the main problem.

I would only ever choose open plan again if there was a separate toilet room!

SnuffleGruntSnorter Mon 22-Feb-16 15:34:05

shockshock UTILITY room!

Autocorrect is not my friend.

Imagine living with an open plan toilet! grin

NewToNoContact Mon 22-Feb-16 15:49:17

I am open plan and I cooked salmon. Once.

Garnett Mon 22-Feb-16 17:01:54

TV will hopefully be down in the money pit basement TV room, sitting room is on a different floor - so hopefully sound shouldn't be the problem.

I think we should be fine - we're not going to running a herring pickling cottage industry - thanks for all the help.

PigletJohn Mon 22-Feb-16 17:07:57

the downstairs will also be cold, since the warm air will rise up the stairwell.

Lelivre Mon 22-Feb-16 20:42:11

I found noise more than an issue than smells, but we almost never fry food and we had really good extraction throughout.

Because of the noise last time...when we created a kitchen diner in our new home we bought the quietest appliances and the best extraction we could afford. My hood must be heat/humidity controlled because it comes on automatically if I forget.

Open plan kitchen/diner/living isn't very cosy or quiet and yes sometimes smelly.

chocomochi Mon 22-Feb-16 20:46:25

The whirling from the extractor will be noisy when you have it on to stop the house from smelling. Sorry.

Love the look and concept of open plan, but not sure about it in reality.

We don't have an open plan, but do a lot of stir fries, curries, bread machine bread, and it does make the house smell of those flavours for at least a day! Not necessarily a bad thing, but the smell does waft around the house.

cjdamoo Mon 22-Feb-16 20:51:46

Our house is open plan with a combined kitchen family and dining room. I love it and no lingering food smells. However we have a utility room so no washing machine to contend with which I think would drive me batty. Also a good quiet extractor fan. We also have the adults snug/media room so we can shut ourselves off if the need occurs. I think open plan only works if you are tidy.

Whathaveilost Mon 22-Feb-16 20:54:00

I understand that the latest trend is 'broken plan' which is a compromise. Look it up on The Houzz website.

catbasilio Mon 22-Feb-16 22:01:18

I had an open plan and agree with others. Smell could be an issue, but noise is a massive issue. Resolved with a partition wall and double doors to separate TV / snug room. I hate, hate open plan.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Feb-16 00:14:07

If you have a cooker in a large room, you need a more powerful extractor than if you have the same cooker in a small room. Something to do with air changes per hour and diffusion of gases I expect.

There are tables and calculators available for cu.m/hr by room size.

It has to be more powerful if it is a wall extractor than if it is a cooker hood sucking the fumes out before they can mix into the air. This is a building regs requirement for new kitchens.

if you have a room with the door and window shut, the extractor creates suction and prevents steam or smells getting into the rest of the house (same applies in bathrooms, where it is recommended that you have a gap under the door for cool, dry air to enter to replace what is sucked out).

thesilentone Tue 23-Feb-16 02:39:38

Open plan stairs is more the issue than open plan per se, due to heat loss, noise, and just the frustrating inability over time to separate the goings on of downstairs from upstairs. For instance its very helpful to be able to lie in bed upstairs without being able to hear the screaming baby downstairs that your partner has taken to allow you to get 40 winks.

queenoftheboys Tue 23-Feb-16 02:58:52

We have open plan and cook from scratch, fish etc - no problem with smells. We have a good quality, powerful, quiet expensive extractor fan. Also don't find noise a problem, but wm is in a separate room, and there's another "quiet" living room to go to. I love it - no more feeling cut off in the kitchen for the cook!

MiaowTheCat Tue 23-Feb-16 08:43:58

We've recently knocked the kitchen wall down so ours is semi open plan - we already had an alcove between the lounge and dining room, now we've got an open alcove into the kitchen as well so the different rooms are still defined and you've got a little separation from the TV watching and washing machine kicking into spin cycle at the interesting bit, but still have the light and freedom of movement (and no mucky fingerprints from DH's party trick of hanging onto door frames and leaning around them to talk to someone in the other room).

I don't tend to notice or mind the food smells though - and I find being able to bellow at the kids to stop hitting their siblings while I'm making dinner very helpful.

It's really opened up the light at the kitchen end of the house taking the wall down though - that difference is marked. The wall came down shortly after we put the conservatory on the back of the house and the whole thing is lovely now.

I don't personally like open plan stairs though - my mum has them and I've had a house with them - you end up with that really arkward bit under the stairs that invariably becomes a dumping ground for all sorts of junk and I never find it very warm. We've still got a proper hallway (still a dumping ground for endless pairs of shoes and odd gloves) which I much prefer.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 23-Feb-16 11:55:03

Fire regs mean that we couldn't do this once a loft conversion was done.

My husband bought some sort of fancy sound bar system - he grudgingly admits that being able to close a door to the stairs allows him to watch a film with near cinema level noise without the kids subconsciously absorbing the noise and violence. grin

We didn't go open plan. Can still smell bread baking in the wee hours wafting up the stairs.... smile

Lelivre Tue 23-Feb-16 12:25:58

Oooh I like 'broken plan' thanks for the link.

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