Open Plan Kitchen and Your Mental Health

The idea of home design making life better stood the test of time, and for good reasons. Take Feng Shui, for example, the famous philosophy of correlation between your home and your health. It focuses on finding the perfect balance, dates to ancient China, and is more popular today than ever. 

An Open Plan Kitchen in A Small Living Area
An Open Plan Kitchen in A Small Living Area

The deep understanding of your home’s psychological powers has been growing for centuries, continually improving through new pieces of knowledge. Modern technologies brought it all to new levels by bringing the power of light and color therapy.

Home Is Where Your Soul Is

Everything starts in the home, the way you feel, whatever you want to do. A well-designed house is more than just a mix of aesthetics and function. It means a healthy environment that extends to your personal relationships, business interactions, and more. Design can transform your life, inspire your goals, and heal or remove the stress. With shapes, colors, lights, and other elements, it can change the way you move, the way you do things, and, subsequently, the way you think and feel. 

That is why the vital part of my interviews with clients is learning about their existing and desired goals. Connecting with the state of mind helps me to understand their personality. That way, I can use the design to solve (or prevent) some problems, even when the clients are not aware of having any. Knowing the motivational forces lets me translate those into architecture, creating a place that feels relaxed, energized, or cozy.

Whatever feeling you need more of in your life, soothed, motivated, cheerful—it can all start right at your doorstep.

A well-made home can help you to prevent the problem rather than curing it with medicines after it happens. Good design can boost your enthusiasm and motivation by utilizing color psychology, light therapy, and creating an environment that breaths with you. The best design is unique and tailored by your personality, for life and future, as a better living space for a longer and healthier life span without issues.

Why Is the Kitchen So Important for Mental Health?

Woman sipping a drink in a rustic open-plan kitchen
A Rustic Open-Plan Kitchen

Cooking Helps You Connect With Yourself 

Cooking is an act of patience, creativeness, and mindfulness. Doing it at home is good for your mental health because it helps you focus, allows you to express freely, improves social life and communication. It can lead to raising your self-esteem by feeling good about doing something successful, positive, and good for others.

When you cook, you’re setting an achievable goal for yourself. In psychology, that is known as a type of therapy called “behavioral activation,” useful in treating depression and anxiety. It raises your feelings of accomplishment through direct contact with sources of reward. If you have a problem with procrastination, cooking will help with its goal-oriented behavior requirement. 

Unless you’re very prone to experimenting on your own, you have to follow a recipe. That means you must focus, and once you get hooked in the process, it becomes similar to meditation. Your mind is set to the task at hand. You are free from stressful thoughts, taking a necessary rest from all issues. As a result, cooking calms you, relieves feelings of depression and anxiety, and relaxes the tension in your body.

Cooking Helps You Connect With Others

Cooking Together in an Open-Plan Kitchen. Cooking helps you connect with others.
Cooking Together in an Open-Plan Kitchen

Asking your family and friends to take an active role in the process boosts a sense of community and improves connection. Cooking with family or friends requires good coordination and time and task management. Powering those up in an entertaining environment of the kitchen can translate to improved communication when solving important issues is in order. Additionally, it also develops your organization skills, leading to higher productivity and more self-awareness.

Open-Plan Kitchen Benefits

Plenty of Storage Options in an Open-Plan Kitchen
Plenty of Storage Options in an Open-Plan Kitchen

An open floor plan makes any space appear broader. That is very convenient for smaller homes, allowing for shaping the limited floor area with fewer restrictions. At the same time, it helps you “breathe more freely,” and leaves more space for shared activities with high frequency. An open floor kitchen is a consistently functional space that can host a large number of guests (or sous-chefs). It lets them socialize without splitting up and standing on each other’s way.

With an open plan living area, household members can interact with each other while still keeping enough sense of private space. Moreover, it benefits a kid-friendly sight-line, allowing the parents to easily keep an eye on kids while preparing meals. By removing walls and obstructions between the kitchen and dining room, you augment the overall family-friendly factor. 

It is also worth saying that open floor plans are quite popular and can boost your home’s value if you decide to sell.

Open Plan Kitchen and Well-being

A Contemporary Open-Plan Kitchen
A Contemporary Open-Plan Kitchen

Open kitchens can do wonders to transform your home and your contentment. Removing the walls allows the sightlines to expand, natural light to come in, and air to circulate—to name just a few.

Better Airflow, Higher Air Quality

Air quality is one of the crucial aspects of a healthy environment. While the most comfortable humidity level lies between 42-50%, many living areas suffer from too humid or too dry air.

Installing an air-purifying system with humidity control and anti-pollution effect can significantly boost your quality of life, mood, and mental health. Your personal performance will improve in time, eliminating many roots of dissatisfaction, depression, and similar issues.

Lighter Kitchen, Brighter Life

Sharing Is Caring: Open-Plan Kitchen Brings More Fun
Sharing Is Caring: Open-Plan Kitchen Brings More Fun

Exposure to natural light has a substantial impact on your mood, energy, sleep, and overall quality of life. Simultaneously, the lack of it can lead to insomnia, irritability, distraction, and depression. Natural light influences the body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural clock that drives a number of biological functions. Most importantly, it controls the release of the hormone serotonin, the brain’s natural mood stabilizer.

An abundance of natural light in an open-space will improve your motivation, performance, and promote the feelings of peace and calm. Additionally, removing the excessive need for harsh, artificial light triggers will relieve you from headaches, eye fatigue, and anxiety.

The Power of Beauty

Another aspect of an open plan space is its pure aesthetic value. Well-designed open concept kitchens can have a truly stunning appeal. There is also a factor of dynamics—applying a variety of finishing products creates excitement and communicates a lively lifestyle. Exposed shelving and glass cabinets can enhance the sense of openness, while the lightweight furnishing brings the feeling of a larger room.

Color as a Therapeutic Element

An Open-Plan Kitchen: A Variety of Finishing Products Creates Excitement
An Open-Plan Kitchen: A Variety of Finishing Products Creates Excitement

The home decor often seems like a simple matter of aesthetics. Still, utilizing color psychology can profoundly affect the emotional well-being of both you and your family. It’s well-known that exposure to specific colors causes changes in our moods. By modulating that exposure in your living space, you can control your emotional state. 

If you have fond memories of spending time in the kitchen of a particular color when you were a kid, recreating that color scheme can revoke the old feel. If the kitchen was not a significant part of your childhood, you may be tempted to try red and yellow. Keep in mind that this requires extra caution: red can prompt you to eat more.

Vibrant hues like red or yellow can trigger powerful emotions. However, they can be too intensively energetic for some, and need to be used sparingly and with caution. 

How Can a Color Affect Your Mood?

Red enhances appetite. Also, it provokes a reaction, acting as a trigger for an urgent response. Yellow is a color of happiness. Obviously, there’s a good reason why the combination of red and yellow makes the majority of fast food visual identities. 

The typical colors used to evoke positive emotional responses are orange, blue, indigo, and violet. The orange color is a safer mix of red and yellow. It is considered to treat depression by affecting alertness and concentration, decreasing feelings of dread at the same time.

Blue is the most common color used in color therapy to reduce tension and help with both anxiety and depression. The same applies to the calming hue of indigo. Violet is known as a relaxant of the mind and body. It brings a sense of comfort and peace and helps with focus by encouraging meditation.

Green is a color of freshness, nature, and harmony. It’s commonly associated with nature and balance. Soothing and relaxing, when combined with natural wood it enhances the feeling of renewal and rebirth.

Learn how to perfectly pair light with color and how a well-designed open kitchen is easy to declutter here.

About the author

Aryo Falakrou

Aryo Falakrou is the founder of My Home Designer (MHD) which is a boutique design company providing architectural and interior design services for custom homes, renovations, offices, retails, hotels and restaurants. We are proud of our design philosophy and out of the box thinking and our services is tailored to like minded clients. We believe on building relationships and helping our clients rather than just selling our services to them. People come to us as a client, start the process as a friend and become like a family by end of the project.