For a while now, there has been high demand for open floor plans, in which the kitchen and dining room are not bound by any walls or doors. I wouldn't get too comfortable, though - We may now be faced with a turning point in buyers' home design preferences.
Recently, builders and architects are featuring separate kitchens in new homes due to higher demand. According to a New York Times article regarding floor plans with formal dining rooms and closed kitchens, a broker explains "They offer charm and they're better for entertaining. For a certain demographic, they're a definite selling point."
There is also increasing popularity of what architects are referring to as "hybrid kitchens," which have pocket doors so home owners can have either an open or closed kitchen. Having this option is a huge benefit.
A closed kitchen does not mean it's shut off from the rest of the house, but it does mean that home owners can have some privacy when they need a little break from noisy kids or need to concentrate on cooking dinner. Closed kitchens are also great at hiding dirty dishes or a messy kitchen when guests are visiting, which means less stress for home owners.
Compromise is the key to achieving the perfect kitchen. Home owners can get the best of both worlds with a kitchen that closes off smells and food prep mess, while also not isolating the cook. Ways to achieve this dream kitchen are simple, and can range from adding a pass-through window or a raised bar and eating counter to installing pocket doors or a peninsula with upper cabinets.