The history of the open-plan kitchen

  • Mobalpa old open kitchen
  • From closed kitchens to open-plan kitchens

    Until the start of the 1900s, the kitchen was both cut-off and far away from the dining room. The use of domestic help in wealthy households slowly disappeared. The mistress of the house then took on the role of cook. So, for practical reasons, the kitchen was moved closer to the dining room.

    In the 1930s, the first electrical appliances appeared on the market, which turned out to be a real revolution for housewives.

    So, the kitchen then needed to be reorganised. And the first fitted kitchens appeared in the 1960s: Units were all linked together under one single worktop. The fridge, gas cooker and dishwasher were also integrated to save space.

    The 1980s marked a turning point in the history of the kitchen. Electrical appliances performed at an increasingly high level. They gradually became quieter and were more effective at reducing kitchen smells. The extractor fan was especially good for limiting odours. Practical, modern units led to the removal of kitchen walls, opening up the workspace onto the living area, increasing surface area and making the kitchen more sociable.

  • The evolution of the open-plan kitchen layout

    Consumers soon fell for the practical, easy-to-maintain fitted kitchen.

    At the start, it was organised in a very linear way, but soon designers were offering more bespoke, ergonomic layouts that made movement easier and optimised space.

    The idea of the "kitchen work triangle" was an integral part of this development. Areas for washing-up, preparing food and cooking were arranged according to a triangle to reduce necessary movement when preparing meals.

    Worktops also evolved in line with hygiene standards and to make them more hard-wearing and easier to maintain.Stainless steel, laminate, quartz, granite, wood, ceramic and even glass now covers our worktops.

    1970s-style Formica or wooden cabinet doors made way for laminate, melamine and polymer units with more attractive and easy-to-clean lacquered, natural or varnished finishes.


  • open kitchen signature atmosphere
  • Open-plan kitchens: welcoming and sociable

    The kitchen becomes a real extension of the lounge and adds a touch of character to your living space. Bespoke units are increasingly ingenious, layouts are simplified and everything is within arm’s reach.

    You can cook together, enjoy hosting guests and share a nice dish you’ve cooked up. You can all gather around the centre island or bar for a family breakfast.

    Kitchens are continually adapting to our needs and wishes. At Mobalpa, our designers draw on all their expertise to help you choose the best open-plan kitchen to suit you.

  • Mobalpa open kitchen sharing place