Open-plan living is popular and for very good reason. Having a large open living area emphasises a light, spacious feel. It encourages socialising and allows the kitchen and living area to have several functions. But, the one downside that seems to be a common concern is the worry of cooking smells seeping through the entire house.
But don’t let this fear put you off completely. Check out these 5 tips on how to reduce nasty cooking smells in an open-plan home.
1. Ventilation & Extraction
If you are going to have an open-plan living space that includes your kitchen, really look into investing in a good extractor! If you can have an extractor that sucks the air, and the smells with it, outside of the house, then go for one of these. Compare models and their extraction rate and filter quality. Different manufacturers use different filter types.
If you cannot have an extractor hood that sucks air, smells and moisture out of the house, then a recirculating extractor is your other option. These generally have metal grease filters to take the grease (ick!) out of the vapours, and charcoal filters inside them that filter the smelly cooking odours before passing the air back out into the room.
When looking at extractor hood models, compare the noise levels of each one you find. In an open-plan area, you ideally want to have a unit with a quieter extraction motor to avoid sitting in the living room, feeling frustrated by the whirring.
2. Clean as You Go
It may seem like I’m explaining how to suck eggs right now, but to avoid cooking smells from lingering, get rid of any splashes, splatter or sprinks that have spread whilst cooking. This includes cleaning out the oven on a regular basis (or investing in a pyrolytic self-cleaning oven – ‘cause let’s face it, we haven’t all got the time for heavy duty oven cleaning regularly).
When we shallow-fry meat, I literally cringe throughout the entire process because of how much oil and fat spits all over the hob and counter. Even chicken with no fat and just a tad of olive oil makes a mess! Wiping up any grease and oil helps to ensure the nasty stink that comes with it is avoided! Mixing a little essential oil into the soapy water you clean up with can help leave a fresh smell to linger instead. More on this below!
3. Get Rid of Pots
Again, this may seem like a no-brainer… but whoever is on washing-up duty should get on that task as soon as possible! If the pots can’t be washed straight away (or stacked in the dishwasher as soon as they have finished being used for cooking) then make sure they don’t stick around on the sides for too long before they are tackled! Dirty pots can create quite the stank if not eliminated quickly!
If you are hand-washing, invest in a good washing-up liquid that cuts through grease. Cheap washing-up liquid isn’t always a good move as you end up using more of it in the long run!
4. Wash Your Fabrics Regularly
In an open-plan living space, it’s likely you will have one or two items that are pros at soaking up any and all smells that are in the air. Items like curtains, throws and cushions, while making your area cosy and inviting, will trap icky scents and contribute towards them lingering for days. Eurgh! Wash these guys as often as possible!
I love having cushion covers that you can take off the filling cushion to wash. Make sure you follow washing and drying instructions on the covers and if you can air the covers outside then even better. The smell of fresh air is amazing on fabrics!!!
5. Use Essential Oils
For ease, I’ll sometimes use synthetic air fresheners to make the house smell a little nicer, but after a quick burst of scent, usually the old stubborn cooking smells overpower and mingle with the fragrance. Using essential oils that are known for their freshness and naturally pleasant scents, is a great way to help clean up the smell of your open-plan space.
Lemon, Peppermint and Bergamot essential oils are just some of the fresh and clean scents that, when mixed into a solution of water and baking soda, can help eliminate nasty odours and place them with a much more pleasant smell in your home!