An open floor plan home is one where one or two spaces are joined together to form a larger room. This eliminates the partition walls that usually divide the space into multiple rooms. A common example is instead of having the dining, kitchen, and living room separate, you make them into a large open communal style with no walls demarcating them. As the story goes, a long, long time ago houses were by necessity open floor plan. Later on, those who could afford it began to construct and subdivide the rooms into many specialized rooms. This was especially important for people who had cooks and hired help, maybe even slaves who needed to be kept hidden from view. Open floor plans have come back in style though, however, the jury’s still out on whether the pros outweigh the cons.
1. Maximize floor space
An open floor plan ends up making the space feel much bigger and significantly less cramped. It also makes one feel like there is no dead unused space in the home. In most homes, the dining room is not used nearly as much as the rest of the rooms. When there are no walls separating the kitchen, dining and living rooms, areas like the dining room that are not used as much don’t feel like wasted space.
2. Airy better lit rooms
The absence of walls blocking light from windows has the effect of letting in more natural light. The result is brighter rooms that get sunlight throughout the day because they are lit from different windows. It also gives the rooms an airy feel.
3. Social cohesiveness
Open floor plans make socializing easier even when people are doing different things. They are in the same space, the children may be playing, someone may be cooking, and another watching TV but they are not as isolated as they would be in different rooms. This also makes it easier to monitor children playing while say making dinner.
Hosting events and interacting with guests is also much easier. Being in the kitchen for example does not take you away from your guests. The way the room becomes larger also keeps your guests from being cramped up or forced to be in separate rooms because of space restrictions.
4. Improved real estate value
Open floor plans are now becoming popular, increasing your home’s desirability and by extension raising the resale value. Who wouldn’t want that?
1. Less privacy and no sound buffering
Privacy remains important even in families and open floor plans significantly reduce privacy putting everyone in each other’s space almost all the time.
Having everyone close and together may be fun for a while but when you’re trying to watch a documentary and someone’s scrubbing some pots and pans, what you wish for is walls, not togetherness. They can be very noisy with everything from hums from the refrigerator to the microwave and people doing their thing travelling throughout the space.
2. Reduced kitchen safety
While they may be great at making it possible for a busy parent to watch their kids while they cook, they also increase the chances of accidents involving hot and dangerous appliances especially when the children are small and just wander around touching everything with no concept of the potential dangers involved.
3. Cooking heat and smells travel everywhere
There is no way to keep the smoke, heat, and smells contained in the ‘kitchen’ area. The cooking smells will waft through the entire living space compete with permeating into the furniture and rags.
4. You can’t hide the mess
There’s just no way to escape the clutter. For example, if your kitchen is messy after cooking, there’s no way to escape that, you can’t just close the door to the kitchen and put it out of your mind. Everything is visible at all times including the mess. It forces you to constantly be cleaning for the room to look its best because you can’t just close the door to the messy area. 10 Cleaning Hacks To Keep Your House Spotless
There’s a lot to consider here. Here’s hoping this clarified one or two things for you regarding open floor plan designs for your home.
Open to some design inspiration? Check this out: 7 Decor Tips For The Kitchen