Pros & Cons of an Open Floor Plan

Monday, 05 October 2015 Scott Barton

An open floor plan is becoming one of the more popular home concepts and if you’re designing a new home or looking into a custom renovation, an open floor plan can be a great way to change your current living style. With a large open room layout that combines many spaces such as a kitchen, dining room and living room into one, it’s easy to see why this particular floor plan has become such a common theme throughout modern homes.

However, an open concept doesn’t work well for everyone and it can come with some disadvantages. Before choosing whether to customize your home to have an open or closed floor plan, talk out some of the pros and cons with your Colorado Springs custom home builder to decide which design will work best for you.

Advantages of an Open Floor Plan

An open floor plan can make a smaller space seem much larger than it is.

It seems pretty true that most people wish their kitchen had more space or that the dining room didn’t feel so enclosed. The best way to give an illusion of added square feet is to open up the walls and create an open floor plan. This gives the rooms a feel of spaciousness. By taking it one step further and raising the ceilings, the room will become airy and will appear less cramped.

If entertaining during the holidays or hosting parties for special events is how you like to spend your free time, then an open floor plan can be the perfect way to bring guests together. A closed layout leaves the kitchen, living room and dining room separated, but an open layout can mean that you’re in the kitchen preparing a meal, your spouse is sitting at the dining room table talking to your daughter and your son is in the living room watching television - and yet you all have a sense of togetherness still.

It’s easier to connect instead of lose time with the family when you’re all technically in separate rooms but can still hear and see one another. On special occasions, the large open plan can keep people from feeling crowded or like they’re having to move from one area to the next to spend quality time with one another. Entertainment becomes easier and more enjoyable.

The open concept plan can help you to multitask easily. Again, maybe you’re in the kitchen preparing dinner and your child is sitting at the dinner table working on homework. It’s easy for you to answer his questions or quiz him for his spanish test while you’re creating your homemade marinara. Combining spaces where your family spends much of its time separately can mean more family time overall!

Natural light can do wonders for you.

It brings optimism and happiness, it helps you wake up and it can even make your reflection look just a bit better in the mirror. If you love natural light throughout your house, then an open floor concept can be a great way to add light without having to add a bunch of windows.

When you open up a space, there’s no walls to cast shadows or block other light in the room. If there’s an area in the center of the room that feels dark, you can just place a mirror or a shiny decorative piece on the wall and the piece will absorb the surrounding light and beam it throughout the open room. Bonus: it will reduce your electricity costs because you won’t need to have on as many lights.

If you have children or animals an open floor plan can bring you peace of mind as you go about your daily routine like making coffee or tidying up the living room. An open floor plan allows you not to hover but to still keep a close eye on them without strapping them in a Baby Bjorn on your chest and carrying them with you from room to room. Without a structural barrier, you can easily peek up from what you’re doing to see why your baby is crying or what the dog is chewing on that it shouldn’t be.

Disadvantages of an Open Floor Plan

If you like being able to escape from your family or pets to watch TV, or making dinner in the kitchen is your alone time because no one else can fit in there, you may want to rethink an open layout. A lack of walls is a lack of privacy, and aside from bedrooms there aren’t as many places to escape to.

Some people like bare walls for simplicity but others like to hang family photos, artwork and sometimes even put in-home murals in the living room. If you need ample space on the wall to show your personality, you’ll want an enclosed living situation rather than an open space. The more walls you have, the more places you can hang all 43 photos of your puppy Toto!

When company comes over, everyone’s home looks as clean as the showroom at the furniture store, but that isn’t always case for everyday living. Enclosed spaces mean that messes are contained or can be hidden by closing a door, but with an open concept, there’s no hiding the pile of dirty dishes in your sink from your guests. Think about your lifestyle and if your home is typically on the messier side - unless you consider hiring a housekeeper, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll keep this new area cleaner than your previous home. Despite what your heart wants, you sometimes have to do what makes more sense.

Smells come in bad and good forms. Baking a cake to surprise your child for his birthday? He already smelled it and knows. Did your dog pee in the kitchen as you were reading a book in the living room? Don’t worry - you’ll smell it before you even see the mess. Unfortunately, smells don’t always stay in one place and your burned bacon could make the whole house reek all day.

With a house full of kids and pets, or even just a spouse who has few friends over, you may not get some peace and quiet after a long day of work. In an open space, noise travels further and the acoustics can make it seem louder. There are ways to reduce noise echoing through a house, but if you know there won’t be a quiet moment, you may want to reconsider a closed concept.

Open floor plans can be a great design concept for your Colorado Springs custom home, but you have to evaluate your lifestyle and decide if it will work for you. Along with the ability to easily entertain and multitask comes a need to be clean and a lack of privacy.

A good way to decide if it will work for you is to think of your current floor plan and decide if that layout does or doesn’t work and go from there. If you have serious concerns, a custom home builder can always give you options on how to help you get the best layout you want.

Read 1116 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 September 2015

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