floorOpen Floor Plans: History, Pros, Cons, Ideas, and More

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There are two basic floor plans in home interior design, open floor plans, and closed floor plans.

If you’ve been considering remodeling your house and have done any research, you’ve most likely come across the terms; however, you are unsure if it’s right for you. In this post, learn more about open floor plans, including the benefits and drawbacks of this layout, to help you decide.

A Brief History of What Are They All About?

By removing the interior partition walls, an open floor design integrates at least two standard rooms. In addition, they frequently connect sections such as the living room, dining room, or even the kitchen to create a vast space with constant traffic flow.

For more than three decades, open floor plans have dominated the market, becoming the primary architectural trend of new properties in the 1990s. Around the 1950s, when entertainment grew less formal in principle, it began to get popular. Before World War II, entertaining was a more formal event, with the kitchen separated from the entertainment/dining area and permanently off-limits to house visitors. The open floor concept that we know today didn’t take shape until after the war.

While this design style was considered “new” and “cutting-edge” in the 1950s, it had become the norm in home design by the 1990s, especially in suburbia. This trend continues today, with the ability to use the terms “open floor plan,” “open concept,” or “great room,” increasing a home’s real estate value.

Open Floor Plan Configurations

An open floor plan does not imply that all rooms are connected or have no physical barriers. Only the communal spaces are open to the public. Bathrooms, powder rooms, bedrooms, and home offices are all excluded. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are frequently combined in open floor layouts.

  • Kitchen and dining room: A kitchen and dining room are frequently combined into one space. A kitchen island or peninsula can sometimes serve as a visual divider between the two areas. (find out more about kitchen islands here)
  • Dining room and living room: A dining room and a living room are combined into one space. A short set of steps, two different paint colors,  stairs leading to a sunken area, or a handrail can all serve as visible dividing lines.
  • The kitchen, dining room, and living room are commonly integrated into an oversized room with a vaulted roof.

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Open floor plans: What are their advantages?

The open floor plan has many perks, including:

  • Traffic flow has improved: An open concept floor design means that your housemates and guests may simply walk around your great room because there are few doors or dividers. And there is enough room for everyone to walk around while they prepare for the day; open concepts are especially beneficial for bigger families with busy morning routines.
  • Light has been increased: Partitions or walls can easily separate the kitchen, living, and dining areas without blocking natural light.
  • Improved communication: An open plan makes it simpler for sound to travel, allows better visibility, and promotes a sense of closeness, whether you’re talking to your family, entertaining visitors, or keeping an eye on children or pets. This layout allows you to observe what’s happening in your open living rooms without being obstructed by closed doors and walls.
  • It makes entertaining a breeze: Because there is plenty of area for your guests to mill around and interact, open floor designs are ideal for hosting small parties or game evenings. In addition, you can have a smooth chat with your guests while preparing refreshments on the kitchen island without the barriers of kitchen doors.
  • Flexibility: The open-floor concept has the advantage of making the area more adaptable. Depending on your needs, this space can be used as a family room, recreation room, office, or entertainment area. Without the constraints of walls, it’s simple to shift furniture and accessories to find what works best for you at any particular time! Take a look at the furniture and accessories around you to find what works best for you!
  • It makes a small space feel more spacious: Open floor designs are standard in urban regions because metropolitan apartments and dwellings have a smaller footprint than those in other areas. Open-concept homes make small rooms appear much larger than they are. When barriers divide one living space from another, compact spaces might feel much smaller. Tearing down walls and opening up your rooms to each other is a simple technique to fool the eye into thinking you have more square footage than you actually do.
  • Increased resale value: The popularity of open floor plans is growing, and their resale value is rising. When it comes time to sell, the desirability of this type of floor plan is a significant selling factor for potential buyers searching for the same flexibility and space that drew you in the first place.

What Are the Downsides of an Open Floor Plan?

An open floor plan can be preferable for some homeowners, but there are a few drawbacks to this layout, such as:

  • Expensive: In areas with tall or vaulted ceilings, heating or cooling an open space can be costly. Like in traditional house plans, each room can have its temperature control when rooms are separated. However, providing and maintaining heat or air conditioning takes more energy in a larger space, resulting in costly utility bills. I recommend reading this article if you are currently on a tight remodeling budget.
  • Privacy Issues: While rooms that require privacy, such as the toilet and bedroom, are segregated, having an open floor plan throughout the remainder of your home considerably lowers the number of private spaces available. If you prefer your privacy and prefer to be alone, an open floor design may be too much for you.
  • Noisy: While hearing everything may be appealing to some homeowners, the lack of interior barriers means that sound will constantly move across rooms, resulting in fewer quiet spaces.
  • Smells can travel: The kitchen is frequently a part of the great area with an open floor design. If you have a tiny interior area, having an open kitchen means that intense food aromas will spread to adjacent open rooms.
  • Upkeep is required: Because even the slightest bit of dirt can make a place feel cluttered, open floor plans need regular cleaning. In addition, dirty plates in the sink or toys on the floor are noticeable from side rooms, so you’ll have to upkeep almost every day.
  • The impact of design decisions is amplified: Choose appliances, cabinetry, light fixtures, and paint colors wisely in an open-style kitchen since they will be visible from other parts of the house. Before you start your kitchen remodeling, you should consult with an interior designer to ensure that your kitchen plans are compatible with the rest of your home.

Ideas For Your Inspiration

If you’re decorating an open floor plan for the first time, you could be overwhelmed by the options. Don’t be scared if you haven’t educated your eye on setting up individual areas within the ample open space. We’ve compiled a list of the most helpful hints to get you started and manage your design.

Think out your activity areas

Open floor plans provide a terrific opportunity to prioritize critical aspects of your life. If you’ve wished for a cozy location to curl up and read or a place for family game night, now is the time to make it happen. Likewise, if you want your great room to be a place where the kids could play while you spend time together as a family, remember to provide open areas for movement.

Before you begin installing furniture, don’t be scared to make a wish list. You’ll save yourself the trouble of moving big couches and tables later if you plan ahead.

Invest in rugs

Rugs are an excellent method to visually separate your activity zones once you’ve worked out the overall placement. You can also use them to help you set up tables and line up seats and couches.

Rugs are a simple way to add color and design while also helping to ground and tie together the aesthetic of an open floor plan.

Utilize the light

When it comes to lighting in your kitchen, open floor designs have a lot of advantages. Because there are no barriers to prevent sunlight, it may flow freely across rooms, giving your old furniture a fresh new look.

Take advantage of the chance and try changing the colors or finishes of your design accessories. You could find yourself wanting to go lighter and brighter. Another great benefit to a sunnier space? Maybe now is the time to start that plant collection!

Go symmetrical

In open spaces, classic interior design elements can be beneficial. For example, use a solid focal point, such as a fireplace, to anchor a balanced arrangement of two sofas, an oversized sofa, an equal-visual-weight dining table, or art that mirrors each other from either side of the mantel. Remember that, while identical pieces can produce a solid and polished design, other factors such as size, proportion, and color can also aid in symmetry.

Use paint to delineate areas.

In order to break up the long stretches, feature walls, kitchen islands, fireplace surrounds, and dining tables can be painted in contrasting colors. To properly set up places for a strong contrast, combine these colors with area rugs or other furnishings.

While you’re out shopping for paint, look for complementary colors that have similar tones. Or, for a big pop of color, bring in some favorite art and match a couple of colors.

Final Words on Choosing Open Floor Plans:

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what open-floor plans are and how they might benefit you.

When it comes to entirely changing the layout of your home, there are a lot of factors to consider; do you value privacy and alone time? Are there any load-bearing walls that could be problematic? Is it necessary for you to work from home in a separate location? All of these factors will help you determine whether or not an open-concept design will work in your home.

Do you have any more questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

To learn more about how FBR Construction may assist you in getting the home of your dreams, contact us now. And experience the difference.

 

 

Sources:

Wallender L (2021 August 10) The Open Floor Plan: History, Pros and Cons thespruce

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-an-open-floor-plan-1821962

 

Backman M (2020 May 8) The Pros and Cons of Open Floor Plans millionacres

https://www.millionacres.com/real-estate-market/articles/the-pros-and-cons-of-open-floor-plans/

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