Closed vs. Open Floor Plans

July 24, 2018

An open concept floor plan has one or more large areas that function as "rooms" within a common space, and will usually combine the kitchen with the dining and living areas of the home.  Open floor plans can especially benefit smaller homes with limited floor space.

 

Which floor plan is better for your home and lifestyle?  Here are some of the pluses and minuses of each to consider.

 

An Open Floor Plan Offers:

  • More opportunity to socialize. The people in the kitchen can carry on conversations with family members or guests in other areas of the space.

  • Easier kid watching. Parents or caretakers can keep an eye on children while in the kitchen.

  • More light, better views.  Removing interior walls allows light from windows to flood the open space of the house. 

  • It creates a feeling of spaciousness.  Kitchens do not usually have high ceilings that make them feel bigger, but opening a kitchen up to an adjacent area will make it feel much larger.

  • More Entertainment Space.  If you love hosting parties or holiday gatherings, an open floor plan can make every occasion an even more special celebration.

 

Before removing any walls in your home, think about the downside of an open floor plan:

 

  • Noises travel farther in an open space.  The acoustics of an open space amplify noise.  Without walls to muffle or block sounds, they can easily travel throughout the area.

  • Odors travel, too.  After cooking a meal that smells delicious, the less pleasant smells emanating from used pans and dirty dishes can waft quickly through an open space.

  • Less privacy.  With multiple people using the same space for activities, like children playing, teens studying, parents watching TV, or just wanting to relax, you may miss the privacy that your old walls once provided.

 

Closed Floor Plans Offers:

 

  • More wall space to display artwork. If you are an art enthusiast and need ample space to display your favorite works you will need wall space.
     

  • Easier to clean and contain messes. You may prefer an enclosed playroom for kids or rooms with doors that can keep messes out of the main rooms.
     

  • Dedicated rooms.  More individual rooms means more dedicated spaces for a home office, a studio, a screening room, workout space or guest room.
     

  • More containment of noise and odors.  Eliminates these concerns that may be an issue with an open floor plan.

 

Many contemporary homes use a modified plan that includes a spacious main level and individual rooms in the second level.  If you like lots of family time, or frequently entertain, an open floor plan may be the right one.  If you put more value on quiet time and dedicated spaces, then a closed plan may be the better choice for you home.

 

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