Many older homes have separate spaces with a limited view of the rest of the home. Hallways were narrow, closets were smaller, and each part of the home was sectioned into its own room. As preferences changed, the open floor plan became popular. There are pros and cons to the design, and knowing what to expect with this specific floor plan will help you decide if it’s right for you.
The Pros of an Open Floor Plan
Open floor plans give you a blank slate. The home can be furnished and arranged in a variety of ways. Whether you’re entertaining a large group or want flexible space for playdates with the kids, an open concept provides ease of movement for guests from one place to the next.
Walls for dining rooms and front rooms restrict the flow while open floor plans give you the freedom to use all of your space as you see fit.
Natural light is great for rooms, as it makes them feel more spacious and inviting. Lots of windows give you plenty of options for house plants, too. An open floor plan maximizes the view of windows and allows more natural light into your living space.
An open floor plan lets the whole family be together while engaging in different activities. One family member might be in the kitchen while the kids do homework at the island or watch TV from the couch. A sense of togetherness exists even while working independently. This is also great for parents who are working from home but want to keep an eye on their kids.
The Cons of an Open Floor Plan
Homes with large open spaces are more expensive to heat and cool. Increased energy bills are one of the most common downsides when considering this design. There is also an increased cost in building a home with an open floor plan. Due to fewer load-bearing walls, more fortification is needed in other areas to maintain structural integrity.
While the inclusive nature of the floor plan is a bonus, it makes isolating sound difficult. Conversations and other activities spill over into shared common areas since there are fewer walls to buffer the acoustics.
Since many things are visible all the time, you may feel more pressure to keep up with the housekeeping chores. Dusty baseboards, dirty floors, and disorganized piles of mail and toys are in full view with an open floor plan.
If a guest is dropping by for even a quick visit, you’ll need to tidy up a much larger space for the house to look orderly. If you keep a more relaxed home, an open floor plan may not be the best option for you.