Open floor plans are extremely popular with today’s homebuyers, and builders are accommodating them with new designs and layouts every year. The style has been popular since the 1990s and demand has only increased from there so it’s become common for new developments and display homes to feature these designs.
Defining The Open Floor Plan
Open floor or living plan designs feature a large common room that blends the functions of several rooms. Most commonly, these are the kitchen, living room and dining room. Typically, there are no walls to separate these rooms from one another, but you’ll often see a bar or countertop at the edge of the kitchen to separate the cooking area from the rest of the room. If you’re lucky, located adjacent to the living room or sometimes kitchen dining area is an alfresco or patio, effectively bringing the outdoors in.
The Popularity Of The Design
This layout makes it easier for families to spend time with one another while still doing their own thing, which is one of the biggest reasons for their popularity. Anyone who is cooking in the kitchen can still be part of the conversation taking place in the living room. Parents can cook dinner while still helping their kids with homework at the dining table or keep an eye on younger children while getting meals ready. Those who like to entertain love these designs for many of the same reasons. They can still be involved in the party while taking care of the food.
The style also tends to let in more natural light since there are fewer walls to block it. Likewise, these designs create the illusion of more space, especially if they are combined with high ceilings, large windows and alfrescos or patios. They are less confining than rooms that are separated from one another with walls, but defining each area with well-placed furniture helps break the area up and prevent it from seeming too large.
Is This Design Right For You?
Just as there are many advantages of the design, there are drawbacks as well. Some people don’t like the exposed feel. Others prefer their rooms to be separate from one another and still others are bothered by noise or visual distractions that carry throughout the area. There are no doors to shut out the noise or block the messes from sight, after all. Sometimes the rooms can look sparse, particularly if you don’t have a lot of artwork to hang on the walls or furniture to fill the space.
Decide For Yourself
The best way to figure out if this style is right for you is to visit showroom homes or homes that are for sale and compare and contrast open plans with more traditional layouts. Be sure to consider your lifestyle and how you use your home. It’s helpful to envision your furniture in the home to see if you can imagine yourself living there.