You might say the open concept is the new black when it comes to interior design. Everywhere you turn, people are knocking down walls to create open space between areas for living, dining, and cooking. So are open floor plans here to stay or are they just a passing trend?
In a way, an open floor plan really makes sense with today’s culture and the current real estate market. As footprints of new homes get smaller, multi-purpose rooms are becoming more and more popular. And with house prices continuing to increase, open kitchens maximize space. Open concepts can also help cut costs when building a new home, since you may using less materials and time by eliminating walls (sheetrock, trim, framing, paint, etc.) from the floor plan. Open floor plans can also potentially increase a home’s resale value, since that is what many buyers are looking for today.
Fans of open concepts like how one large space is great for entertaining. Instead of having the host sequestered away in the kitchen, they can interact with guests. At parties it seems like everyone always ends up crammed in the kitchen, and an open concept allows everyone to visit. For parents of little kids, it can also be reassuring to keep an eye on them while they are playing or watching TV.
Some people are already over the trend and would like to see more private spaces. Those opposed to the open concept floor plan cite noise and mess as two common concerns. If your kitchen, living, family, and dining space are all part of one great room and someone has the TV on or is cooking, than the entire family is really part of that activity, whether they want to be or not. If your kitchen sink is easily visible from the living room or where you receive guests, then your friends can see dishes piled up or counters that are waiting to be wiped down. Open concepts also just don’t afford the same amount of privacy a more closed floor plan does.
A popular compromise is to have an open kitchen and dining area, that may even open into the family room, but remains separate from the living room. You could even have sliding doors to close off the mess in the kitchen from the dining room when you have guests over for dinner.
What do you think about open concept floor plans? Love them or loathe them? Do you think they are here to stay? Let us know in the comments.