Open floor plans are a popular design trend in many modern homes. But what exactly is open floor plan design? And how do you know if it's the right choice for your custom home? In this blog, we'll explore all of these questions and more to help you better understand open floor plans and whether they're right for your project.
What Are Open Floor Plans?
An open floor plan is a type of layout that features very few walls separating rooms. This can make any space feel larger than it actually is, which some people find appealing. It also makes it easier to socialize with other members of the household because they don't need to go far for conversation or family time.
Open floor plans often feature a kitchen, dining room and living room that are all open to one another. This means the entire space can be used for cooking or eating as well as hosting guests - no more going from one end of your home to the other just to use appliances! The downside? You might not have enough privacy with this type of setup because it's easy for family members or visitors to see what you're doing in any given area.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Open Floor Plans
One thing is certain: open floor plan design has some clear benefits, but also presents some potential drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at both sides so you can make an informed decision.
Pros of Open Floor Plans:
- Improved real estate value. In nearly all cases, an open-floor plan makes a home more attractive to buyers.
- Better flow. Without doors to get in your way and nothing blocking the way, people flow unhindered through the space.
- Increased sociability and communication. Open floor plans use a lot of space, and without walls between each room, talking and entertaining is much easier.
- Floor plan flexibility. With fewer walls, one can design and reconfigure furnishing options of a space much easier.
- Distributed light. Modern open floor plans have fewer fixed boundaries, so interior spaces are able to gain natural light.
- Rooms can be multifunctional. Open floor plans can serve multiple purposes depending on your needs of the moment.
Cons of Open Floor Plans:
- Higher energy costs. Open plans allow more natural light, which typically means that more electricity and cost to cool (or heat) the space.
- Noise pollution and distraction. A major downside of open floor plan design is higher noise levels because it's hard for one room to absorb sound waves from other rooms in an open layout home. Additionally, a person can be distracted by what's going on in another room or even outside the house if there are windows everywhere throughout the space.
- Dust and pollen intrusion. Due to the lack of barriers between spaces (such as walls). Allergenic materials like pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and certain types of bacteria are free to roam through every part of your home without hindrance when you have an open concept.
- Higher construction cost. With fewer walls, open concepts depend on steel or laminated beams for structural support. These are not a problem to include in the design, but are simply more costly to install.
7 Open Floor Plan Design Ideas
- Arrange your furniture away from the walls. This creates a more inclusive space and is more inviting. Also it doesn't block any windows, increasing the open feel. Provide some type of visual barrier between living and dining spaces, such as a sectional or coach. Open spaces divided by furniture still maintain their flow, but it gives a sense of enough separation so it's not just one large room.
- Use rugs to give the allusion of a separate space if you're looking to create a "room" without walls, area rugs are a great way to do that.
- Repeat a favorite element in each open floor plan section. This can give a sense of continuity throughout your home.
- Decorate with multi-function furnishings. Increase the functionality of your home with furnishings that can be used for more than one purpose with minimal effort.
- Maintain Design Continuity. Creating separate spaces within the larger space gives character, but creating a sense of continuity between each space brings the whole design concept together.
- The Use of Negative Space. This is the unsung key for many interior designers, popularized in recent years by the likes of Marie Kondo. Allow negative (open) space. Don't feel like you have to fill every space. Negative space can add as much as another furnishing or piece of art. Allow the space to breathe.
Building a custom home with an open floor plan design concept typically means space is maximized in every way possible. However, some homeowners prefer the close-knit feeling that comes from having walls to separate spaces within their homes. It's important to understand both the benefits and the drawbacks of open floor plan designs, and pinpoint the things that you might want to include in your own custom home design.
Contact Bianchi-Tillett Developers today to see open floor plan ideas and concepts.