Open concept floor plans have been the go-to layout for new builds and renovations for some time now, and over the last decade, it has reached the point where the entire main floor is one large room. The appeal was that no walls allowed for more together time with your family, which is a great goal —who doesn't want more time with the people they love?
Also, we tend to live more casually these days; with the demise of the formal living room, it made more sense to use the space in our homes for more relaxed gatherings. However, I've seen slow but steady growth in the desire to have more separation in the rooms where we live our lives. Read on to see what's driving this desire…
1. Limited Privacy
Open floor plans do not allow for much privacy. In the new work reality, many of us need a place to work from home and attend virtual meetings. Walls and doors that close are crucial to a workspace that allows us to focus and to leave our work life behind at the end of the day.
Additionally, a totally open concept can make it challenging to have a private conversation or do quiet tasks like reading or studying. When your kids are listening to Dora the Explorer sing with her backpack, you’re listening to Dora the Explorer sing with her backpack. Every. Single. Day.
2. Substantially More Expensive
Another thing to consider is if you're planning a renovation of your main floor, removing load-bearing walls can be expensive. So some people may decide that the open concept is not worth the cost and the hassle of the extra time spent in renovation mode.
Another thing to note is that sometimes the exterior architecture of a home doesn't necessarily suit a wide-open interior space; letting the interior feel like it belongs with the exterior style can be a way to honour the spirit of your home. There are many other ways to make an older home feel fresh, up-to-date, and suitable for how our families live today!
Separation also allows us to switch paint colours from room to room; those who love the recent return to more colour-infused interiors will appreciate that. Check out How to Strategically Select Your Paint Colours & Finishes at the Same Time for colour inspiration!
3. Decidedly More Difficult to Maintain
When working with clients, one of my main priorities is listening to how they want to live and creating a space that will allow them to do just that. I have yet to hear any client dreaming of a home that requires lots of maintenance to keep it looking good for everyday living.
An open concept plan means that everything is visible from every direction on your main floor, including daily clutter and kitchen prep messes. As a result, you may find it hard to relax at the end of the day when you feel the need to keep hopping up to clear away the clutter that's interfering with your peaceful sightliness.
Hosting a dinner party can be even more challenging when you have to keep the kitchen clean, so your guests aren't looking at the aftermath of a cooking storm while seated at the dining table.
An open plan has many benefits, and we can find ways to incorporate those benefits into your floor plans. Or, a balance between an open and enclosed layout may work best for you. Whatever way you go, think carefully about what you want your daily life to look like.
It's always beneficial to consult with professionals —having an architect's input and a designer who can help you determine the best way to get the space you want can ensure your renovation gets you exactly what you need from your home.
If you're ready to make that interior design hire, reach out to us. We can't wait to hear about the floor plan you're dreaming of.