An open floor plan offers homeowners a number of options when it comes to decor and design, making it an extremely desirable layout for modern lifestyles. As they continue to rise in popularity, more and more builders are offering what was once a luxurious option as a standard layout.
What is an open floor plan?
You’ve probably heard the term numerous times as you are searching for your new home. While this trend seems to become a must-have in any home, it actually originated in 1886, beginning with making the kitchen more of a social room, rather than just a place to serve the family meal. These new designs provided flexibility for growing families and turned usable space into a high commodity. The concept has evolved over the years to include multiple floors and many rooms, all to provide as much flow and function as possible.
Many of the new homes that are on the market today feature open floor plans. Most commonly, an open concept means the main floor of the house contains multiple rooms in one large space. The kitchen, dining room, and living room can be combined and visual markers, such as an island or other large pieces of furniture, are used to visually separate each space.
The Many Appeals of an Open Floor Plan
For homes of any size, an open floor plan provides numerous benefits. What started as a trend now seems like the norm for newly constructed homes. This desirable design aesthetic is popular for a number of reasons including:
- Increases Natural Light: With fewer walls, natural light from windows can stream into the house, making the new space feel airy and bright all year long.
- Creates More Space: An open floor plan maximizes the square footage of a property giving homeowners the freedom to create a natural flow while making the most out of the space available. With little to no walls, doors, or pillars the visual and physical flow is enhanced throughout the space.
- Combines the Interior and Exterior: An open concept combined with large windows and glass doors makes it easy to bring the feel of the outside in. A porch or patio can visually become an extension of your indoor living area while allowing easy access to your dining or living room without it feeling too secluded from the rest of your house.
- Better Communication: Make dinner while your kids play in the living room or work on homework in the dining room. With fewer obstacles to hinder communication, it’s so easy to hold conversations and keep an eye on everyone. An open concept allows for each member of the family to attend to their individual task and still spend time together.
- Ideal for Entertaining: If you love hosting informal get-togethers, upscale soirées or holiday events, an open concept is ideal. Guests can mingle with ease, areas for seating are expandable, and you can host without the hassle of wondering what is happening in separate rooms.
- Flexible Layout: With minimal or no walls impeding the space, you can change around rooms as needed. While there is no clear distinction between rooms, this creates options for multifunctional family living and allows owners to use the space in a way that fits their needs best. A simple desk area creates an at-home office or a place for the kids to dive into homework. A sunroom can be designated as a place to relax or become a breakfast area for informal meals.
- Enhances Aging in Place: Open concept living can allow residents to stay in their homes longer. Fewer hindrances like walls, columns or doors allow ease of movement throughout the home. The ability to rearrange furniture to accommodate a walker or wheelchair creates an advantage over a traditional home layout.