People enjoy being in spacious, open surroundings. When there’s room to spread out and the home has a sense of elegance to it, you simply feel comfortable and more relaxed. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons that open floor plans are so popular.
We take a closer look into why homeowners who choose custom-built homes and those who are about to remodel their houses are drawn to open floor plans. We’ll go over the features, pros and cons, and some of the design decisions that can go into the building process.
What Is Considered an Open Floor Plan?
Most homes come in either open or closed layouts, and some with a combination of the two being used. In a closed floor plan, spaces are separate from each other and closed off with walls and doors. An open floor plan typically has separate, enclosed bedrooms, but the main living spaces flow into each other without being sealed off with walls.
For example, even though they’re distinct areas of the house with specific purposes, the kitchen, dining room, and the family room may all open into each other, without being separated by walls, doors, or partitions.
Open floor plans may also have stairs leading up to another level of the house, perhaps with design decisions made to keep the staircase levels open and see-through by the type of railings used. You might have at least a partial view of an upstairs loft or an open hall leading into bedrooms that can be closed off for privacy or left open for a spacious look and feel from the main living space.
A custom home builder can create an open floor plan designed to your specifications, mixing and matching design elements for the desired effect.
Additional Read: Creating More Open Space With Natural Lighting & Intentional Design
What Makes an Open Floor Plan So Popular?
Have you ever driven to a scenic overlook, scanned the view spread out before you, and felt supremely inspired? An open floor plan has a way of replicating, to some degree, that feeling of inspiration that a wide, open vista evokes.
Also called an open concept, a floor plan that’s open creates ongoing opportunities for better communication between members of your household. It also makes for a more communal atmosphere for guests when you’re entertaining.
In a multigenerational household, an open floor plan can make it easier to watch over young kids or elderly relatives. Families can spend time together while spreading out, each person choosing a spot for reading, relaxing, playing a game, or working on a project.
More Living Space
Having living areas sectioned up and walled off reduces a home’s available living space. Closing these areas can make them feel smaller and more limiting.
By contrast, in standard and luxury homes alike, an open floor plan offers more living space by combining different spaces into one common, shared area. People can engage in conversation even when they’re in different parts of this larger space. Groups can break off into smaller clusters engaged in different conversations and activities while still enjoying a sense of interconnection with other people in the house.
In other words, the additional living space can build a greater sense of community within the home.
When making design decisions with a custom home builder, you can request smart home features that will make your house more attractive and livable. There is so much you can do with lighting in an open floor plan to enhance the aesthetics and make the most of natural lighting and energy-saving indoor lighting alike.
Without walls to separate and darken living areas, attractive lighting solutions become very doable. If the kitchen itself has limited windows due to cabinet placement, this can be mitigated by way of lighting from the dining room or living room windows reaching and illuminating the kitchen space during the day, with well-placed recessed lights plus a few beautiful accent sconces and pendants can fill in the rest of the time.
Open floor plans make the most of lighting from windows and adjoining interior spaces. Lights in one room easily illuminate the next room over. You can enjoy a comfortable, attractive environment with just a few lights on, saving money on your electric bills while creating the perfect mood for a relaxing, stress-free evening at home.
Pros and Cons of Open Floor Plans
Any floor plan, when designed correctly, can increase your property’s value while elevating its livability. That being said, there are some very real pluses and minuses associated with an open concept.
- Improved Real Estate Value: Since buyers value the look and feel of open floor plans, you’ll likely be able to sell for a higher amount, and faster, if your home has an open concept.
- More Space for Your Family: An open floor plan gives your family members the opportunity to spread out and get comfortable while still being together.
- Natural Lighting: You’ll be able to make the most of natural lighting by sharing windows and using natural light that’s unobstructed by interior walls.
- Great for Entertaining: When you have a party at your place, you’ll be able to accommodate large groups easily while fostering conversations and more interactions.
- Better Traffic Flow: It’s easier to move from one space to another in an open concept home.
- More Usage Flexibility: When you have a large space to work with, you have greater freedom in furniture and décor choices and how you decide to arrange everything.
Even though open floor plans are very popular and sought after in both conventional and luxury homes, there are some drawbacks. Disadvantages may include:
- Lack of Privacy: Without walls to separate rooms, you may at times feel it’s more difficult to find quiet solitude.
- Noise Carries: If you’re trying to read or relax outside your bedroom, sounds from a nearby TV or gaming system might interfere with your plans.
- Less Wall Space: If you love putting family photos and an abundance of art on walls, you might be frustrated by the reduced wall space.
- Harder to Conceal Clutter: You’ll have to come up with great storage solutions to manage clutter since an open concept makes your living spaces more visible and clutter harder to hide.
- Fewer Light Switch Locations: It makes sense that with less wall space, you’ll have fewer light switches and outlets, which can be inconvenient at times.
The good news is that, with some forethought and careful planning, you can work with your custom home builder to address potential cons and alleviate their impact on you.
In any scenario, good communication and planning are keys to a successful outcome.
Contact BrightLeaf Homes for a Custom Home Consultation
As a fully integrated design-build firm specializing in custom-built homes that are practical, beautiful, energy-efficient, and expertly designed, BrightLeaf Homes consistently sets out to merge a quality building process with each client’s unique vision.
You are the expert on what you want in your new home. You have great ideas, and we make sure to listen to them. We are experts in designing and building comfortable spaces families can enjoy, and we utilize the latest advanced technology to build beautiful luxury homes that exceed expectations and bring your vision to life.
If you are ready to get started on your dream home, we invite you to schedule a call with BrightLeaf Homes today. As custom home builders who are conscientious about the design decisions we make, we’ll work with you to design and build the home you’ve always wanted.
If you’re ready for a custom home consultation, we’d love to hear from you. Contact BrightLeaf Homes to get started. Our team is ready to do what it takes to help you achieve your perfect forever home.