You see it all the time on today’s home remodeling shows: people are demanding open concept floor plans. Why is this? Simply put, open concept designs allow for better flow of space. Walls serve a purpose in separating bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private spaces. But when it comes to living areas, dining areas, and kitchens, having those three traditionally separate areas be essentially one continuous space has its benefits. But are open concept spaces for everyone? We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of an open concept floor plan.
Pros of open concept floor plans
There are a variety of good reasons that traditions and walls are coming down as older homes are being remodeled. Having one continuous living space makes the home feel bigger. Well-designed open concept spaces actually function better than traditionally closed spaces, as well. Where walls once were could be kitchen peninsulas or built-in storage or furniture.
People who like to entertain really like open concept spaces. But really it’s just good for family and friends to be able to communicate with one another in spaces that may have once been closed off from one another. So, there is that emotional benefit to open concept floor plans, as well.
Also, open concept floor plans add to the functional square footage of your home. This is especially good in smaller homes. It’s especially appealing to homebuyers. But resale value isn’t everything.
Are there any cons to open concept floor plans?
From the various benefits we’ve already discussed open concept floor plans, how could there be any cons? Believe it or not, some people really like to have the traditionally formal dining rooms and kitchen separate from the living area. The idea of using walls to separate spaces does make logical sense. But does it make sense in today’s world?
It seems that from a design standpoint, open concept floor plans are superior to traditional walled-off living areas. But some people like that segmented feeling, especially in larger homes. But just beyond tradition, is there actually an advantage to keeping up the walls?
One advantage of walls is the ability to use an extra living area, such as a den, as an extra bedroom. Some people turn their formal dining room into an office or extra bedroom. Taking down walls can cause some homes to lose this flexibility. This is perhaps a con of open concept floor plans, but there are other ways to divide spaces that don’t involve walls.
In the end, we’ll see plenty of open concept designs going forward. There are just so many advantages to choosing an open concept plan for both remodels and new homes. But it’s all up to you what you do with your home. Don’t just go with the fact that people love open concept floor plans. Every home is different, especially with many older homes having load-bearing walls in places you may want to open up. Still, this potential setback is easily solved with a structural beam if you don’t mind the cost. Today’s wisdom is that if you don’t actually need a wall there, don’t put one. If there’s one in the way, and it makes sense to do so, why not take it down?