A floor plan can make or break a home when it comes to whether or not it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle. There are a few things you should always consider when choosing a floor plan, which you can learn more about in this post. One thing you will likely encounter when home shopping or remodeling is whether you want more of an open concept or a closed floor plan.
Open concept houses have very open floor plans with one large room that serves as a single living space. Frequently, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all a unified space. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Fixer Upper (or just about any home renovation show currently on television), you probably know a bit about open concept—when it comes to renovations, it involves tearing down a lot of walls.
Open floor plans are very popular right now, especially with younger homeowners and apartment dwellers. There are certainly benefits to having an open home. For one, this type of floor plan can help make smaller spaces appear larger. Fewer walls and more light can help prevent smaller houses from feeling very closed off. Additionally, when you have minimal walls, you have more floor space for furniture.
For many families, having an open floor plan is best for being able to keep an eye on the kids at all times. If you’re making dinner in the kitchen and the kids are playing in the living room, you can still feel as though you’re together. This is also a plus for families who like to entertain. Open floor plans naturally have great flow for parties so everyone can stay included in conversations and togetherness.
When your home is very open, your messes are always on display. Kitchens are often the biggest culprit to being chaotic, especially when you’re in the middle of cooking. Spaghetti sauce splashes? Kitchen gadgets all over the counter? Dishes soaking in the sink? If you frequently save cleaning the kitchen for “sometime later,” an open kitchen leaves that on display.
The lack of walls can also prove to be problematic. If you love wall art, you might not have enough wall space to hang your favorites. A very open kitchen can also limit the amount of wall cabinetry for storage (a very important factor if you don’t like counter clutter).
While open concept homes provide beautiful sightlines, they can also make designing difficult if you really like color and want to have some variety on your walls. If all of your traditional rooms are one single space, it can be difficult defining those spaces stylistically.
Often a more traditional layout, especially when talking about older homes, closed layouts have separate, defined spaces with main rooms separated by partial walls (and sometimes doors). While some homeowners don’t like closed floor plans because they feel too closed off, there are plenty of benefits of this type of floorplan, too.
If you prefer to have private spaces, walls and doors provide that separation and privacy. They also provide the benefit of hiding clutter or less glamorous rooms, like the laundry room, a playroom, home gym, or even a separate space for your dog.
Another thing to consider is sound control and smell control. If you find yourself with a charred dinner, it’s easier to contain those smells when there’s some separation between living and dining spaces. Walls also provide the benefit of reducing heating and cooling costs because it’s easier (and cheaper) to control the climate in smaller rooms.
For many people, the cons of closed floor plans are highlighted by all the pros of an open concept space. Having a lot of room separation certainly limits the flow if you’re an entertaining household and can make mingling a challenge. Having a lot of walls can make rooms feel smaller and darker and can limit your design options when it comes to furniture.
Since there are both pros and cons to open and closed floorplans, you might be wondering which one is right for you and your living situation. This is going to be entirely dependent on your lifestyle and personal tastes. Consider what type of floor plan functions best for you on a daily basis, as well as what you will need in the future.
Do you host a lot of parties in your home? Open concept is great for entertaining.
Does your family spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Open floor plans allow everyone to be in or near the kitchen for socializing.
Is privacy important to you? Closed floor plans provide the opportunity for quiet, separate spaces.
Are you a fan of hanging art and photos on your walls? Closed floor plans have more wall real estate for decorating.
Is your home loud? Open concept design can exaggerate sounds while closed concepts can help contain them.
While open concepts are beautiful and provide great flow, they’re not right for everyone. So, before you start taking a sledgehammer to your walls, consider whether this is the right choice for you and your lifestyle needs!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.