Open vs. Closed-Concept Plans – Part 1

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Interior design is an essential consideration when buying, building, or renovating a home. The type of floor plan you choose will significantly alter your space's functionality, lighting, mood, and aesthetics. As such, it's essential to know whether you prefer open- or closed-concept designs. 

Given the pros and cons of each type, it can be overwhelming to know which design is best for you. But, not to worry; this is not a choice you want to rush! That's why we've put together a two-part blog series exploring everything you need to know about open- and closed-concept homes to help you make an informed decision. 

Let's kick things off with open-concept floor plans! 

What is an open-concept design?

Open-concept floor plans are an architectural framework that prioritizes spaciousness by combining several shared rooms into one large "open" space. Typically, such homes will still have private, closed-off areas for bedrooms and bathrooms while leaving the living room, dining room, and kitchen connected with minimal-to-no separations. 

Advantages of open-concept homes

Open interior designs stay true to their name by promoting open communication and flow between common areas, enabling unobstructed conversation and movement at all times. This is among other potential benefits, such as: 

  • Enhanced accessibility. Open-concept floor plans are a great way to make it easier for you and your family to move around the space — which is especially important for those with mobility considerations. 

  • Brighter lighting. By design, open-concept plans allow more light to travel through the home, brightening the space with plenty of natural light without adding extra windows or light fixtures. 

  • Easier hosting. If you're someone who loves to entertain guests at home, an open-concept floor plan is likely a great option for you. It facilitates better communication, movement, and connection for groups. 

  • Optimized space. Depending on how you plan to use your common areas, an open floor plan can be an excellent way to get the best use out of smaller homes. You can eliminate dead space taken up by walls and doors used in traditional closed spaces.

Disadvantages of open-concept homes

Although open-concept spaces have many benefits, they aren't suitable for all homes, nor are they the ideal option for every homeowner. So before you go knocking down your walls, consider these drawbacks of open floor plans:

  • More maintenance. If you have young children or pets, you'll know how difficult it can be to contain the toys, clothes, and mess that little ones tend to leave around the house. Having an open-concept home means that even the smallest article of clutter can make the entire place appear untidy — which means it'll require a bit more upkeep compared to a closed concept style. 

  • Noises and smells travel. Sure, everyone loves the smell of fresh cookies in the oven, but when they burn? Not so much! Unfortunately, when you have an open-concept home, kitchen odours are far more likely to spread and linger. The same is true of noises — they spread much further without walls, so if you're trying to read on the couch while your partner cooks up a frenzy, you may find it difficult to concentrate! 

  • Less privacy. Multiuse spaces can benefit from an open-concept layout, but sometimes this happens at the expense of your privacy. For example, if you don't have a dedicated home office but need to take a work call with a confidential client, you may have to banish your family into the basement or their bedrooms! 

All things considered, open-concept living environments can be a great interior design choice for homeowners looking to invest in a flexible, spacious, multifunctional home. That said, open floor plans are not without their faults! Ultimately, it comes down to understanding your needs, values, and preferences so you can find a house that aligns accordingly. 

Stay tuned next time for a walkthrough of closed concept interior designs to determine which is your favourite! 

Are you looking to buy, build, renovate, or sell an open-concept home? Get in touch with the Garman Group today for a local REALTOR® you can trust!