Open floor plans are all but new to architects, designers, and builders. Namely, the trend of viewing walls between rooms as barricades has been fairly strong in the past several decades, but it was mainly favored by millennials and younger families.
There are quite a few people who aren’t too comfortable with the dramatically infringed sense of privacy that such a concept inherently brings, so the question is – is the open-floor plan actually relevant in 2021?
A typical home in the 90s was fully enclosed – all the rooms would feature walls that separated it from the rest of the interior, and this was considered a default option until relatively recently.
However, modern families propelled modern designers to devise more practical solutions in terms of sliding doors, screen dividers, and half walls. That’s when terms such as ‘semi open’ and ‘fully open’ came to be.
A semi-open concept involves arches instead of doorways, see-through doors, and pretty much anything aside from concrete walls as dividers.
A fully open floor concept is defined by the lack of any obstacles between separate rooms. It would be more accurate to say that this type of interior design actually features a single room; the functionalities and purposes of places that would otherwise fit the definition of a ‘room’ are left to the owners to determine.
According to statistics, semi-open homes were nearly twice as popular as fully open design types in 2017.
The numbers show that most people would rather have a somewhat open kitchen while a fair amount of people prefer family rooms to remain separate areas.
While interior designers and builders are hired by homeowners and are basically obliged to follow instructions, most professionals would offer suggestions. Even though every individual architect and designer has their own take on the benefits of the open-floor concept, the vast majority agrees that there are quite a few advantages to be had if it’s implemented correctly.
Every home is different in terms of size, location, and environment, which means that some would be able to enjoy the following benefits to the fullest while some would only be grazed by them. Be that as it may, the other solution completely fails at what this approach naturally excels, so let’s touch on some of the most notable benefits of the open floor concept:
The main idea of having an open-floor home is to be able to navigate through the interior in the easiest, freest way possible. Doors require walls, which essentially block huge spaces in any home, creating a sort of a maze that you would have to follow to get from point A to point B.
Basically, the inhabitants of the home know every inch of it as much as they know their own back pocket, but learning a route doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not annoying.
Furthermore, smaller homes are at a huge disadvantage in terms of space, and walls tend to occupy a good chunk of it. This invariably leads to items often being moved around simply to walk past one room to get to the toilet, for example.
The second, and arguably the most important benefit of the open floor concept is that you get to decide the borders of each room and the functionalities thereof.
Moreover, what you picture one room to be one day doesn’t necessarily need to remain tomorrow – these borders are abstract and almost imaginary due to the lack of physical dividers (walls).
Aside from the regular facilities, such as the kitchen and toilet, you can appoint any space to be a temporary room for a party, a gathering, or to doze off after a day of hard work.
The open floor concept is factually the currently most desirable type of interior, which means that its estimated value has the upper hand in comparison to enclosed floor designs. Of course, there are people that prefer more traditional homes, but the bulk of millennials are on your side.
Kids love to discover new things, and sometimes they hurt themselves in the process. Because of the lack of walls, you will be able to easily monitor them. You will also be able to react much faster should you need to. On another hand, you’ll probably have fewer opportunities to relax.
A home without walls will grant you the maximal amount of natural lighting, which also means a healthy bump in vitamin D, a better overall atmosphere, and uplifted spirits. Even if the weather is murky, you’ll need significantly fewer lights to keep the place well-lit at all times.
There’s still a bit of room for improvement in terms of the open floor design, most notably in the realms of heating and noise control. There are also a few things that you should be prepared to accept as they are. Among them is the inevitable loss of privacy, for instance. These are some of the most notable drawbacks of the open floor concept:
Walls are natural sound suppressors, and having none between separate rooms means that the inhabitants will need to establish a certain set of rules if they are to live in harmony. Children playing on their consoles or PCs, parents watching TV and having a chat on the phone – these sounds will merge, and can potentially create a series of arguments.
The semi-open concept addresses this issue somewhat, but people who opt for any kind of open-floor plan need to forfeit their privacy if they want to reap all of its benefits.
Smaller spaces heat up and cool off faster. The entirety of the home, which can be perceived as a single room, is tremendously challenging to keep at a steady temperature. A quality air conditioner will certainly help, but your electric bills are bound to skyrocket in the process.
An open floor kitchen, even if it’s the furthest room in the house, is connected to all of the other rooms. The lingering smells are not as much of a drawback as imbalanced humidity is. Namely, the optimal humidity of a kitchen should be approximately 60% while a desirable humidity level of a living room is roughly half as much.
In short, most of your household appliances will be rendered less durable due to an increase in air humidity throughout the house.
The easiest way to address this issue is to find an agency that offers affordable long-term home warranties. Once you’ve secured your appliances, you can also consider purchasing dehumidifiers.
We hope that this article was useful to you and that you have learned something new on the concept of the open floor plan and whether it is the right choice for you right now in 2021. Makes sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!
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