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Pros & Cons of Open Floor Plans

Open-concept design has been trending for years now. Many people like the idea of making their home feel more like a gathering space. While open-concept floor plans continue to trend in our area, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons before you tear out any walls. In today’s blog, we’re discussing the pros, cons. and how to overcome the challenges that are associated with open concept design. Keep reading to determine whether or not an open-concept design is for you. 

The Pros of An Open Floor Plan

Let's start with the pros of an open floor plan. The majority of our clients call us asking how to better open up their home for a variety of reasons. Together, we help them come up with a design that fits their lifestyle. Here are some of our favorite reasons to consider an open floor plan. 


1. You Like to Entertain

If you enjoy having friends and family over for the holidays and spontaneous dinner parties, then an open concept may be the right choice for you. Opening up your first floor can be the perfect way to allow for better traffic flow. You can be sure that even if you’re hosting the party, you’ll always be involved in the conversation and memories. 

2. You Have Young Children

Homeowners with young children love open floor plans. An open-concept design allows a parent to prepare meals and keep an eye on their children playing nearby. A home with partitioned walls doesn’t allow for that flexibility. As your children grow, the open floor plan still allows you to spend time as a family in the same area of the home. 

3. You Want to Make the Home Feel Spacious

If your home feels too closed off, consider an open floor plan to create a more spacious look and feel. This can be achieved by opening up the kitchen and dining areas or even opening the kitchen, dining, and living areas. If you’re really looking for the space to feel grand, you may even vault the ceiling to create an airy look and feel. 


4. You Love Natural Light

It’s no secret that additional walls block natural light from flowing from room to room. If you’re looking to brighten up your home, opening up the first floor is a great way to allow light to shine through. If you are able to, you may even consider enlarging your windows to allow for even more light. Large floor-to-ceiling windows can bring in natural light that will brighten your entire first floor. 

5. You Want to Spend More Time As a Family

Many homeowners with teen and pre-teen children are looking for a way to spend more family time at home. An open floor concept allows you to spend more time together by being in the same area of the home together. Someone can be reading in the living area while another person is cooking in the kitchen. This open concept will allow you to strike up more conversations as a family and feel more involved in one another’s day-to-day lives. 

bright and airy sunroom with couches in arlington heights

6. You Want a Multi-Functional Layout

One of the most sought-after aspects of an open-concept home is the ability to have a multi-functional layout. When there are fewer walls, you have more flexibility in the furniture layout for the space. You can create one great room with a large gathering space, or you can create smaller conversational areas within that space. If you aren’t sure what layout would work best for you, your designer can help you with spatial planning to ensure you make the most of your space. 

The Cons of An Open Floor Plan

Just like anything else, there are some cons to an open floor plan. If you'd love an open first floor but are concerned about some of the issues below, discuss it with your design-build remodeler. Together, you can figure out a way to create a more open floor plan while avoiding some of the potential hiccups below. 


1. You Work From Home But Don’t Have A Dedicated Home Office

If you work from home and your typical ‘desk’ is your kitchen table, you’ll want to consider how an open floor plan may impact your work. Do you need privacy and noise cancellation? If so, is there somewhere else in the home that you can achieve this if you choose to open up your first floor?

2. You Want More Privacy

If you enjoy having individual conversations with family or friends without all being involved in one another's conversation, open floor plans are something that you’ll want to give some thought to. Fewer walls equate to less privacy. 

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3. You Enjoy A Quieter Home

The more walls you have in your home, the more difficult it is for sound to travel from room to room. If you are someone who enjoys having a quieter home, then you may want to consider keeping some of your walls in place to avoid noise transfer. 

4. You Like To Display A Lot of Art

If every wall in your home is currently adorned with large artwork, you’ll want to give some thought to where all of that art will be displayed if you decide to create an open floor plan. Will there be room on your exterior walls for your favorite pieces? Maybe you have space in other areas of the home, but you’ll want to give that some thought before you begin your remodel. 


5. You Like Everything to Look Pristine All the Time

This is typically a concern for clients who have children living in the home. A floor plan that opens the kitchen, living, and dining areas means that you will be able to see when each area is left a bit untidy. If seeing dishes in the sink or toys in the living room is something that may upset you, consider ways to work around that. Many clients create a multi-level island to separate the kitchen and dining area, which allows you to hide dishes on the lower portion of the island.

Making The Right Choice For You

Determining whether or not an open-concept design is right for you is a personal choice. It is something that you will want to give a lot of thought to as it is a big decision that will completely transform your home. If you are considering an open floor concept but aren’t sure how to start it, we’d be happy to help! Many of our clients look to open up their homes but still maintain some sense of privacy in the home. Proper design can achieve just that. 

Many people think of an open concept design as an entire first-floor open. The reality is that an open floor plan can be incredibly expansive or can be only a portion of the first floor that is open concept. Analyzing the pros and cons can help you determine how much of your first floor you’d like to be an open concept. Working with a design-build firm can help you to visualize what the different options may look like and which is right for you. Contact us today to start the conversation!

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