If you’re in the market for a home, or you’ve been thinking of renovating and opening some spaces up in your home to create an open floor plan then you know this has been all the rage for some time now. While it looks sleek, modern and no doubt seems to lend itself well to creating the illusion of more space, it also presents with some often overlooked problems. As I always say, never just blindly follow a trend, no matter how “desirable” it may seem to be. Another caution, always think beyond today, and here is why.
Open floor plans work with the younger population and their lifestyle needs. Open floor plans are best suited in certain instances, there’s no denying it. If you’re a younger couple, years away from a family or purchasing a second home, then this is a great plan because it lets you entertain, socialize and have the feel of additional space. In many cases first homes are small so having less confined areas can feel larger than the actual square footage might suggest. Younger homeowners tend to follow and set the current trends and since this is so desirable right for the lifestyle of those that are busy building a career and have less time to decorate, furnish or accumulate a lot of possessions that aren’t necessary.
Open floor plans aid in transitioning between a large home and a smaller home. If you’re empty nesters, you may be downsizing but still want to have the open feel because it is an easier transition from large to small if the space seems open. It can be quite traumatic to go from a large home to a small one and the open space floor plan, especially if it has a cathedral ceiling can make all the difference in how well you adjust to the change in space. Downsizing also calls for a reduction in possessions, and make it easier for the elderly or those with physical challenges to move about in the space. For those with walkers, or wheelchairs the open concept design may work wonderfully for you.
Open floor plans are elder friendly. Grand parents homes are still typically the family gathering hub during holidays. Open spaces between kitchens and living areas can make everyone share a space and socialize easily without feeling cramped. Parents with children might argue that the open concept makes keeping an “eye on little one’s” much easier than if there are walls between you and your children. These are great reasons for open concept living, but there are also draw backs that need to be explored and considered and unfortunately there just isn’t enough articles to point this out. The bottom line is, make sure you think through your decisions when choosing what floor plan will be serve your needs, now, and in the future. Please look out for my next article which discusses why open floor plans may not be a good idea for you and your family.