Open concept floor plans have been at the top of home buyers want lists for decades. Open concept layouts are centered on living, dining, and kitchen areas that seamlessly flow together. However, as with most trends, they peak and then the pendulum swings back. Now some people are putting forth the question: were walls such a bad thing? Can there be too much togetherness? Is it too daunting a task to keep living, dining, and kitchen spaces clean and clutter free at all times? While it’s doubtful home buyers will ever desire highly segmented layouts with small choppy rooms, consider these advantages and disadvantages of open floor plans to determine if this highly popular home design layout is for you.
Open Floor Plan Advantages
Uninterrupted Line of Sight
Open concept spaces are great for being able to see from one part of the home to the next. The ability to gaze across the entire kitchen, dining, and living area keeps the cook close to those they are entertaining. In the case of young families, it allows parents to cook and clean and perform daily tasks all while keeping an eye on the kids.
Natural Flow of Light
One of the most desirable aspects of open concept spaces is the natural flow of light that accompanies the lack of dividing walls. With an open floor plan homeowners will find there is less need for artificial light when natural sunshine streams from one area to the next.
Room for Entertaining Guests While Preparing Food
Modern day cooks want to remain in the company of their friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they want them underfoot! In an open concept kitchen, there is plenty of room for guests to mingle, while keeping out of the chef’s way.
Open Floor Plan Disadvantages
With fewer walls and lack of designated “rooms” often comes the lack of privacy. Togetherness is great, until it’s not. When the kids are getting on your last nerve and your spouse needs to take a work call, the lack of privacy and the inability to go to another room may become a source of frustration.
Cooking Mess is More Visible
When you’re hosting a dinner party and it’s time to serve, it’s nice to keep the mess out of sight. With an open concept floor plan, when the kitchen is in full view of the dining area and living room, it’s difficult to conceal the mess from your guests.
Less Control Over Noise Levels
While it’s nice to have a view of the living room television from your open concept kitchen, those in the living room may not enjoy the television volume being drowned out by clanging pots and pans, the whirring range hood fan, and general cooking noises coming from the kitchen area.
The best benefit of embracing an open concept kitchen is increased proximity of loved ones while cooking, cleaning, or simply spending time in the kitchen and dining area. However, if you covet your privacy and quiet time, you might want to think twice about an open floor plan.