Since the 1990s, an open floor plan has been regarded as the pinnacle of modern, sleek and elegant home design. Many families favour this layout for its communality and its ability to visually expand a home, capitalising on natural light resources. The open floor plan is a perfect fit for the busy modern family, wherein a room can be easily reconfigured to suit a variety of purposes. However, an open floor plan can also prove largely incompatible with certain lifestyle factors and priorities. We have compiled some key questions to ask yourself before committing to an open floor plan…
Image: Pinterest – Mainvuehomes
1. Does High-Visibility Suit My Lifestyle?
The striking images of spotless open floorplans could convince anyone to incorporate the design into their home. Before committing to this layout, however, it is crucial to consider whether an abundance of visible, communal space is functional for you and your family. Open floorplans look effective when a sleek, minimalist aesthetic is maintained. However, the layout can quickly lose its charm when used for everyday practicalities. Does your family need smaller, more contained rooms in which to store toys or paperwork away from the primary entertaining area? Will your open floor plan resemble a cluttered minefield of Lego? Open floorplans require almost constant neatening-up. Are you willing to, and do you have the time to, commit to their high upkeep?
2. Do I Want A Cosy Kitchen?
Are you dreaming of that traditional, cottage-style kitchen with bench-top appliances? Is meal-time a sacred time for your loved-ones to touch-base, converse and connect? Do you want to isolate your family dining space from the ever-present television? Despite the many familial advantages of a shared layout, open floorplans can detract from the intimacy of a dedicated kitchen-space. There is a lot happening in open floorplans, and this can prove distracting. If cooking and dining is a special event in your home and not just practicality, it might be necessary to reconsider your design choice. Click here to check out our tips to cosy up an open floor plan.
Image: Pinterest – Homebunch
3. Do I Need Retreat Spaces? How Will I Cope With Ambient Noise?
The cavernous space created by open-plan layouts can be quickly filled with noise from television, speakers, play-time and the casual conversation that takes place in communal living spaces. In merging your living room and kitchen, you are committing to a shared-living experience and compromising on separate, secluded retreat-areas. It is important to factor in your work-style and noise-tolerance when considering an open-plan arrangement. Do you work from home? Do you need a quiet room in which to focus? Would you like a separate space to direct the kids during a dinner party? If so, it might be worthwhile considering a ‘broken plan’ layout, wherein separate rooms are dedicated to specific purposes.
4. Is Entertaining A Big Or Small Aspect Of My Life?
Often, the major draw-card of open-plan living is its suitability for entertaining. Indeed, the integration of dining room, kitchen and living space allow for fluidity of traffic and for ease of interaction between those preparing food and those at the table. However, when planning your home design, it is important that this function is not prioritised over the realities and practicalities of every-day living. Realistically, entertaining is a small aspect of your life. While it is easy to be excited by visions of glamorous dinner-parties, it is important to be realistic about the use of the space on the day-to-day.
Looking to build a new home and want it to adopt an open floor plan? Be sure to speak with one of our home experts on 1800 184 284. They are independent and highly motivated to see you achieve your house goals and can connect you with the correct builders! You can also book a call online.