Purchasing a new home comes with so many (delightful!) decisions. Once you’ve selected a location, you’re soon comparing floor plans and layouts – and a choice between open-concept or closed designs. If you’re not sure what will be the best fit for your family, it’s helpful to understand what each can offer. Other than the obvious differences, each type will have features that may or may not work best with your lifestyle. We’ll take a look at these elements and highlight their pros and cons. You may find that an open floor plan is perfect for you!
Advantages of Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans may bring to mind one large space, like a city loft, but they can also include popular concepts like Great Rooms. Think versatility and multiple uses, and you’ve got the idea. Some of the benefits of the lack of walls?
1. An abundance of natural light
With no walls to divide up the space and block the light from windows, open floor plans let the sunlight in. The result is bright rooms with direct views of the outdoors, an airy feel, and room for houseplants.
2. Easy entertaining
The best parties and gatherings are able to take advantage of the easy traffic flow and flexible layout of an open space. Open-concept plans keep your guests from being crowded into corners and maintain the spacious feel of your home. As a bonus, many open plans are anchored by the kitchen area, which makes hosting and interacting with guests much easier.
3. More space for your family
Without walls to divide up the square footage, an open-concept floor plan not only feels larger- it allows for flexibility and the ability to create the maximum amount of floor space. It’s easy to work with oversized furniture pieces, create room to play, or to create separate interest areas.
4. Higher resale value
Open floor plans have become increasingly popular, and their resale value remains strong. When it’s time to sell, the desirability of this type of plan is a major selling point for potential buyers, who are looking for the same flexibility and roominess that attracted you.
Disadvantages of Open Floor Plans
Open-concept floor plans aren’t perfect for every homeowner. It’s good to be honest about your needs for your new home and to be aware of what the more traditional layout of a closed floor plan can offer.
1. Concealing clutter
If you need to keep the clutter that can accompany a busy lifestyle contained to one area, separate rooms give the option of tucking it away behind closed doors. If you need an area for activities that have a lot of materials, it could be better to reserve one room that can be shut off from the rest of the house.
2. Missing your familiar home décor
More rooms mean more walls – and more display space for your framed art and photos. If you’re accustomed to decorating with an abundance of vertical display space, you may find the lack of walls to be limiting.
3. Load-bearing walls
Closed floor plans that use load-bearing walls in their construction provide some positive benefits, such as better noise reduction between rooms. They also provide support for two-story home layouts.
4. Less privacy
Without walls and doors to close areas off, block views, and contain sound, an open-concept floor plan can lack the privacy some families need. If you spend a lot of time together, individual rooms can be desirable.
Big Picture Takeaways
Buying a new home is the ideal way to ensure that your home’s layout is optimized for your family’s activities, and needs. When you’re beginning your exciting journey, taking the time to really think about your lifestyle can help you choose a floor plan that makes living in your new space a joy. Open-concept plans with a versatile great room are often the way to combine all the best qualities of closed and open design concepts. With plenty of space, luminous rooms, a layout that’s a natural for entertaining, and superior resale value, they’re popular for a reason.