Open floor plans have been one of the hottest interior remodeling ideas for the past several years. Typically, an open floor plan involves knocking down a wall between the living room and kitchen to connect the space between the two. This type of building or remodeling design could even involve a larger area that includes the kitchen, dining, and living area.
If you’re thinking of adding on to expand your kitchen, living room, or dining room, for instance, converting to an open floor plan may be a dramatic way to transform your home. As with any remodeling idea, however, open floor plans have pros and cons. Here are some of the things to consider when deciding if an open concept is right for you.
The Benefits of an Open Floor Plan
Fifty years ago, it was fashionable for kitchens to be closed off. Homemakers and hosts didn’t want visitors to see what was going on behind the scenes, so being confined behind the stove meant missing out on spending time with guests and loved ones.
Today, our lives are busier than ever and many homeowners want to be able to interact with their friends and family as they prepare meals and snacks. In fact, open floor plans are a real help to busy parents when it comes to keeping an eye on their kids or helping them with homework while dinner is being prepared.
An open kitchen/living room is also great for entertaining, as it removes the boundaries between the food prep and mingling area. Hosts can simply arrange cheese boards or snack trays along the kitchen bar and countertop and allow guests to flow in and out as they please.
Another reason many opt for open floor plans is to increase natural light. Connecting a room — and particularly a smaller room — to the rest of the house by knocking down the interior walls separating it off can greatly transform the view by allowing natural light from larger windows to flow throughout.
Why Some Opt to Keep It Closed
For some households, an open floor plan may not work as well. One of the biggest concerns cited by people who don’t care for open floor plans is noise. This is definitely a reality, as the banging from you tenderizing that chicken breast will reverberate into the living room and the chatter from the television will find its way into the kitchen. If you like to set your children up at the dining room table to finish their homework and only allow them to crash in front of the living room TV once they’re finished, an open floor plan might implode your after-school strategy.
Some people opt for closed floor plans to maintain walls for storage. If you simply remove one wall of your kitchen without doing any additional remodeling, you’ll likely lose cabinet and shelving space. During a complete kitchen remodel, however, your contractor will typically be able to redesign the space and make up for that storage elsewhere if you opt for an open concept. For homeowners that are nervous about how that might all work out, a 3D rendering can help show you how the design will look in real life.
Making the Right Choice for Your Family
If your home is ready for an update, discussing your family’s lifestyle and personal preferences with an experienced contractor will help you decide whether an open floor plan is the right decision. Although opening things up is in line with current remodeling trends, when the construction dust settles, you deserve a home you can live in and truly enjoy.