For Your Consideration: Open Floor Plans

It’s finally happening. You’ve bought a plot of land and you’re making plans to develop your new home onto it. Are you in for a wild ride or what? You probably have an idea of what you’re going to do in this land of nothing but possibilities. There is a long road ahead of you. One thing you’ll want to nail down, though, is your floor plan. Open floor plans are all the rage. They’re not new. In fact, if you think about the homesteaders and their sod houses, open floor plans were all that existed. Granted, we’ve come a long way since then, the open spacious design still has large appeal and for good reason. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

What’s Right About An Open Plan
If you love hosting and entertaining guests (whether it’s a small group of your closest friends or the entire office for holiday parties) then there’s no doubt an open plan is going to serve you well. When Frank Lloyd Wright was bringing open plans back into popularity the major selling point was that the hosts (okay, women) were no longer cut off from the rest of the action by being in the closed kitchen. An open floor plan allows for company and conversation to flow easily throughout the space without the interruption of walls. If time and preparation has gotten the better of you (as it does) you’ll no longer be missing in action finishing up the last of the snacks. Inclusion is at its best in an open floor plan.

What’s Tough About An Open Plan
A few things, probably more than you would think. Let’s start with climate control. An open plan is much harder to heat and cool in a large, vast area than in sectioned homes where doors can be closed, and zones created. Either your open room feels a bit drafty, or your heating and cooling system has to work overtime to keep it at optimal temperatures.

Cleanliness also becomes a bigger (and tougher to manage) deal than you would think. Because the entire space is open and unobscured, when one area is messy, the entire room is messy. Especially in regards to your kitchen, leaving food messes unattended can not only create an untidy look, but smells linger and waft all around. Staying tidy will take more effort and attention. Granted, there are far worse things in life than an unkempt house, but it is something to consider.

Privacy is… lacking. You can always opt for an open living space that includes entryway, living room, kitchen, and dining, then cloister the bedrooms away upstairs or in a different section of the house that is closed off. But if you’re in the kitchen cooking and listening to your podcast and your child or significant other is trying to watch tv in the living area it can be difficult to manage. There are solutions to any problem, such as heated floors for temperature control assistance, but it’s prudent to consider all of these facets of your daily life when choosing whether to open it up or section it off.

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