“Open concept” is a term that describes homes where the living and kitchen spaces are interconnected. It’s been the standard in new builds for many years, but it hasn’t always been the choice. A lot of older homes have separate kitchens and living or family rooms. If you’re looking for a new house, you may be wondering: What are the pros and cons?
Better traffic flow
There’s no denying that an open floor plan gives families multiple pathways through the house, which improves the traffic flow in busy households. Access between the kitchen, living and private spaces is easy to navigate without getting in the way of anyone else.
With an open floor plan, you have more options for designing the layout of your home. You can place seating for the best functions of how your family uses the kitchen, living and private spaces. The same is true for dining spaces, workspaces and more.
An open floor plan also gives you the option for multifunctional spaces. A kitchen counter can be the place you eat breakfast as well as the place the kids do their homework after school while you’re working on other things. Living spaces can be gathering spaces sometimes and play areas other times.
Harder to heat and cool
One of the cons of open floor plans is the efficiency of the household systems. It’s much harder to heat and cool open spaces. We all know heat rises, so when there aren’t any barriers to capture the heat, it takes a lot more energy to keep the air at a comfortable temperature.
While an open floor plan facilitates family interaction, it can make it difficult to find a private area to have alone time. The only retreat may be a bedroom. If there are no quiet places to sit and read a book or spend time with your thoughts, you may find the constant commotion to be a problem.
Harder to hide clutter
Another potential downside of an open floor plan is that it makes it more difficult to hide clutter. As much as we all dream of keeping our home a showplace, clutter happens. Toys, papers, discarded items and more all end up laying around, and with an open floor plan, there’s nowhere to hide such stuff behind closed doors.