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  • Writer's pictureMauli Gupta

The Open-Plan house goes mainstream

What is an Open-floor Plan?

An open floor plan is the architectural design of a living space that prioritizes open spaces with fewer separations between major rooms to encourage bonding and communication. A standard open floor plan design includes enclosed private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms and one great room that combines the roles of traditional common areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room. Also known as an open concept, this floor plan design merges common rooms into one open space to promote better communication, ease of movement, and increased lighting while maximizing your square footage.

image source: slowlyhome

The open-floor concept has become the de facto space planning scheme for residential projects nowadays. The idea of no partitions created a platform for free-flowing movement and made the spaces seem larger aesthetically. Apart from this, the free plans removed the visual barriers and gave immense transparency. This concept of visual transparency became the stepping stone to a lot of aesthetically free-flowing spaces.

Advantages of an Open-plan:

1. Improved circulation - The absence of walls and doors allows family members and guests to move through the house more freely. It is especially beneficial for a large family, say during a busy morning.

image source: decosoup

2. Increased light - Interior spaces earlier without any exterior walls, can get natural light from windows. More light in spaces also make spaces feel bigger and airer.

3. Better Communication - An open layout makes it easier for sound to travel, provides greater visibility, and increases a sense of togetherness. This floor plan allows you to see what’s happening in your open living areas without being muffled or blocked by closed doors and walls.

4. Makes entertaining easier - Open floor plans are great for hosting small parties or game nights because there is ample room for your guests to mill around and socialize.

5. Spaces become multifunctional - Without the permanent barriers, a space can serve as a family lounge, recreational area, study room, game room, etc, basically anything according to your need at that moment.

6. Improved real estate value - In almost every instance, an open floor plan is highly desirable and increases your home's value to prospective buyers, up to 7.4% a year.

While there are many benefits to having an open floor plan than the ones described above, what are some of the drawbacks of the open floor plan?

Disadvantages of an Open-Plan:

1. Temperature control - In traditional planning, each room can have its own heating/cooling system. But, in an open plan, heating/cooling becomes expensive because of the larger area.

2. Noisy - The lack of interior walls may have benefits, but it also results in fewer quiet and private spaces within your house.

3. Every design choice becomes important - In an open-style kitchen, your appliances, cabinetry, light fixtures, and paint colours are visible from other parts of the house, which means you'll have to choose them carefully.

image source: AZ inspirational

4. Requires upkeep - When spaces become multi-functional, they also tend to become or appear cluttered all the time. Thus, constant cleaning and organizing might come hand in hand with an open plan.

image source: the spruce

However, in the end, nothing in this world is one size fits all. So, for you, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages, but for someone else, the cons do not matter. Thus, while designing your home, which arguably is the most important space for anyone, one must pay extra attention to the details. An open floor plan allows one to use the space however they want, we are not restricted by specific norms. It gives the residents as well as the designer a lot of freedom.

Moreover, as the last two years have taught us; a comfortable, multi-functional, airy and full of natural lighthouse is quite helpful and needed at times like these.

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