Are Open Floor Plans Going Out of Style?

We have always loved the idea of spending time together in one large area. With the pandemic and increasing costs, however, the limited space in our homes has threatened open floor plans. Luckily, open floor plans aren’t going out of style.

In modern times, open floor plans combining a kitchen, dining area, and living room are being rethought to incorporate home offices and other home parts previously not considered.

Below, I take a look at what made open floor plans popular and what could lead to the decline in their popularity.

Open floor plan

What made open floor plans popular?

Open floor plans became popular due to the following reasons:

1. Social connectivity

With open spaces, the people in the house are more connected. With one parent cooking in the kitchen, the other schooling one kid in the dining area, and the other kids watching TV in the living room area, there is a warmness that comes from this proximity to each other.

2. Small homes

Since 1950, the average home in the United States has increased in size from 1,000 square feet to 2,300 in 2020. Those who grew up in smaller spaces desired to have larger homes to make up for the lack of space they experienced.

As a result of this, the small to medium-sized homes embraced open floor plans to emphasize the idea of large spaces since having separate rooms with doors reduced the spaces in the homes.

3. Ease of construction and planning

Open floor plans are easy to plan for and construct since you have fewer walls, doors, windows, and other fixtures to deal with. In most cases, the kitchen, dining, and living rooms can have only four walls around them, with furniture used to designate them.

When sourcing flooring materials, it’s easier to calculate the floor dimensions and thickness of materials like laminate for open floor plans since you can gauge how the house will be used easily.

4. Natural light enhancement

Open floor plans enhance natural light since fewer walls cut out the light into rooms, corners, and stairways. One large window is enough to light two or more rooms in this plan. 

Each room would need a window or artificial light for a closed floor plan for proper lighting. The end result is not as pleasing as utilizing natural light.

5. Sightline optimization

Compared to a closed floor plan, where you can only see as far as one wall in a room, open floor plans enhance sightline optimization by allowing you to see as much of your home from one point as possible.

With the proper interior design, you can make your home look larger and warmer even if you haven’t increased the square footage. This is easier to do in an open floor plan than in other designs.

6. Entertainment maximization

Remember the idea of one person in the kitchen with others in the living room and dining area? You only need one speaker or TV set for them all to enjoy a program or music in an open floor plan.

This floor concept allows people to use fewer electronics and generally save on space and money, hence its popularity.

7. Ease of maintenance

An open floor plan makes it easy to maintain the house since there are fewer crevices, as most areas have linear shapes and are easily accessible. For example, when refinishing wood floors, you have open spaces that you can easily divide up and work in uninterrupted sections.

What could lead to their decline in popularity?

Even with the advantages of open floor plans discussed above, some changes in the home have led to a decline in their popularity, and they include the following:

1. The pandemic

The COVID period greatly changed society, and housing was one area with significant changes. Traditionally, families would gather in the evening, spend time together, then each one would retire to their rooms.

With the COVID pandemic, this changed, with both parents and kids having to spend time at home. The result was that each one needed private places for work, study, and other activities. 

This led to the desire for partitions or houses with closed floor plans and away from open plans. 

2. The increased need for privacy

With the pandemic and kids and parents spending more time at home, the increased need for privacy led to a decline in the popularity of open floor plans. 

Offices and other private rooms were needed, with working and studying from home becoming a norm. Social exhaustion also means that family members require areas for private thought and work.

3. Larger homes

With the increase in the size of homes in the United States and the world in general, having open floor plans has declined in popularity. Where previously the kitchen, dining, and living rooms would form the most common open floor area, a modern kitchen is large enough to have a dining area with the rest of the house being partitioned off.

Even with these reasons, the social nature of humans hasn’t allowed open floor plans to die off. In the modern design of houses, the concept is simply being rethought with privacy in mind.

How to design a home with the open floor plan

Each house will have a different open floor plan depending on its size and the needs of its dwellers. Even then, the most important aspects to consider in the design phase include the following:

  • The layout of the house.
  • Door swings.
  • Zones such as seating and eating areas and the flow of traffic.
  • The area rugs.
  • The furniture layout.

You can easily create a harmonious design that merges form and function with the right design for your house. If it’s too hard a task, consult with the experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are open-concept homes still in style?

The open concept home style is still very much in style in new homes even with changes in the design and function of the homes.

What are the disadvantages of an open floor plan?

The downsides to an open floor plan are that it’s expensive, noisy, smells travel in the whole house, requires frequent upkeep, and the design choices are amplified.

Do people want open floor plans?

People still want open floor plans since they make common areas feel larger.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *