Pros & Cons of Open Concept Floor Plans

Open concept floor plans have been on top of the most coveted trends in home renovations for many years. You’ve probably seen gorgeous images of open concept homes and fallen in love with how they make a space feel so wide, airy and spacious. But is it really right for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Before we take a deep dive, let’s get clear on what precisely an open concept floor plan means.

An open plan usually refers to a floor plan that uses large, open spaces and minimizes the use of smaller, enclosed rooms like separate offices, dining, family and living rooms. Rather than using walls to frame the home and carry the weight, beams are used instead, allowing an open concept without separation of rooms.

With the rise of home improvement television that shows viewers what a dramatic change can be achieved by tearing walls down and creating a large open area, open plans are in high demand.

Before pushing ahead and deciding on an open floor plan for your home, read our guide on the advantages and disadvantages this type of home presents.

Pro: Making a Small Space Feel Larger

Image Credit:  Coco Kelley

Image Credit: Coco Kelley

One of the greatest draws to open concept floor plans is that they make a small space feel much larger. Small spaces feel so much smaller when they’re divided by walls that separate one living space from another. Trick the eye into thinking that you have more space than you do by taking down walls and creating one big open area.

Pro: Promotes Social Interaction

Image Credit:  Crash House Creative

Image Credit: Crash House Creative

Open floor plans offer not much room to hide, so it only makes sense that this type of home encourages social situations and is perfect for the homeowner who enjoys hosting many gatherings.

Guests can mingle and interact close enough to the kitchen where the host may be placing the finishing touches on dinner.

Pro: Shared Light

Image Credit:  Homedit

Image Credit: Homedit

Taking down the walls to create an open floor plan allows daylight from windows to saturate all throughout your home, allowing more light and brightening up your space, which makes your space feel even bigger.

Pro: Room for More Interior Design Possibilities

Image Credit:  Fresh Traditions

Image Credit: Fresh Traditions

If you enjoy interior design and decoration, an open floor plan offers endless possibilities. With no walls, there is a lot of room for extra seating, tables and accent pieces. However, such a blank slate can also be quite overwhelming. Here are some quick tips to decorate an open concept space:

  • To make use of the large open space, place your furniture in the middle of the room. You can use the areas close to the walls as “hall areas” to get from one space to another. You’re no longer limited to resting the back of your sofa against a wall.

  • Create a “room” with an area rug. When you have such a big open space, choosing the spaces for dining, lounging and working can be confusing. Add a large area rug to space for your living or dining room to create a defined area visually.

  • A successful open floor plan has a cohesive feel from one area to another. Use design elements to tie in different ‘rooms’ within an open plan with another. For example, if you have a modern vibe with a matte black lighting fixture above your dining room, you might choose some matte black decor for your living room.

Pro: Multi-functionality

Image Credit:  Fresh Traditions

Image Credit: Fresh Traditions

An open space encourages multiple uses.

  • There’s plenty of space to add in a desk for a home office.

  • Another bonus is if you have little ones in your family, they can stay in the same room and play as you do things around the house, whether it’s cooking, cleaning or working.

  • Because the kitchen is the social hub of the home, if it’s separated from the dining and living rooms, people tend to crowd around countertops while dinner is being prepared. With an open concept plan, these activities can just shift over to the living area and everyone will still feel part of the conversation.

Con: A Large Space May Feel Too Big

If not enough thought is placed on the space planning and decor, sometimes an open-concept design can make a large space feel way too big. It can be more difficult to create a warm and inviting home when there are no walls.

Image Credit:  Decoist

Image Credit: Decoist

Con: Lack of Privacy

Image Credit:  Elites Home Decor

Image Credit: Elites Home Decor

While open-concept floor plans are great for families since children are always within sight, there is a flip side and that is the lack of privacy. Open floor plans have less quiet areas and thus reduces the amount of privacy. With many members of the family having varied schedules, temperaments and ages, having less privacy in the main living area could be a bother. Just something to keep in mind as you make your decision!

Con: More Upkeep Needed

Image Credit:  Crowell Photo

Image Credit: Crowell Photo

Open concept homes mean that every single part of your home is on constant display, and this simultaneously means that more upkeep like cleaning, tidying, vacuuming would be necessary more frequently, especially if you have guests come over. Since there’s no place to hide clutter, you have to get really good at overcoming it.

Con: Less Wall Space for Artwork

Image Credit:  Pic North

Image Credit: Pic North

No walls mean less space to hang art. If you’re an art aficionado, an open space floor plan with few walls to hang paintings and a lot of sunlight that may damage them might not be the most optimal decision.

Con: Noise Factor

Image Credit:  Roshak

Image Credit: Roshak

Another thing to think about is that without walls, there is also no separation of sound from different rooms. The noise of a blender in the kitchen could battle with what people are watching on TV.

We hope you enjoyed our guide on the pros and cons of an open-concept floor plan!

Tandem Construction is a general contracting, project management and carpentry company delivering luxury home renovations in Vancouver and the North Shore. From kitchen, bathroom or living room renovations, creating an income producing suite or a total home renovation, our team of project managers, carpenters and a network of trades professionals are focused on making your dream home from vision to fruition. It all starts with a free consultation so we can determine your goals. Contact us today - call +1 (604) 398 8850 or e-mail to get started.