Wednesday, November 26, 2014
When you look in magazines, watch home improvement shows or search the web for modern interior designs, you’ll see a lot of open floor plans. Also referred to as free-flowing designs, they have become very popular especially in luxury homes. However, before you design a new home or remodel an existing one to include an open floor design, make sure you understand exactly what to expect.
This type of floor plan is not for families that value their privacy because it opens up the home, which also means it opens up the lives of everyone in the home. If you enjoy having the option of going into a room and shutting the door for privacy, then you won’t feel very comfortable in a home without walls.
You do have two options with this floor plan. You can open up the bottom floor of your home and use a traditional design for the upstairs, which will give you more privacy. Your other option is to open up the entire house. Understanding the benefits and the disadvantages of having a free-flowing design will help you determine if this floor plan is right for you.
One of the main benefits associated with open floor plans is that they eliminate wasted space. They make the entire home look and feel bigger than it is and they definitely make your home more modern and stylish. The natural light will flow throughout your home creating a warm, positive environment that helps to lift your spirits.
Another huge benefit is that it helps family members to stay connected. You’re not divided up into different parts of the home. Instead, you can see the kids playing in the den or living room while you’re cooking dinner or watching TV. Traffic flows easily throughout your home and it makes socializing with your family and friends easier than ever.
It’s great to be able to see your family and communicate with each other while in different parts of the home. However, you do need to consider the disadvantages carefully before choosing this type of design. The main disadvantage is that while you can see the kids and keep an eye on them, they can also see you.
Are you comfortable with your home being this open with few boundaries? You have to consider the fact that you’re sure to have a few embarrassing moments to deal with, especially as your kids get older. You do have the option of using sliding wall barriers and half walls to achieve some privacy but it’s not the same as going into a room and closing a door. You’ll also need the help of an experienced interior designer to ensure your design is structurally sound and meets all building codes.
Another major problem is that the acoustics will be different. Sounds will travel from one area to another without disruption and you may have a problem with echoing. You may not be able to enjoy your favorite TV show if the kids are playing loudly, since there is nothing to block the sound. Area rugs can help absorb some of the sound but it will still be different from what you’re used to.
An open floor plan allows you to utilize all of the space in your home more efficiently and it’s very stylish but it does lack privacy so it’s not for everyone. Carefully consider the benefits and the disadvantages before making a decision this important. Contact us to learn more about your options and to go over design ideas for creating a free-flowing design for your new home.