Open floor plans or connected living spaces have proven to be a popular style in house design. It’s not hard to understand why: open concept living typically combines two to three rooms, like a dining room, kitchen, and living room, to improve the flow of a floor plan and create a space designed for family activities and entertaining. With an open floor plan, you can cook dinner in the kitchen while helping your child do their homework at the dining room table and still keep an eye on your youngest watching TV on the couch. It is both multifunctional and efficient, which is why open floor plans have staying power.
Recently, the global pandemic changed the day-to-day routine for many families with both parents and children working and learning from home. This new dynamic has created the need for more private spaces and a desire for closed floor plans. Also known as a traditional floor plan, the reemergence of a separate dining room, office space, foyer, or other flex rooms is a signal that people are searching for more privacy in an increasingly connected world where life, work, and school blend together.
While there’s no wrong answer when deciding whether to go with an open or closed floor plan, there are several factors to consider when deciding what is best for you. Whether you are designing a custom home plan, exploring stock house plans, or looking to buy, here are three things to consider when planning your perfect floor plan.
The Square Footage of Your Future Home
An open floor plan is typically the best way to maximize the square footage of your house. If you are designing a smaller floor plan, you can create the illusion of more space by selecting an open concept design as you don’t have to worry about extra partition walls, doors, and other barriers. Having one large room that combines living, eating, and dining spaces will also allow you to better utilize natural light from windows or lofted ceiling structures. While traditional floor plans with separate rooms can work in smaller floor plans, keep in mind the spaces you create will be the cozy side and may limit accessibility and entertaining options.
Your Needs for Flex Space or Private Rooms
It’s important to consider your everyday needs and your family’s routine when selecting your house plan. Do you remotely work from home on occasion and need an office or a space to take a private call? Are you homeschooling or expect your children to be home more often from school? Do you need a space to get away from the noise and relax? Does someone in your family want a game room so they don’t monopolize the TV? All of these needs can be met through thoughtful floor plan design and creating closed-off rooms. These private rooms don’t need to be one dimension. For example, sectioning off the dining room as a separate space can serve as both a place to eat as a family and a place for work during the day. If you still love the idea and benefits of an open floor plan, you can create separate spaces through thoughtful interior design. Consider using big furniture pieces like a couch, decorations like tall plants, or even pocket doors to create room dividers and instant private space.
Your Personal Interior Design Style
An open floor plan may be best if you have a strong desire to create a modern and contemporary aesthetic in your house. The flow between the connected living spaces typically has a cohesive, coordinated look and feel, which leaves less room for unique design elements. The opposite is true for a closed floor plan. With smaller rooms, you can use different interior design styles throughout your home since there are walls and a door separating each room. Small, closed rooms can also create a cozier environment and provide more walls for artwork.