Open Concept Design
Open Concept Homes
As design has evolved over the last few decades, we’ve watched open concept home design become the desired feeling. Great for traffic flow and entertaining, open concept homes often feel larger and more spacious than homes divided by walls.
We love an open concept design, but before you begin knocking down walls, there are a few things to consider as you create that open concept dream plan.
1. Everything is Connected
When your whole first floors is open concept, it needs to be treated as one room is the sense of color palette and finish selections. This means your dark cabinetry in the kitchen may dictate the wood finishes for your whole first floor, or your gold fireplace screen may affect the finishes you choose for your kitchen island pendants.
In this open concept home, we placed special consideration in how the light fixtures would flow from kitchen to dining room to family room.
2. A Large Space May Not Feel Cozy
Having an open concept in a large space, can make the already large space feel too large and somewhat cold. It’s much harder to create a warm and cozy space with no walls. This feeling can be exaggerated if you have tall ceilings. Using furniture creatively to create smaller spaces within the large open concept can help to achieve that warm and intimate feeling while still enjoying the benefits of open concept.
The L-shaped layout of this room allows for a very distinct living room space without adding walls for definition.
3. There’s No Hiding a Mess
In an open concept home, you don’t have doors to close when one room is a mess and guests are coming over. The kitchen is usually the worst offender in this sense. In hosting an event, the kitchen often becomes quite messy – pots and pans spread throughout – but there isn’t a door to close after dinner is served in the dining room to hide the mess while you eat.
In this open concept, we build the island at bar height. This height in the middle of the room acts as a small barrier to the stove and sink to help minimize sight lines into what can be a messy part of the kitchen.
4. Lack of Privacy
One of the benefits to open concept design is that everyone is together. Whoever is cooking in the kitchen, is still part of the family unit hanging out in the living room, and so on. But on the flip side, the open-concept design has little room for privacy when you want it. If your kids are noisy when they’re playing (congrats if yours aren’t!); if you need some solitude to get work done; if your partner is bingeing a tv show that you haven’t caught up on — too bad. Open-concept homes don’t provide the privacy that is needed to accommodate any of those situations. Being together all the time means being together ALL the time. It’s a big factor you need to consider.
Think About Your Pros and Cons as you Plan
Take the time to really consider why you want an open-concept home beyond the trend before you start knocking down walls. If you really are “entertainers” and not just holiday-only hosts, it could be for you. If your family craves togetherness now and as it grows at the expense of privacy, or if you have a second family room in another part of the house when you can go to escape or send the kids when they’re being loud, maybe you want open concept. But don’t overlook other design options that can still give you the feeling of a larger home with good flow when entertaining. Just because something is a trend, doesn’t mean its the right choice for your home.