People see open plan houses as the modern way, breaking away from the structures of traditional houses. There certainly are a lot of things to desire about the design scheme, but there are disadvantages that come along with it to. The question is – which is right for you?
Below, we’ve tried to look at all of the pros and cons as free from bias as we can, juxtaposing them to give you the most complete arguments, both for and against transitioning to an open floor plan.
Pro: Easier to socialise
With no boundaries between people, the flow of conversation now need never be broken when someone moves from area to area (they wouldn’t be moving “room to room” anymore). So now, cooking dinner needn’t be a solo affair, as you can carry on talking to those sat in the living room. But don’t worry, you can always escape to the toilet should you want to escape the conversation!
Con: Less privacy
The removal of walls does bring the downside of a reduction in privacy, both internally and externally. If you have an argument with someone, you now can’t really stand in two separate rooms. Getting changed now has to be confined to the only rooms that are still separate, which in some cases may only be the bathroom. And now, anyone looking in from outside will be able to see the whole house, which could feel very intrusive.
Pro: Easier to keep an eye on things
Families with open plan homes will also find benefits in the lack of walls when it comes time to look after the kids. You’ll have a much firmer grasp of what they are doing wherever they are, which should mean a little less stress when you have to go to another part of the house. The kids will also feel the benefit with more room for activities.
The downside? Now al lthe noise the kids make won’t be muffled by the walls. In fact, any noisy activity – watching TV, turning the radio on, cooking etc. – can’t be escaped. You may have to purchase some headphones! Check out this guide to find out about the ways to reduce noise at home.
Pro: Increased natural light
If you live a part of the world blessed with great views and glorious sunshine most of the year, then open plan is the best way to embellish it. One ray of sunshine can light up the whole house, instead of just one or two rooms (that also means a potential reduction in your lighting bill). Plus, you’ll have unimpeded views of the surrounding area.
Con: Harder to specialise
One thing that may be difficult within an open plan house is to martial off areas to be truly specialised. If the kitchen blends into the dining room, which in turn seeps into the living room, is it truly a kitchen? Furthermore, people tend to like their study rooms to be isolated so they can concentrate. That may be difficult if no walls remain.
Pro: Easier for gatherings
It isn’t only the kids who can enjoy the increased space. If you have a large amount of people over, it won’t be like house parties of yesteryear, with everyone crammed into one room. Now, people are free to mingle wherever they choose. They can spread out, and you can give yourself the excuse to show off all your fancy new appliances, quartz worktops, shiny bathroom furniture, and big leather recliners!
Con: Harder to contain mess
Just remember to keep a lid on the trash situation during these or any other gatherings. When cooking, it is easy to keep all the mess generated confined to one room, meaning it was easier to clean. With all the rooms bleeding into each other, things can spiral out of control, and before you know it, you have to clean the house from top to bottom. You’ll probably think that walls weren’t such a bad thing after all!
All this comes down to is whether the sacrifices of privacy and certain conventions are worth the increased space and freedom. For some, the old ways are the best. But if you like the sound of open plan, there are a lot of design ideas floating around right now that can point you in the right direction.