Not only has open-plan living risen in popularity in recent years, but it almost became a standard for many of those looking for a home. It’s a lifestyle choice with a strong background and a big fan base. However, this layout type is not without its flaws, so knowing both the pros and cons of open-plan living before a purchase is crucial. Let’s see what they are!
What is an open-plan home?
In essence, we all know what an open-plan home looks like. It’s a place that has few or no dividing walls between the areas. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you get an empty apartment with four walls and nothing else. Usually, they’re configured in a way that the living room, kitchen, and dining room are all connected in one open, free-flowing space. This is also important to know if you want to stage your property like a pro and sell it for a nice profit.
Bedrooms and bathrooms are separated by walls, at least by the conventional idea of the open plan. Therefore, the term generally refers to the main living areas of the home. If you’d like to get such a home where you’d have, for instance, a home office integrated into the living space, make sure to note that on your home buying wishlist.
Pros of open-plan living
What often draws people to this style of homes is that it sits comfortably with the way people live. Formal dining is becoming less frequent, so it’s easier to get through your day with this way of arranging the space.
This goes especially for places in which space is considered a premium. Big, urban cities like New York, Toronto, and San Francisco are just some places that spring to mind. Architects are often called to ‘open up’ small apartments in big cities, so they end up tearing down the walls connecting rooms. This also makes it easier to transport everything to your new home once you are moving in, as there won’t be any obstacles in the way of your movers.
Living becomes more sociable
One of the biggest benefits of open floor apartments is that they encourage the residents of the home to interact with each other. You’re going to run onto your household members more often, and that encourages you to live in a communal and connected way. You’ll build better relationships with the people you live with if you communicate more. It’s as simple as that.
Indoor/outdoor living becomes more prominent
One of the biggest benefits of open floor apartments is that they encourage their residents to interact. You’re going to run onto your household members more often, enabling you to live in a communal and connected way. You’ll build better relationships with the people you live with if you communicate more. It’s as simple as that.
Cons of open-plan living
Unfortunately, nothing in life comes without its downsides, and it’s the same situation here. So, it’s time to spend a little bit of time talking about the latter part of the pros and cons of open plan living.
The kitchen is often the heart of an open floor plan, and with good reason, as it is the social epicenter of the house. However, the kitchen is for cooking, so the problem of smells and dirty dishes comes to the surface.
There’s a couple of things you can do to battle this:
- Upgrade your kitchen
- Incorporate a special door to keep the kitchen sealed while you’re cooking
- Invest in some air fresheners and purifiers
- Learn to live with it
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure to read about the upgrades that will add value to your home as you’ll find some solutions to this problem in there also.
Kitchens can be noisy
One more problem that occurs with this concept is that the kitchen’s nature often makes it noisy. The sounds of blending, mixing, even chopping can be very annoying to someone taking a nap in the living room.
So, you’d have to make some compromises when it comes to spending time in this area. On the other hand, you can get two kitchens, one open and a working one. This solves pretty much all of your problems.
Lack of storage and messiness
And the last thing on our list of pros and cons of open plan living is indeed a con. When you remove walls, you also remove lots of storage space, which is what many homeowners crave the most. You can solve this with some clever and hidden compartments. However, you also need to keep everything clean and in pristine shape at all times. You wouldn’t want guests to come over and see your dirty kitchen. On the other hand, if you don’t mind cleaning a little more often, we’re sure you’re going to love the new layout of your home.
About the author
Alex Hudson is a web designer and part-time blogger. Although he has a degree in graphic engineering, his true passion is interior design. He has arranged his own apartment to his needs and liking, and hopes to help others do so as well.