Most homeowners and potential buyers prefer open floor plans. This tendency towards open spaces comes along with a more casual way of living. But the trend was interrupted by the covid-19 pandemic, which changed completely the way we use our homes and put a different hierarchy on our priorities.
Who doesn’t want ample space at home? Who doesn’t love having a large living room, one bedroom for each child, and a kitchen fully or semi-open to easier communicate and socialize with guests? The core of the interior trends of the latest years was loft-like open spaces as much as that could be achieved with large families. But the main principle of open floor plans was respected since only private rooms were hidden behind walls and closed doors. The rest of the house – whether in various shapes, angles, and U corners, was open.
The pandemic raised some open floor plan considerations
With the pandemic, everything changed. Most people started working at home. Kids started getting educated at home. And so, there wasn’t just a need for the basic private rooms – like the bedrooms and the bathrooms, but also extra rooms to serve as home offices, study rooms, and gyms. At the same time, socializing was contained if not eliminated. There was no more need for large living rooms and dining rooms. Nobody visited anymore. Consequently, people had new needs and the home remodelers got to work. The interior designers had to find ways to fit all the necessary rooms in one often limited space.
The boom of home remodeling after the pandemic
It’s noticed that before we dared to say that the pandemic is going to step aside, the home remodeling companies all around the world got really busy. There are two reasons for that:
a. Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. Even those who kept their position, now work fewer hours and their paycheck has changed. Those who were planning to buy a home, now they can’t. Even if they still consider it, they buy old houses cheap which need some fundamental remodeling to become homes again. And so, home renovation companies got busy either by transforming existing homes or old homes that people bought recently.
b. Another main reason for the booming of home renovation is the need to create new spaces. People started asking for ways to transform their interiors to create more living space for the family. That was the first goodbye to the open floor plans. Those who lacked the extra space or wanted to keep the open floor design asked for home additions.
Should we presume the death of the open floor plan, at least as we knew it? The truth is that many people, who really loved the formality of separate kitchens and closed doors, and were just carried away by the interior style trends, grabbed the chance to bring back the design they loved all along. What’s also true is that the open floor plan designs were a reaction to the closed floor plans before the war – and along the closed mentality of that age.
The open floor plan is not dead. We make a new start
The open floor plan hasn’t died. First of all, there are some with big homes and some with small families and those have no need to transform spaces to make more room, abandoning their favorite open spaces. And so, the pandemic hasn’t changed people’s interior design preferences. It just set whole new rules on the table, which created a need for more flexibility when it comes to planning open floor homes – no wonder the demand for room additions has increased too.
It’s surely going to be a different world since the pandemic gave us the chance to evaluate the weaknesses of the open floor plan architecture but also to appreciate its merits. The truth is that we live in a new world – one in which two or three members of the family may need to chat online with co-workers or friends – pandemic or not. And that’s hard to do in one room.
We make our world(s) to meet our needs. And this is not a constant variable. Our needs change over time even without the pressure of the pandemic. And they will continue to change and along with them, our desire for a different home layout will also rise. Did you know that dining rooms became part of the house layout in the 19th century? There’s always a reason for something new – in our case, this is the pandemic.
This is a long discussion. It’s even a debate between those who adore the open floor plan and those who hate it. At the end of the day, the matter of the fact is that the pandemic has brought fundamental changes to our lives and thus, our domestic spheres. But while this will definitely affect the way we see our home today, it will also create new paths where we will find our way.