When people plan home remodeling, opening up space is one of the first things they seek. They do so since the post WWII period, when the kitchen slowly and steadily ceased to be considered solely utilitarian but the focal point of the home. Open concept homes became a norm in the world of architecture since they united people and didn’t isolate the chef, for example, from the guests.
Let’s make sure we are on the same page when we talk about open concept homes, first. Shall we?
• Open concept or open plan floors refer to joining two or more spaces to create one, which will host various activities – cooking, relaxing, watching TV, etc. Such architectural models have limited partition walls and only when necessary – just to seclude the bedrooms and bathrooms. In many homes of modern architecture, especially those with mezzanines, the main bedroom is open plan too. The usual open plan configurations include kitchens & dining rooms / kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms / living rooms and dining rooms.
Why open plan floors became a norm?
From the post war period to this day, home remodeling contractors are asked to open up space. This is not accidental. Nobody likes closed spaces and we need to remember that not all homes are huge. A claustrophobic hallway is never nice, and tiny rooms may be cozy, but miss the sense of freedom and openness.
Naturally, the main reason for the dominance of open plan floor architecture was social change. In the pre-war period, kitchens were considered service areas and were hidden in the back of the house or in basements. Most people’s lifestyle was extremely formal with the family joining together around the table for dinner and guests welcomed in the main living room.
Gradually, all that changed. People are freer – no more dictated by austere social norms and rules. They work, function, and live in a completely different way. Having no walls between the kitchen and the living room gave people the chance to supervise their children while cooking. To enjoy the company of their close friends during the gatherings Saturday night. Open plan floors provided freedom, flexibility, friendliness.
There’s no doubt about the advantages of opening up space during a home remodel. Just this open feeling is enough to go ahead with it. And there’s a list of more things one enjoys.
• Greater brightness
• Better communication
• Easy traffic flow
• Furnishing flexibility
But in spite of all the good things that come when you open up the space, is it a good thing?
The benefits of closed floor plans
To understand the benefits of closed floor plans and decide whether or not to ask from your home remodeling company to bring down walls, you need to think of the considerations of open spaces.
• One of the biggest issues is noise. Since open spaces are multifunctional, you have to endure the TV, the voices, the back and forth of your children’s schoolmates, and all the commotion whether you like it or not.
• You need to keep the place tidy because every little thing out of order will stand out and the room will be easy to clutter.
• Big spaces are harder to heat than smaller spaces.
• You must decide that you won’t have any privacy.
• All kitchen odors will be sensed all over the house.
The negatives of open floor plans become the advantages of closed spaces. And this is further enhanced during the pandemic period with the whole family staying at home while each one is obliged to do some work – whether for school or office.
How can you decide about your home remodeling?
Whether or not to bring down walls and open up the interior is a big decision – one that a home renovation contractor may advice you about but cannot tell you what to do. This is up to you.
When would it be a pretty good idea? Basically, when the size of your home is small and you need breathing space – the will to make the home look bigger. It would be convenient if the family is not big or the kids have already grown, and so it’s basically just the two of you again and like to feel the openness of having one room instead of plenty. It’s also a good idea if you have no other hobbies, which take up space in the home, like painting, sculpturing, writing. Unless you already have a separate space for such activities. It will be a great idea if you simply like it and can think of no considerations to keep you from doing so.