Is Open Floor Plan Right for You?
One question I get asked time and time again. When homeowners are remodelling to create their dream home …“Open plan or no open plan?”
When planning a remodelling project most homeowners get on the bandwagon of an open floor plan…however I have my reservations.
Because one size does not fit all.
I’m not against the idea of an open concept home but it depends on may variables…actually you will have more clarity towards the end of this article.
Creating an open concept by knocking down the walls is a huge undertaking, it requires a commitment to managing a family during the renovation, let alone the stress of managing contractors, the deliveries and a million design decisions. It also requires clear understanding of what it’s like to live in an open floor plan.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself – before committing to an open floor plan
Question #1 – Are you a clean freak or have a relaxed style?
The magazine images of spotless open floor plans are very enticing to incorporate into your home. Before committing to this layout, however, it is crucial to consider whether an abundance of visible, common spaces is functional for you and your family.
Open floor plans look effective when a sleek, minimalist aesthetic is maintained. However, the layout can quickly lose its charm when used for everyday practicalities. Does your family need smaller, more contained spaces, will the open floor plan resemble a clutter of toys and papers. Trust me that open plans are high maintenance and if you have a bunch that is messy its going to drive you crazy.
Are you willing to, and do you have the time to commit to keeping it tidy, 24/7.
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Question #2 – Are you a minimalist or have tons of items that need a home? Books, dishes, table linens, toys etc.
When opting for an open plan what most people forget is that an open concept eliminates a lot of wall space for storage. If you’re a collector you may find yourself at a loss of enough storage for your collectibles. Take account of what you own and where it will be stored.
If you’re not sure what is the best solution for you and your home, book your free 30 min Discovery Call.
Question #3 – Are You Okay with Ambient Noise?
If you’re anything like me then the sound of TV can bother you when you’re reading a book or just listening to a podcast while others want to watch their favourite show. It is important to factor in your working style and noise tolerance when considering an open plan arrangement. Television, speakers, play-time and the casual conversation that take place in communal living spaces may seem too much if you work from home or need a quiet room in which to meditate.
If so, it might be worthwhile considering a layout that has separate rooms dedicated to specific purposes which can be opened up when needed.
Question #4 – Do You Entertain a Lot?
Often, the major draw-card of open-plan living is its suitability for entertaining. Indeed, the integration of dining room, kitchen and living space allow for fluidity of traffic and for ease of interaction between those preparing food and those at the table. However, when planning your home design, it is important that this function is not prioritized over the realities and practicalities of every-day living. Realistically, if entertaining is a small aspect of your life then the open plan may work.
However if your friends tend to drop in for dinner casually while kids are finishing homework and preparing for bed then some separation is recommended, you may like a separate space to direct the kids during a dinner party.
Question #5 – Last but not least, is it worth the investment
Renovations budgets creep up very quickly, sometimes a small change can cost a lot for what goes on in the background. Once you’ve decided to go with creating the open concept you’ve been dreaming of, you have to understand what it means in terms of budget. Walls have many purposes it could be structural or have a lot hidden inside them, plumbing, electrical or HVAC. Removing it means relocating everything and at times it can cost more than the benefit.
I once had to relocate a fire alarm for 3 ” of extra space in a tight walk-in closet. The steep quote of $2,500 made me find creative solutions to maximizing the storage.
If you’re still not sure what’s best for you and your family, I’m here to help. Book your free Discovery Call