Open-concept vs. Traditional Floor Plans

Monday, April 6th, 2020 by Starcom Intern

Floor plans are one of the most important aspects of home design. A well mapped out floor plan is critical in the construction of any home. There are two major types of floor plans you may need to consider, open and traditional. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages.

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(, n.d.)
Open-concept Floor Plans
An open-concept floor plan is when the living and social areas of a home share one large space. Typically, the kitchen, living room, and dining room would be open with no walls or doors. Open floor plans are usually found in contemporary or industrial homes. There are a couple of advantages to having an open-concept floor plan.

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(, n.d.)
Some advantages to an open-concept floor plan include:
• Making small spaces feel larger
Taking away walls can open up small rooms and make them less restrictive. It also creates more space for larger furniture.
• Creating a simpler traffic flow
With an open floor plan, you don’t have to worry about doors or walls. This makes it easier to navigate through the home. This is a big advantage for homeowners with children that need supervision as they’ll always be easy to get to.
• Entertaining and gathering is easier
The additional space provided by an open-concept floor plan also allows for more guests. More guests can socialize without having to separate into other rooms.

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(, n.d.)
With these advantages come a few negatives:
• Costly to heat and cool
Unlike traditional floor plans, you can’t pick and choose what rooms you want to heat or cool. The whole open space must be heated or cooled, which can be less cost-efficient.
• Lack of privacy
With this type of floor plan, everything is out in the open. There are no doors or walls to stop the travel of sound or smells. It is also more difficult to contain any messes around the house.
• Spaces can feel too big
If the home has a lot of space, an open-concept floor plan can feel overwhelming. It will be more difficult to decorate and leave more empty space.

While open-concept floor plans are still popular today, the trend has seemed to level off. Open floor plans seem impractical to some. Because of this, the trend may be shifting back to traditional, cozier floor plans.

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(Heidi Caillier, n.d.)
Traditional Floor Plans
A traditional floor plan separates the home into multiple functional spaces. Each area of the home is its own private space. Traditional floor plans are typically found in older homes. There are a few pros and cons to having a traditional floor plan.

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Benefits of traditional floor plans include:
• Privacy
There is nothing wrong with a little privacy. If you have a larger family or children, sometimes you need time for yourself. Sound doesn’t carry as easily in traditional floor plans, so there are more quiet spaces.
• Easier to decorate
Unlike open floor plans, each room has four walls to decorate. Decorating one larger, cohesive space makes it seem overwhelming to some. With traditional floor plans, each room can have its own theme or palette.
• Messes are contained
Messes are likely to stay in one area rather than spread through the whole house. It’s easy to clean multiple smaller spaces than one large space. Traditional floor plans also take away the pressure of constantly cleaning visible messes.

Open-concept vs. Traditional Floor Plans - Image 6
(, n.d.)
A few disadvantages of traditional floor plans are:
• Lower resale value
Due to their current popularity, homes with open floor plans tend to sell for more. However, trends tend to change so this may not always be the case.
• Less space
Traditional floor plans can make living spaces feel more restrictive. The home may feel less accessible. Less space may also make rooms seem cluttered with knick-knacks.
• Less natural light
Separate rooms bring in less natural sunlight throughout the home. Natural light can increase the brightness of the room. It has also been shown that natural sunlight can improve mood and increase positivity. A way to combat this would be to install skylights to bring in the sunshine from above.

Which Floor Plan Is Right for You?
In the end, the floor plan you choose comes down to your taste and needs. If you want a modern look or love hosting events, you may want an open floor plan. If you prefer quiet spaces and established rooms, you may want a traditional floor plan.

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