So you are now at the planning stage of the remodel of your home......what will the exterior look like? What about the interior spaces? What will they be like? Chances are if you've watched an episode of Fixer Upper, Property Brothers or House Hunters, you may be considering a version of open-concept living for your remodeled home. Here are some pros and cons that may help you determine if an open floor plan is right for you:
Pro: Making a Small Space Feel Larger
This is probably the biggest challenge that open-concept living solves. Small spaces can feel so much smaller when they're cut up by walls that delineate one living space from another. Adding more square footage isn't always an option. Whether you're in a condo that can't be expanded or adding on a room is out of your budget, an open-concept can be a perfect solution. It's a not-so-tricky way to trick the eye into thinking that you've got more square footage than you really do is by tearing down walls and opening up your rooms to each other.
Con: A Large Space May Feel Too Big
On the flip side, if you've got square footage to spare, having an open-concept layout can make an already big space feel far too big. A warm, cozy home can be hard to achieve when there are no walls. The feeling of an echoey, warehouse-like living space is even more amplified if you've got high ceilings. And let's not forget that heating or cooling a huge space can be costly depending on the climate of your hometown.
Pro: Being a Part of the Family
If you're in charge of family mealtime, you may be quite familiar with the feeling of isolation that comes with that culinary responsibility. While the rest of your household is watching a show, or playing in the living room, or doing homework at the dining room table, you're toiling away in kitchen. You miss out on conversation and togetherness simply because living spaces are cut off from each other. An open concept is a very neat fix for that problem.
Con: A Messy Kitchen Is Always on Display
Real talk: kitchens can be the messiest part of your home. The work of making a meal is inherently chaotic: bowls cover the countertops; pots and pans in various states of use are out and about; veggies and meats need prepping. Unless you're a master of clean-as-you-go there invariably will be visual clutter in your kitchen at some point. You can't hide from a messy kitchen for a few glorious minutes or hours with an open-concept layout.
Pro: Entertaining Is More Social + Convenient
No matter how well planned-out a party is, a host knows that everyone always ends up in the kitchen. It makes sense! Your guests want to visit with you while they're in your home. An open layout makes this so much more sensible for hosts and guests alike. While you're setting up your crudites and concocting your signature drink, your guests can be at your buffet or on your couch and still take part in conversation with you. And you can maintain a feeling of togetherness without an army underfoot in your kitchen.
Con: Load-Bearing Walls
When you look at a compartmentalized house and imagine an open flow from space to space, your first thought should be: is that a load-bearing wall? Knocking down one of these key walls can come at a huge cost and requires a professional. In many cases, those load-bearing walls can be replaced with beams that displace the weight of your home, but they're not cheap. The cost can easily run into the thousands and thousands of dollars.
Pro: Gorgeous Open Sight Lines
With no walls to block your view, the beauty of your whole home is on full display. Frank Lloyd Wright originally began changing the way our homes were designed to highlight each space and to encourage indoor-outdoor living. His thoughtful plans allowed a continuity of design and flow from space to space to be the highlight of a home. Today's open floor plans are the beneficiaries of this change in concept and can be stunning visually.
Con: Lack of Privacy
If your kids are noisy when they're playing (congrats if yours aren't!); if you need some solitude to get work done; if your partner is bingeing a tv show that you haven't caught up on — too bad. Open-concept homes don't provide the privacy that is needed to accomodate any of those situations. Being together all the time means being together ALL the time. It's a big factor you need to consider.
Open concept living is a very popular trend in today's home design and many families have implemented 'open living' in their home remodeling projects. In the end, you should take all these factors into consideration and choose a home layout that's the best fit for you and your family.
At Dantor Martinez Construction, we specialize in home remodeling projects. If you are planning a home remodel now or in the future, we can help you create your dream home. Contact us today about scheduling a free consultation here.