Have you noticed that now almost all programs about interior design and renovation start with demolishing walls and creating a common open space? Yes, open floor plans are in vogue today, but is this an option for everyone? Our tips site has collected homeowners’ testimonials on this topic to answer this question..
Designers are confident that before making a choice in favor of an open plan (open space), the owners of a house or apartment must answer five important questions:
- Are you ready for the fact that all household members will always be in sight, in one spacious room? In an open plan, which includes a kitchen, living room, dining room “no hide, no hide.” You will be together, and, perhaps, while everyone will try to do their own thing;
- Ready to spend more money on your kitchen? When combined with the living room, designers often try to make the kitchen less “kitchen”, to disguise it, to add flavor. The option with zoning using a kitchen island or a bar counter suggests itself, ideas for creating which you can see in the articles on the site. Yes, the island and the bar are beautiful and functional. But by no means cheap;
- Where can you arrange a work corner, home office? Is there room for it in the bedroom or in a separate room? If not, can you work in a common room, which already has a lot of functions??
- Will the noise from a working TV bother you? Let’s say you are quietly baking in the kitchen area, and the children turned on their favorite cartoon at full volume. Moreover, they vigorously comment on what is happening on the screen. Will it make you uncomfortable??
- How often will you host? Often times, owners choose an open plan precisely to get enough room for parties. But you certainly won’t arrange them every day! It is possible that an open plan will come in handy for this purpose two or three times a year. Is it worth the effort?
In general, as the designers point out, the open plan has a number of advantages:
- open space means much more light and space. Even a relatively small room will seem more spacious;
- it is convenient to receive guests and spend time with the whole family in the common room;
- a place for a fireplace appears;
- open space is much more functional than individual rooms;
- cleaning one room is easier.
But of course, there are disadvantages to an open plan:
- independently correctly and beautifully equip such a space with different functional zones in a single style can be difficult. And the services of a professional designer are additional and rather big expenses;
- not a single most powerful hood will save you from the smell from the kitchen area;
- in a room where children are playing at the same time, someone is watching TV and the dishwasher will be noisy;
- fewer walls – less room for decor. You may find that you simply do not have a place for a collection of paintings or family photographs.
The most important conclusion that can be drawn based on the pros and cons of an open plan is that this option is definitely suitable for sociable extroverts who adore receiving guests and do not want to be constrained by the frames of one room. Accordingly, introverts need to avoid open planning, those who prefer quiet home comfort and are always ready to hide behind the walls of their own room. Some people, for example, may feel uncomfortable sitting on a sofa if there is no wall behind it. The “rear” is open, something is constantly happening behind – that’s the discomfort for you.
This conclusion, of course, is from the field of psychology. This is also important, but we are primarily interested in the practical side, the open-plan functionality. Therefore, we have collected for you reviews of real homeowners who decided to remove the walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room and managed to live in such an environment for some time:
- “While my husband and I were very young and the children were small, the open plan was completely fine with us. We invited guests to parties, I could look after the children while cooking in the kitchen. Now our teenagers prefer to spend time in their separate rooms, and the husband turns on the TV louder, because his hearing has become worse. And I’m not at all so uncomfortable, there is no quiet corner where you can retire ”;
- “If guests come to us, and I haven’t had time to wash the dishes and put things in order on the countertop, I have to hide this mess by covering the mountain of dishes with a beautiful tablecloth. The rest of the open plan suits me perfectly ”;
- “I wake up before everyone else in the house and often just don’t want to turn on the coffee machine so as not to wake up the rest of the family. There is also a problem with the fact that there is a washing machine in the kitchen – when it turns on in the evenings, you have to turn up the TV volume and the room becomes noisy ”;
- “We have a big friendly family and have been completely satisfied with the open plan for many years. We communicate together, prepare, arrange screenings of new films, everything is fine, I see no minuses ”;
- “We bought the deepest sink for the kitchen, which has become part of the living room. And now the guests simply do not see how many dirty dishes we have accumulated. And in general, it’s convenient, I really like this sink ”;
- “We have an open space on the side of a one-story building. The ceilings are very high, there are problems with cleaning cobwebs and dust. In addition, because of the odors from the kitchen, the curtains on the panoramic windows get dirty quickly. But this is the only significant disadvantage ”;
- “We made an open space on the first floor of the house. The bedrooms are separate upstairs, everything is cozy, you can find a place for privacy. But we didn’t think of a place for guests. Now they sleep in our living room-kitchen on the sofa, it is inconvenient, we cannot use the kitchen until the guests wake up ”;
- “After living in an apartment with separate tiny rooms, we were just happy to live in a house with a kitchen-living-dining room in one room. Plenty of space, so spacious and light! The cons appeared only a year after our housewarming. We interfere a little with each other when in my kitchen they are actively preparing lunch, and my husband and friends are watching football literally a couple of meters away ”;
- “We went for an alternative and installed sliding doors, fencing off the kitchen. They can be opened and the space becomes common again. But, believe me, it’s much more convenient with them! “.
How many people – so many opinions. However, we are sure that you should carefully consider what pros and cons the open plan will bring specifically to your family. Perhaps you need to look for alternative options, maybe this is not for you at all. Think!