Is Open Concept Design Still a Practical Design for Homes?

The open concept as it applies to the home is a widely popular one – one that has been gaining in popularity in recent decades thanks to its clean, streamlined look. The basic premise of open concept is, well, open! Without constraining walls that mark clearly-defined spaces such as living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens, the open concept has been enjoying its time in the sun as more and more architects over the years have scrambled to create a feeling of open space.

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Open Concept vs. Divided Floor Plan

It originally became popular because it made the home feel less cramped and defined, offering up more gathering space for entertaining where people could talk to one another no matter where they were in the living space. However, is the open concept still a practical one? Some say this design trend is on its way out. But why?

The New York Times reports that older buyers are starting to reject the open concept idea in favor of a divided floor plan, with the reason being that more and more people are entertaining at home with the desire to shut the kitchen out from the rest of the living space. The trend is still moving toward open living spaces, great rooms and combinations of family and dining rooms; however, older adults are gravitating toward the traditional floor plan perhaps because they’ve grown up with this type of layout.

Detractors of open concepts in homes have always stated that this type of modern layout leads to inefficient heating and cooling. Instead, they say, thermostats in each room can be adjusted to heat or cool just one small area rather than the whole house. While this can certainly be true in open concept homes with high ceilings and many hallways, today’s open concept home is designed with energy efficiency in mind. Designers strive to make the best use of space through a well-flowing floor plan that takes into consideration traffic patterns to eliminate so many hallways, utilizes several uses of space (such as doubling an office with a living room or kitchen with dining room), uses radius walls to make a space look larger, and enhances all the right angles with optimal lighting.

A Solution

What more remodelers and designers are seeing now is a blend between the two, with designated dining spaces that feature frosted glass or paneled sliding doors so homeowners can decide day to day whether to open it all up or keep it cozy. Many occupants still enjoy the open concept of the kitchen being part of the eating area. Why? The most popular gathering spot in any home is always the kitchen, so especially if you entertain a lot, you may want to keep it open so you can continue to interact with guests even though you’re popping appetizers in and out of the oven.

Bottom line is, Foster Remodeling Solutions can help you incorporate an energy-efficient, attractive and functional open concept idea in your home.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!