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Open vs Closed Floor Plans

When was the last time you considered how a floor plan organizes your domicile? Here we take a look at how open and closed floor plans impact organizational and structural decisions you make at home.

What Is the Difference Between 'Closed' and 'Open'?

An open floor plan means that there are few or no walls to segregate several areas of a house. A closed floor plan means that each area is separated by a door. Areas are things like dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc. So in an open plan where the kitchen and dining area are not separated you could be able to entertain guests as you prepare a meal or carry on a conversation as you create a snack.

Open Floor Plan Benefits
Open floor

More natural light: Interior walls reduce ambient light, however, in an open plan, that light is free to beam through any room and playfully bounce around your home.

Easier to entertain: In the aforementioned example you can continue to converse with guests without being in the same area. Now, extrapolate that to your whole home! Be sure that you have activities and entertainment for all of your guests wherever they are.

Suited for newer homes: Newer homes lend themselves to an open floor plan because they do not have that classic or traditional American appeal. Some homes that are older have a very distinct aesthetic that they were designed to cultivate and are incompatible with open plans.

Open Floor Drawbacks

Cleanliness: Although good advice in general, you must keep an open plan home much cleaner as any untidiness or dirt is visible from practically anywhere. While your 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner will be able to cool a larger area, somethings you want to stay in one place. For example, if you have one source of smell or dirt, like a garbage can, it can affect other parts of your home much more easily.

Noise: Similar to smell, noise will carry throughout your home. Only furnishings will be able to dampen loud or unpleasant noise.

Ample furnishings: Unless you are aiming for a decidedly minimal home, be sure to have enough furnishings so that guests are comfortable as well as stimulated. Art, seating and tables are all necessities.

Child safety: If you have small children an open plan may not be the safest choice. For instance, if your kitchen is open, children will have full range will be able to touch stoves or sharp objects. On the other hand, because there are no walls to obscure vision and you will be able to watch them with less difficulty.

Closed Floor Plan Benefits
Floor plan

Compartmentalization: You will be better able to keep your life compartmentalized and separate. Guests will have a clear idea of what room serves what purpose. Also, easier to clean as messes will be segregated to one location

Suited for older homes: Homes built before the last two or three decades will most likely not support open floor plans without extensive renovations.

Personality: Because each room is separate, they can have their own style and personality.

Privacy: Probably the single biggest benefit to a closed floor plan is privacy. If your property has a lot of residents whether they be family or friends, sometimes you just want a space to call your own.

Closed Floor Drawbacks

Restricted space: Each room will have a finite amount of space. This is not normally an issue but you may have to be more creative with furnishings and decorations if space is specific.

Reduced communication: With walls in the way, you will lose the ability to reach others from one room to another, unless you wish to resort to shouting.

Harder to renovate: More work will be needed to knock out walls, wiring and insulation if you want to change up room dimensions or purposes. If you want a new bathroom, expect it to take more effort than if you were to have an open floor plan.