The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan
The open floor plan has been widely embraced in modern households, reflecting a change in the way we use our spaces. Open plan living creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, permitting a range of activities to take place in a communal space. But despite its popularity, there are some drawbacks to consider. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the open plan.
An open floor plan creates continuity between spaces. A kitchen that opens onto a living or dining area and then out onto a deck allows for a connection between the day-to-day activities in the home. The open space encourages communication and spontaneous interaction, allowing a family to passively be together as they go about their daily activities.
Open plan kitchens let you prepare food while your children complete their homework at the kitchen table or play on the deck outside. This makes multitasking much easier, which suits most families.
Light and Airy
Open plans make great use of natural light, often opening up onto outdoor areas to bring the outside in. Fewer walls mean a natural circulation of light and air. You can clean the floor in one smooth session and fewer corners mean less chance of cobwebs or damp patches developing in dark corners.
Open plan floor plans are often a more affordable building option. Fewer dividing walls mean less building materials and less time spent on construction and engineering. This gives you more opportunities to add extra touches to your marquee areas, like kitchens and bathrooms.
Lack of Privacy
We often lack downtime not just from each other but also from work commitments or other distractions. As a multitasking culture, we are often trying to do several things at once. The temptation to stop chopping parsley and quickly make a note of something on the laptop is ever present. While becoming more connected is a valuable part of modern life, we may have given up the ability to focus on one thing at a time.
When rooms are created and divided, a kitchen can just be a kitchen, not a workspace, dining room and nursery too. By avoiding open plans, you can design rooms exactly for their purpose, saving the work for the office, the cooking for the kitchen and the relaxing for the lounge.
The acoustics in an open plan area are naturally louder, and in busy households a cacophony of television, kitchen clanging and kids playing can quickly become overwhelming.
One of the downfalls of open space is the lack of places to hide anything. This makes it difficult to create a sense of calm and order unless everything is packed away regularly. The continuity of space often means children’s half-finished games, breakfast dishes, and miscellaneous paperwork are all on display should the neighbour pop in for a cuppa.
If the open plan style appeals to you but you would like to minimise some of the drawbacks, there are many clever partitioning ideas which can break up the space with subtlety. These designs still allow light and air to flow while creating a little bit of privacy. Creating a diversion for the eye with a glimpse of an outside view or your favourite furnishing can make the space appear bigger and more interesting.
Whether you’re after an open plan kitchen or a more traditional design, we can help you. The team at Salt KB has been designing and renovating kitchens and bathrooms for more than 10 years. For more information on kitchen design and remodelling options, contact Salt KB today.