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The Pro’s and Con’s Of Open Plan Living

February 15, 2016
The Pro’s and Con’s Of Open Plan Living

Are you ready to renovate and can’t wait to knock down some walls to reveal the expansive modern home you’ve always wanted or are you trying to decide on a floor plan for a brand new home?

Open plan living has become a popular choice for Australian home owners. Having few dividing walls creates an expansive, airy and inviting feel but there are also some downsides to consider as well. We have compiled some pointers to help you make the most of open plan living.

The Pro's

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1. Family Friendly

A centrally located kitchen overlooking the living and dining area provides peace of mind for parents as they can keep an eye on the kids while cooking meals, without the hassle of going back and forth to supervise them. It also makes multi-tasking easy as having the family gathered together in one place means you can check on website usage, monitor gaming time and help with homework all at the same time.

2. Great For Entertaining

The real appeal of open plan living is the magnificent flow and relaxed feel it creates in the home. Less walls means more room for entertaining! Never again will you find yourself stuck away in the kitchen, slaving over the oven while everyone else is sipping on a glass of pinot noir in the dining room without you. Open plan designs provide a central space for everyone to congregate so you’ll never miss a moment of fun while hosting guests. With more room to move, you’ll be totally inspired to host drinks and dinner parties in the comfort of your own home.

Light open plan living

3. Light And Bright

With less interior walls, open plan living is ideal for creating more light and warmth in your home. In addition to natural light, installing decorative lighting will help draw attention to different focal points of the room. Dimmable down lights are a great choice to maximize the use of multipurpose spaces and lamps are also a lovely idea to create a cosy atmosphere.

4. Spacious

The days of dark, dingy hallways and pokey old rooms are gone. Open floor plans maximizes living space, generating a vast open area for the whole family to relax in and enjoy. Open plans can be built for purpose allowing improved traffic flow and great accessibility.

The Con’s

1. Lack Of Privacy

If you like to hide away in a quiet corner with a good book you may want to join your local library because it’s hard to find a private nook to isolate yourself, in an open plan design. On the bright side, this provides a great opportunity to rejuvenate your balcony or patio to create a place to escape to for peace and quiet. Communal living means the mess is centered all in the one area. Hence, it can be inconvenient if unexpected guests arrive as there’s nowhere to hide the untidiness as you don’t have the convenience of just shutting a door to conceal the chaos.

Shelving open plan living

2. Generates Clutter

Without walls to clearly define each room you risk turning your home into an over cluttered antique shop. Nevertheless, some careful pre-planning will help you decide on the best way to utilise your space and ensure you maintain a sense of balance and harmony. An effective way to create a divide between areas is to use a book shelf or storage unit without backing to ensure you maintain the flow and airiness of the home. Arrange furniture and rugs strategically to create designated areas and use colour wisely such as a feature wall or wallpaper to clearly divide areas.

3. Too Noisy

Wanting to use the blender or vacuum the floor while other family members watch their favourite TV show or concentrate on their studies may become a household irritation and have you all wishing you could quickly shut the door to block out the sound. So it goes without saying some compromise is needed about when to use noisy appliances or do the household chores. Keep in mind that the acoustics will echo more easily with a lack of walls so to help keep noise to a minimum consider the use of soft flooring and add thick mats to hardwood floors.

4. Lack Of Wall Space

For art lovers it will be difficult to find enough space to display your entire collection so you may have to be selective or decide to regularly rotate your pieces on the main walls. Arranging furniture may also prove challenging. The lack of wall space means there’s minimal options to push furniture up against a solid backing. Therefore, you will have to be creative and clever when purchasing and arranging your furniture to maximize the space.

With these considerations in mind we hope you have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of open plan living and we hope this helps when selecting a floor plan that’s right for your needs.

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