Open Floor Plans: A Fad or the Future




If it seems like more and more new construction you've been visiting has fewer walls, you are not imagining things. If had the opportunity to visit my listing at 628 Elvira Ave in South Redondo Beach you experienced a perfect example of what I'm referring to.

In fact, open-plan living hasn’t merely risen in popularity in recent years, it seems to be the mainstay of what many people look for in a home. At the time of this writing, there were more than 600,000 photos of open-plan spaces on Houzz.com, so it’s clearly a popular lifestyle choice with a strong fan base including millennials and empty nesters.

Before I delve further into this, let's establish what I'm referring to. An open-plan space has no or few dividing walls between areas. Generally, this refers to the main living areas of the home; the kitchen, living room and dining room and creates an open, flowing layout with fewer traditional individual rooms in favor of a communal living space. Bedrooms and bathrooms can, of course, be open-plan as well, but for the purposes of this discussion, open plan refers to the main living areas.


THREE REASONS "FOR" OPEN FLOOR PLANS

As a design style, open-plan has an impact on the way residents of a home use the space and interact with one another.
  • Social Living: Let's face it with fewer walls you will have more interaction. Whether it is parents who want to have a sight line to their parents or roommates just doing what roomies do, you will have a great family feel. Or think of it as a collaborative work space.
  • Enhance Natural Light: increasing light and the connection to the outdoors. Remember "re-lights" from the old office layouts? That was a way to allow natural light through perimeter offices to flow to the "bull pen". Well in a house with fewer interior walls any natural light will penetrate deeper.
  • Maximize Livable Space: Knocking down walls to open up small homes is a popular way of creating greater space because let's face it, walls do take up usable SqFt. If you've ever been in a 1950's tract house that has been opened up you know exactly what I'm talking about here.
THREE REASONS TO SAY "NO THANK YOU"
  • Cooking smells can be a problem. Kitchens are at the heart of many open-plan spaces.If you live with a foodie or someone who cooks spicy food you may be smelling it throughout the house. Of course a good exhaust fan can help with that!
  • Open plan can look messy and reduce storage. When you remove walls, you also remove closets and storage, something most homeowners crave. And now you may be looking at a mess. 
  • Privacy. There's a reason we put up walls to begin with. Maybe you do want your own space after all!
And one last thought as to the benefit of open spaces.

Room dividers, screens, plants and other temporary and movable items can go a long way towards creating flexible space meaning that as your needs change you may be able to stay in your home longer without having to move.

I'm going to guess you know my preference!