In building a property, it is important to visualize its complete layout so spaces will be effectively utilized based on the intention and preferences of the owner. A floor plan plays a big role in visualizing how the vacant spaces will be occupied appropriately and how people will interact with the different parts of the house in this layout. Nonetheless, the two main types of layouts to consider are: 1) open floor plan, and 2) closed floor plan. Over the years, open floor plan is believed to be the trend and the dominant architectural layout for residential homes. Likewise, it is also evident that modern interior design of a house is incorporating an open floor plan. By this means, it can be presumed that this architectural concept is flexible as it is adopted on every design for a long time. Thus, is an open floor plan the best house layout? What are the advantages of open floor plans over closed floor plan? Worry no more, here is a simple and useful guide about open floor plan.
History and Purpose of an Open Floor Plan
This innovative architectural concept was attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright which began to be adopted by homeowners in 1880s. In the 1990s, it became the go-to floor plan of Midwestern Prairie Houses. This concept also made an appearance on Usonian-style houses which draws together the indoor and outdoor spaces of a home.
The gist of an open floor is to combine two or more spaces without partitions. This means that it connects spaces that have a related function. Since its functions are related, conjoining them would only cause a compromise rather than a major problem. The most common areas combined in this open floor plan architectural concept are the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Even though it is “open” concept, it does not mean that all rooms are connected nor division of spaces are allowed anymore. With this, bedrooms, vanity area, home offices and other spaces needing privacy are exempted when adopting an open floor layout. For short, the design applies to common spaces with related functions.
What are the Advantages of an Open Floor Plan?
Perhaps, the greatest advantage of an open floor plan is that the residents of the house will be able to move easily freely throughout the space because of less walls or dividers in the residential space. Still, there are still a lot of advantages in an open floor plan which makes it enticing and preferrable by owners. Here are the other advantages of an open floor plan.
It creates room for family togetherness and better entertainment for the guests.
Less partitions give more opportunity not to miss the conversation of your family members or guests. Since common areas are connected, it enables the people to continuously entertain family members and guest along with doing some chores. It is now possible to cook in the kitchen or prepare the table for a meal without missing out on the laughter and stories of your family and guests.
It gives flexibility to customize your living space.
Customizing the arrangement of your living space is easier with an open floor plan. The less divisions in your home minimizes the limitation on how you organize and assign designated spaces in your home. In this way, it makes the connected spaces multifunctional as well. For example, if the need to have a small working space arises, you may take a portion of the connected spaces and transform it into a working area. With less barriers, reconfiguring your house arrangement can be done easily, especially if it is much needed.
It provides better lighting and airflow in the connected spaces.
Natural lighting is better for the eyes and a good airflow makes a house conducive for relaxation. If a house is divided with numerous partitions, it is unavoidable that some areas will have no window. As a result, it blocks the natural light and airflow.
With less dividers present, natural light can easily pass through different parts of the house. The windows where light passes through may also provide a path for better airflow especially if the windows are situated in accordance with direction of air. If windows are positioned appropriately, your open floor plan may let you benefit from a low electric bill as a result of natural lighting and airflow.
It gives the residents improved sightlines.
Watching the kids or guarding your home while doing household chores will not be a problem with this house layout. An open floor plan architectural concept is best for families with kids or planning to have one. With just a quick glance and less walls covering different parts of the house, it is easy to see if there are unwanted activities happening inside your home.
It is perfect for small homes and preventing wasted spaces.
For homes with small floor area, an open floor concept makes the interior look more spacious than a closed floor plan. The dividers are great for privacy but in small houses, the interior might look too confined. Additionally, these walls prevent you from maximizing the extra or unused space in each area of the house. The open floor plan eliminates this bottleneck. Furthermore, with less dividers, your housemates or guests can conveniently move in the house, especially when they are in a hurry as they prepare for the day.
What are the Disadvantages of an Open Floor Plan?
Despite creating a feeling of spaciousness and facilitating better interactions with housemates and guests, there are also compromises and challenges that would occur if you decided to adopt an open floor plan in your house. Here are the most common disadvantages of adopting this architectural concept.
It gives less privacy.
Without the partitions, you do not have the freedom to do your tasks without being seen by your housemates or guests. Additionally, your housemates might be producing unwanted noise at times or their activities cause disturbance. Thus, having privacy is a challenge for open spaces especially if you wish to be alone and have a quiet environment to gain focus and accomplish a certain task. The walls may not provide a full suppression of noise but it helps in lessening its impact and providing a barrier to reduce distraction.
It can easily look messy.
Open floor plan prevents you from concealing the clutter of your home especially if you do not have the time to clean up right away. Therefore, this is not perfect for families or housemates with a busy lifestyle. You need to tidy up the mess of the connected spaces as soon as possible to preserve its organized appearance. In terms of clutter, being busy at times would not be a problem with a closed floor plan. You can easily conceal the mess by temporarily transferring the clutter in rooms or enclosed spaces of your home.
It limits the way you can decorate your home.
With less walls and partitions, there would be less room for wall decorations. Furthermore, the connected spaces implies a need for a cohesive interior design to maintain an organized appearance. With this, you should keep in mind that having a specific motif for a certain space of your home should complement the conjoined spaces to preserve its appeal in the eyes of housemates and guests.
The Vital Role of Floor Plan for Ensuring Comfort and Convenience at Home
It is easy to look for interior design inspirations online. Despite having different inspirations online, these designs may not be desirably appealing with the floor area of your home. Not everyone has the privilege and luxury to have a large floor area and make their dream interior design become a reality. In fact, in the 2020 report of Statista, majority of the Filipino households are living in a house with a floor area of 10 – 29 square meters. Moreover, it is also reported that 30.2% lives in a home with 30-49 square meter floor area. Based on these data, the residential properties of Filipino may be considered small or average in size. With this, an open floor plan is the most pragmatic layout for these floor areas to provide flexibility on the allotted spaces and a spacious look in your home. Still, even an open floor plan has limitation in terms of design possibilities, it offer its own uniqueness that makes it the most practical choice for your floor layout. “Less is more” as stated by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. With limited space, functionality should be prioritized before aesthetics.
If you are looking to own a residential unit with decent floor area, Bria Homes offers a lot of affordable house and lot. Its house model variants have a floor area ranging from 22 – 45 square meters. The alternatives give you more freedom to decide based on your budget and family needs. On top of that, our house and lot offers can be availed through financing methods like bank loans and Pag-IBIG housing loan. To learn more about our offers, contact us through our different media channels.
Written By Steven Hernandez