Open concept living has been one of the major home design and remodeling trends over the last few years. But does that mean it’s the right direction for you when you decide to remodel your Naples-area home? What if you prefer a more traditional style? Can open concept and traditional designs coexist? And is open concept living here to stay—or will it fade away?
Let’s briefly describe what we mean by open concept living. Then we’ll take a quick look at some of the things that make open floor plans so popular. Then we’ll touch on some of the issues homeowners sometimes have with that style.
What Makes a Plan “Open”?
At its basic level, open plan design means designing rooms that don’t have physical walls dividing them. Commonly that includes having a kitchen, dining area, and family room that are all open to one another. We’re talking about common rooms that are shared space. These rooms can all have their own character and style, but they flow into one another and are visible to each other. As an example, the image you see above—from a kitchen remodel we recently completed—gives you a sense of how the kitchen flows into the dining area and beyond. And while there are no walls between the kitchen and the dining area, the kitchen island itself acts as a fixture that defines the kitchen space.
What Homeowners Love About Open Concept Living
There are a number of reasons people enjoy open design plans. One benefit is that it can make smaller, darker individual rooms feel brighter and visually more spacious. Another reason for this style’s popularity is that there is less of a sense of being cut off from others. One person isn’t stuck in the kitchen while others are in the family room. Open plans also fit a more casual style of entertaining. Guests are free to wander freely from space to space. It’s simply more relaxed.
Open plans also work well with another trend in the home remodeling world: The blurring of lines between indoor and outdoor living. Increasing numbers of homeowners want to bring the beauty of their surroundings inside their homes. Open living spaces allow homeowners to do that in multiple rooms of their homes. The picture you see here of a Sausalito Condo remodeling is a good illustration of how open concept design can be used to bring outdoor beauty into a home.
Issues Homeowners Have With Open Concept Design
There are adjustments to be made with an open living concept. If someone really wants privacy, they might have trouble finding it in one of the common rooms. If you need to make a private call or simply want some time alone to think or read, you might find yourself retreating to a more private space (like a bedroom or home office). Another issue some people have is being confronted with kitchen messes. If you don’t like having cookware and utensils visible while eating you may not enjoy this style. There is also the noise factor to consider. If someone is watching a show in the adjoining family room, it can be distracting if there is a lot of noise coming from the kitchen.
So is an open floor plan right for your Naples-area home? It really comes down to choosing a design style that fits your personality. From our perspective, open living plans aren’t going away anytime soon. But as design/build remodelers, we can also work with you to create a solution that makes sense for your home and your lifestyle.