In a home with a traditional floor plan, rooms tends to be closed off to create distinct spaces and provide plenty of privacy to the occupants. However, open floor plan designs often appeal to homeowners who enjoy the wide, bright feeling that a lack of walls and barriers brings. If you're looking for an effective open floor plan design for your home, there are several options to consider. Your lifestyle and family situation can help you find the best fit since some of the plans offer very limited privacy.
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The most extreme open design leaves the space entirely open, so it's essentially one large room. It's a similar layout to a loft or an expanded studio apartment. Your bed is visible from the kitchen, and your living room space is open to the dining area. This type of open design is usually best for single people since there is no privacy at all, except in the enclosed bathroom. In particular, this type of open living floor plan is a poor choice for a family, where some private areas are needed.
No Foyer or Entryway
In a traditional closed floor plan, a home typically has a foyer or entryway that provides an area to welcome guests before inviting them into your living room, dining room or entertaining space. However, to give your home an open feeling, you can forgo an entryway altogether. Instead, have your front door open directly into your living room or great room. This type of floor plan gives your home a more casual feel, which is ideal if you prefer a laid back design style.
Combined Kitchen and Family Room
One of the most common open plan living designs is a combined kitchen and family room or living room. The kitchen is often the home's social centre, so when you cook for guests, they often wind up congregating around the kitchen. By using an open floor plan for your kitchen and family room, you can talk to guests as you prepare food, while they can relax on a sofa or in a comfortable chair in the adjacent space. As a result, they don't get in your way while you work in the kitchen, enabling you to work more efficiently. The open floor plan also allows you to keep an eye on your children as you prepare meals or clean up after dinner.
Another way to incorporate an open plan living design into your home is to eliminate hallways. Hallways close off spaces and can create a cramped, tight feeling in your home. However, when you limit them, your home takes on a wide open feel. For example, instead of using a hallway to connect a guest bedroom to your living room, simply add a door in the centre of the living room wall. This type of design allows for privacy but still maintains an open, casual feel in the home.
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- "Building Your Own Home for Dummies"; Kevin Daum, et al.; 2005.
- Bob Vila; Open Floor Plans, Is This Design Right For You?; Alyson McNutt English.
- Freshome: The Pros and Cons of Having an Open Floor Plan Home
- Timber Home Living: 5 Tips for Designing a Seamless Floor Plan