Open floor plans are certainly a concept that has been a strong trend with our modern lifestyles. This is brought on by many factors such as cocooning and the desire to be in the same space with our children for whatever time they have when they are home. This type of living is great for our busy lifestyles and should come with a few considerations before jumping full steam ahead and knocking down all the walls in your home.
Before– the kitchen was separated and cut off from the family room and dining room
After: The new openings join the kitchen with the dining room and family room allowing for converation and gathering.
One of the biggest benefits of an open floor plan is improving the flow of the house. This is an important distinction between open space and making the plan work well. What I mean is, that if you had a ballroom, certainly you could walk wherever you want- but you would not have a cozy corner for conversation, or a kitchen area that served the cook and those gathering. A home has very different spaces that serve different needs and tasks, so moving from place to place should be effortless while each space maintains its unique feel and use.
In addition to ergonomics, think about your lifestyle. Most folks in their 20’s would be happy with a compact loft that is open- but when our home has people of different ages and individual needs- you will want more space and want to tweak that open floor plan. A table makes a great bridge or transition in this lay-out- so if you want wide open, place the table between the kitchen and soft seating area. If you would like more definition of space and/or the kids to do homework at the table away from the TV- use the table in a space off to the side of the space.
Either way, open is here for a while! Here is a recent Wellesley kitchen we completed that was so different when the wall came down that it felt unnatural for me to walk from one space to the other today.