Having an open floor plan in your home can have many advantages.

Have you ever noticed when friends and family visit that they gravitate toward your kitchen? In many homes, the floor plans are not as conducive to mingling in the kitchen. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when Baby Boomers were children and teens, the homes were built with economies of scale and cost in mind and each room had a specific purpose. 

A wall is a barrier and, if it's load bearing, is necessary, yet it can restrict interaction among family and friends. Over the last several decades, homebuyers have decided that if they couldn’t get out of the kitchen then they would open up the space so that they could socialize too. This desire for inclusion in the party has been one of the driving forces behind open floor plans. Here are some other reasons open floor plans have been booming in popularity.

An Appearance of Spaciousness

Even in smaller homes, open floor plans give spaces the appearance of being larger than they are. This is due in part to the fact that open floor plans typically have higher ceilings. Whether it's a ranch-style home or a sprawling mansion, open floor plans have become popular with many homeowners and prospective buyers because, no matter the square footage, they appear much larger than they actually are.

Defined Areas

Although open floor plans lack the room definition of a conventionally designed home, it is still possible to delineate specific areas by using area rugs and furniture to differentiate living areas from dining areas. To keep the area from looking like a hodge-podge of this and that, homeowners can maintain a continuity of color and materials so that the area has a uniform appearance, yet still create a distinct separation of spaces. Homeowners love to have the option of creating open, yet distinct, spaces in their home, which is not an option in non-open home designs.

Indoor/Outdoor Living

An open floor plan encourages social living and allows family members to more easily interact with each other by creating light and open social space within your home. An open floor plan also promotes indoor/outdoor living because homes can be designed to open onto patios and decks, expanding your living space. Open floor plans are an especially nice feature for Baby Boomers who want to take advantage of the warm weather by having an entertainment space that continues into their backyard.

Drawbacks to an Open Floor Plan

By nature, an open floor plan is noisier than a home with each room walled from the other. If you prefer privacy and clearly defined rooms then an open floor plan may not appeal to you and your lifestyle. The loss of wall space for displaying artwork and photos is one reason why some would prefer a more closed-off plan. Unless you and your family members are neat freaks, an open floor plan can appear messier than a home with clearly defined rooms and is something to consider before committing to this style of home. Even though open floor plans are very popular, know your and your family's needs before considering this type of home design.