There was a time not long ago when shrinking was considered to be the height of fashion. Although it seemed logical to assume that older couples approaching retirement after their children had moved out would prefer a smaller home, couples of all ages were attempting to downsize their living arrangements. It’s possible that the economy played a role, or that people were simply looking for ways to make their homes more environmentally friendly.
There was a clear trend toward downsizing for a variety of reasons, including financial, personal, and even environmental ones. The rush to buy micro houses was one of the indicators. Now, it appears that we’ve gone in the opposite direction, as evidenced by the fact that many families are looking to increase the amount of living space in their modern homes. There are compelling arguments for doing so.
The need for one’s own private space
We have been through more than two years of a global pandemic, and the inability to obtain a little solitude was the most frustrating aspect of being advised to shelter in place. Even though we enjoy our families and wish we could spend more time with them even though our jobs keep us apart, being forced to spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week for weeks or months on end proved to be quite taxing.
For example, the family room has only one computer, and while mom was looking through her craft groups for new project ideas, dad was looking for an online casino where he could play for real money. It’s not entirely accurate to say he expected to win the jackpot, but he did believe that winning a game or two wouldn’t hurt. Because there were so few opportunities for it otherwise, gaming was one way to generate a little bit of enthusiasm during those gloomy, uncertain days.
There is enough space for the entire family to stay together
The epidemic caused several unintended consequences, one of which was widespread job loss. Many businesses were only operating with skeleton crews, and others went out of business entirely. Whatever the reason, a sizable proportion of previously employed people are now unemployed. They were able to hold it together during a period when there was a halt to all evictions and a government stimulus to help them get through it.
Those benefits are no longer available, but finding work can still be difficult at times. Another unfortunate reality is that many families have lost their primary earners as a result of the illness and are now unable to make ends meet. As a means of assisting extended family members in regaining their footing, an increasing number of households are opening their doors to those members of the extended family.
The Origins, Benefits, and Drawbacks of the Open Floor Plan
Open floor plan with adjacent living room and dining area that are well-lit
Open floor plans have been the most popular architectural trend in the construction of new single-family homes since the 1980s. Many large remodeling projects aim to combine the kitchen, dining room, and living room, or all three, into some sort of communal living space or great room. The goal of these projects is to have open floor plans because they make it easier to combine the spaces.
The Open Floor Plan
A house with an open floor plan, in which two or more of the common areas of the house have been joined together to form a single, larger space without the use of partition walls.
What Exactly Is an Open Floor Plan?
An open floor plan for a residential property, in its purest form, is one in which at least two rooms that would normally serve distinct but interconnected purposes are joined together. The three primary rooms that are typically combined into one open space in an open floor plan are the kitchen, dining room, and living room. An open floor plan creates a sense of space and allows for a greater flow of foot traffic.
The open floor plan of the kitchen and dining area exemplifies how rooms can be distinct from one another while remaining connected. Meals are consumed in the dining area, while cooking takes place in the kitchen. However, because both of these functions are related to food in some way, it makes sense to combine the two rooms if that is desired. In most cases, a kitchen or dining area will not be connected to a home gym or bathroom, according to this definition.
An open floor plan does not always imply that all of the rooms are connected, or that there are no walls or other obstructions between the rooms. An open floor plan is only used in public spaces. Bathrooms, powder rooms, bedrooms, and even dedicated home offices are among the areas exempt from the rule.
Instead of interior load-bearing walls, heavy-duty beams are used in the construction of open floor plans to support the weight of the floor above. As a result, it is usually more efficient to incorporate an open floor plan into the initial building plans rather than do so later. This can be accomplished by clicking here.
Layouts and Arrangements for Open Floor Plans
Many homes combine the kitchen and dining area into a single open space. There isn’t always a clear demarcation between the two zones, but an island or peninsula in the kitchen can sometimes suffice.
The living room and dining area are combined into a single space in the common layout known as an open floor plan. A handrail, a short flight of stairs, two different paint colors, an accent wall, or stairs leading down to a sunken area could all serve as visual dividing lines.
An open layout that includes the Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room
All three zones may be combined into a single massive great room with a vaulted ceiling. By allowing communication between the kitchen, dining area, and living room, the social potential of the home can be increased. It is especially useful for homeowners who frequently entertain guests and host dinner parties.
The History of Open Floor Plans and Their Evolution
Before the mid-1940s, most residential floor plans had a very simple layout in which the main hallway served as a sort of artery that provided access to branch rooms that served specific purposes.
In these traditional floor plans, the kitchen was typically located in the back of the house because it was considered a place for service rather than socializing. This was because kitchens were never intended to be used as gathering places. A back door that led directly into the kitchen allowed for food deliveries and served as a staff entrance. Until the 1950s, entertaining guests was a more formal affair that took place elsewhere in the house and was served by a kitchen that was always off-limits to visitors.
Because the kitchen was still considered a functional space at this time, it was still treated as a separate area. The kitchen was never used for anything other than food preparation; concepts like an entertainment kitchen were not yet available.
Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright were laying the groundwork for the popular open floor plan of the future. Wright and other forefathers began to design homes with large open living spaces that combined dining and living areas. A large open fireplace frequently separated and connected these areas. Wright was also one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects.
Following the war, formality gave way to a more relaxed attitude demanded by hundreds of thousands of young growing families with children. This marked the beginning of the true open floor plan, which gained popularity in the years that followed.
An open floor plan, which now includes the kitchen, allowed for design flexibility in rearranging the space as the family changed and grew. It also enabled parents to keep an eye on their children while preparing meals and cleaning up afterward.
As a result of other changes, the open floor plan is now more functional
The number of homes increased, particularly in urban areas, while the amount of available land remained constant. This was done to account for the increased population density. At the same time that house footprints shrank, the families who lived in them continued to grow, making space increasingly scarce. Because homes could no longer afford to maintain dedicated study or library spaces, children were required to complete their assignments while seated at the dining room table. There were numerous advantages to being able to keep an eye on the entire family from a single location.
The development of new building materials and techniques enabled the creation of more open floor plans
Steel structural beams, central heating systems, drywall, cinder-block construction, and other innovations made it easier to construct long-span rooms and efficiently heat them. It was also simpler to construct rooms that were wider than they were long.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that open floor plans became popular in American homes; at the time, they were regarded as the pinnacle of modern design.
One of the defining characteristics of the midcentury modern decor style is a home with an early version of an open floor plan
These houses usually have a fireplace that can be seen from all sides. The kitchen cooking center was increasingly becoming the focal point for the majority of social gatherings in the concept of open floor plans.
Open floor plans nearly completely replaced traditional floor plans in newly constructed homes in the 1990s, particularly in suburban areas. This pattern is still prevalent in many parts of the country today, and as a result, familiar phrases like open floor plan, open concept, or great room are understood by buyers and sellers alike, and frequently contribute to a home’s value increasing.
A Primary Purchase Argument
Increasing the amount of living space in a home can increase its value, as there is a current trend toward larger, more open-plan rooms. This is especially significant given the recent trend in residential construction toward smaller residences rather than larger residences. When listing a home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), one of the most important selling points has emerged as the size of the home’s living space.
The one constant is that larger homes are becoming increasingly desirable. This is true whether you simply want to get away from each other or are looking for a home that will sell faster if you ever want to do either of those things.
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