When you build a custom home, you have the opportunity to create a space that works for you. One of the decisions that you will make concerns the layout of your home. Does an open concept work for you or will a traditional floor plan serve you better? 

Open Concept vs. Traditional Floor Plans 

Trends come and go — and this is true of open vs. traditional floor plans as well. In fact, early floor plans were often wide open! Homes featured multifunctional spaces that accommodated everything from cooking to sleeping. As needs and incomes changed, so, too, did the desire for walls. They provided distinct spaces for privacy and rooms dedicated to specific purposes. 

The pendulum swung back and forth, and in the 1990s, it landed quite firmly on open spaces. Advances in building materials and heating systems facilitated the shift, and design options solidified the move towards more relaxed boundaries between rooms. Open concept plans have been the dominant trend since. 

The Appeal of Open Floor Plans  

First, let’s take a look at why open concept floor plans were — and are — so popular: 

  • Maximizing Space. With an open plan, your space is large and full of possibilities. You can customize it to meet your needs. If you entertain, you can flex to accommodate guests, buffet tables, seating arrangements, etc. If it’s family time, you have room for a lively game of Twister and a large-screen viewing of the newest Marvel blockbuster. Whatever works for you. 
  • Traffic Movement. Without barriers (i.e. walls, doors, and dividers), household members and guests can move through the home with greater ease. Imagine busy mornings or large holiday gatherings: people have enough room to maneuver around each other as they perform tasks, get ready for the day or for the meal, and grab a drink from the refrigerator or snack from the kitchen island. 
  • More Light Flow. Open concept plans allow for more light flow from room to room, which makes spaces appear even larger and airier. Natural light is also proven to enhance mood, productivity, and even sleep quality. It can also help warm your home in winter if windows are positioned on south-facing sides. 
  • Convenience. Open floor plans can be conducive to busy households. You may be juggling party hosting duties while trying to mix drinks or preparing dinner while keeping an eye on the kids/pets. An open concept makes it easier to see, hear, speak, and interact. 

Are We Closing the Door on Open Floor Plans? 

According to some design experts, open spaces are “out.” Top designer Timothy Corrigan says, “Open floor plans will give way to more segmented and traditional spaces, delineations, as we have come to realize the need for privacy and quiet spaces.”  

No surprise, the pandemic has helped push us to this realization. Many of us were sent home to work, and suddenly, that open space was so… open. From diaper-clad toddlers to towel-clad partners to barking dogs, interruptions during Zoom meetings and important tasks made us rethink open concepts. We need a door we can close when we’re working — and a space we can leave when we’re done for the day. 

Current events have also underscored the importance of privacy and having one’s own space. Whether it is a spa-worthy bathroom, a welcoming master suite retreat, a reading nook, a yoga or craft room, or a kitchen that you can create culinary treats in with abandon, distinct, dedicated spaces are making a comeback. And homeowners looking to build custom are focusing their dollars on the spaces that matter most to them.  

Can You Have Your Cake… 

Yet another question is, can you have your open space and privacy too? Yes. It’s not “open concept vs. traditional floor plans.” Rather, it’s “how can we integrate these principles to create a home that works.”  

Realistically, we need spaces that are custom-built for hustle and bustle; we want to be able to move, flow, and flex. But when it’s time to retreat, relax, and restore, we need walls and doors. This is the beauty of a custom-built home. Yes, you can blend open and traditional floor plans… and you can do so seamlessly. 

A Home Built for Living 

We are committed to listening to your ideas and understanding your vision for your forever home. Build a home that is designed for your life, your needs, and your goals, a home that is built for living. Connect with G&G Custom Homes.