Does the phrase ‘open-floor plan’ ring a bell to you? With the continuously shrinking house size, more and more people are opting for an open floor plan, in order to make the most of their available square footage. But what is an ‘open-floor plan’, and what are its pros, cons, and design features?
What is an Open-Floor Plan?
Earlier, houses were built keeping in mind that every room has its own function. The dining room was meant to be formal, the living room was separate for relaxing and entertaining. However, with the increasing space constraint, homeowners started to look out for more economical options. And hence, the open-floor concept came to light.
Just as the phrase ‘open-floor plan’ or ‘open-concept’ suggests, it is all about tearing down the partitions in the house. This floor plan promotes space by eliminating the use of walls or dividers in the layout, making it an ideal plan for small homes. The open-floor plan bestows a sense of openness and promotes better traffic flow in the house. However, today’s open-floor plan doesn’t just prove economically sound space-wise, it also gets influenced by cultural norms and convenience.
What Are The Benefits of an Open-Floor Plan?
The benefits of an open-floor plan are multifaceted. First and foremost: It makes a small apartment look and feel significantly bigger. The concept of eliminating the walls ensures enough sunlight penetrates the room, ultimately making the area appear brighter and spacious.
For instance, a small house with an even tinier kitchen off the living room may appear cramped, as opposed to an open kitchen with no dividers, overlooking the living room. Additionally, entertaining guests will be quite easy as you can talk while whipping some yummy snacks in the kitchen. However, don’t forget to divide the two rooms by installing an island or a table. It’ll also help you keep an eye on your kids while you’re working in the kitchen.
What Are The Challenges of An Open-Floor Plan?
Though the open-floor concept promotes space and makes the room appear bigger; there some challenges that come with embracing this layout. India, being a country with tropical climate, experiences extreme summer! And, since the open-floor plan discards the use of walls, controlling the indoor temperature of the house can become a point of concern.
Additionally, the no-wall concept of this layout affects your privacy, and also makes sound control a challenge. For instance, talking over the phone while your kids play in the living room can be quite difficult.
How to Decorate With Open-Floor Plan?
Since the open-floor plan doesn’t use walls to separate rooms, it can be quite challenging to segregate the activity areas. Hence, dividing the area as per its activity is a great way to start. For instance, place a sofa and a console table just outside the kitchen area to mark the start of the living room. Now, define the space by placing a floor-rug in the center.
While arranging furniture, look for a focal point or create one, and then arrange the furniture pieces around it. For instance, if your living room has a nice gallery wall, turn it into the focal point by placing the larger pieces around it.
Additionally, lighting also helps in defining specific activity zones of the room. For instance, place a dining table in the room, and anchor it with a pendant light or chandelier.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to infuse your style and persona into the decor!