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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Moran

Is It the End of the Open Floor Plan?

Updated: May 10

With people spending more time at home these days, luxury home builders are seeing an increase in requests for floor plans with more defined spaces, a stark difference from the modern open-concept design that seeks to fuse spaces together. A growing number of families want private spaces to work, study, exercise, and play, which means a return to distinct spaces defined by walls and doors.

Custom Home Den

Of course, the open-concept floor plan is here to stay, but the trend toward separated spaces has started quite the debate in the luxury home design community. So, when it comes to creating a floor plan for a custom home, which style carries more benefit: open-concept or defined spaces?

Benefits of an Open-Concept Floor Plan

The open-concept floor plan has maintained popularity in modern home design for good reason. It fosters an atmosphere of community by removing walls and doors, combining spaces that traditionally remain separated. This style often merges living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and entryways into one cohesive space designed for bringing everyone together.

The open-concept design comes with its own set of advantages:

When designing your layout, you should consider:

  • Entertainment: Family members and guests can flow freely between spaces, making socialization and entertaining easy.

  • Light: Natural light illuminates the house, brightening rooms that traditionally receive little window lighting.

  • Supervision: Parental supervision is significantly easier with open lines of sight.

  • Space: Smaller spaces appear larger as the rooms open up.

  • Aesthetic: Continuity of sight brings a welcoming aesthetic to the home.

  • Utility: Underused spaces find more utility when blended with common areas.

On trend for its ability to bring people together, the open-concept floor plan creates an environment that facilitates entertainment and socializing, no matter the occasion.

Luxury Family Room

Benefits of a Defined Space Floorplan

The traditional walled floor plan is regaining popularity, especially as people spend more time at home. This timeless design provides designated rooms for specific purposes with its defined spaces and enclosures, keeping the kitchen separated from the dining room and entertainment areas.

The enclosed floor plan features its unique advantages:

  • Noise: Walls provide sound barriers, keeping noise levels low.

  • Space: Designated rooms give kids and adults their own space when they need it, giving family members room to breathe.

  • Purpose: Rooms serve distinct purposes; the kitchen for cooking, the dining room for eating, and the living room for entertaining.

  • Entertainment: Preparing food in front of guests can be nerve-wracking; a separate kitchen space provides privacy.

  • Character: Walls can add a certain sense of character to each house.

  • Organization: Potential messes remain out of sight; the toys stay in the playroom, work projects remain in the office, and dishes are confined to the kitchen.

Large Custom Family Room

With its distinctly outlined rooms, the enclosed floor plan design gives each family member their own space when they need it, while assigning a specific purpose to each room.

Solutions: Finding the Best of Both Designs

Each floor plan features its own set of benefits; however, skilled designers like J&K Custom Homes can utilize benefits from each design to craft a floor plan that fits each homeowner.

Here are some solutions to bridging the divide:

  • Scullery/Butler’s Pantry: Include a scullery or butler’s pantry off the kitchen. This keeps the mess away from guests and clutter away from your line of sight.

  • Options: Consider sliding barn doors between distinct spaces. This gives you the option to enclose spaces for privacy, or open spaces for entertainment.

  • Aesthetics: Include subtle wall cutouts, columns, kitchen peninsulas, and half walls to provide an aesthetic of distinct space while maintaining the flow of an open-concept design.

  • Furniture: Incorporate soft furniture and curtains to absorb sound, reducing the echo chamber effect.

Open-concept and enclosed floor plans each have their unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Though custom home builders can incorporate certain benefits of each design type to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle, it’s important to weigh the differences between the two floor plan styles. Depending on a family’s lifestyle, one design may outweigh the other.

So, which floor plan do you prefer: open-concept or defined space design?

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