Open-Floor Layouts: A Double-Edged Sword Carving Design Trends
The open-floor plan is a hot design trend these days, and it’s reshaping homes and offices across the globe. The open plan owes its popularity to multiple factors, such as greater spatial flexibility and conduciveness to multi-purpose use, increased aesthetic appeal, sense of stylistic unity, and improved energy flow. But is the open layout exactly all gains and no glitches? Well, not exactly: just like any other design trend out there, the open-floor plan has a few downsides you should be aware of before you go on to knock down the walls in your nest.
No Walls = Higher Energy Bills
If you think your open-floor living area is going to feel warm and cozy during long wintry months all by itself, you’re terribly mistaken. The conventional closed-floor layout remained on-trend for centuries for a good reason: the larger your space is, the tougher it will be to keep tabs on room temperature come wintertime chills. Hot air rises towards the ceiling, so heating your open-floor living area will take more time and cash – and though temperature will be evenly distributed, it won’t exactly come without extra costs attached.
Waving Goodbye to Privacy
Before you bring down the wall between your kitchen and living room, pause for a moment and reflect on the privacy points you’ll be losing through the makeover. Open rooms may be elegant, but they also allow instant access to the entire family, so your time alone in the kitchen will go out the window. In addition to reduced privacy, which you can work around using various props and extras, the shift to the open layout will also boost room acoustics. That means every sound will travel further without the added soundproofing coat you have with the divider wall in place.
Cleanup Time Gone Full-Time
Without the walls to prevent kids from scuttling all over the place, your chic open-plan kitchen floors may quickly wind up covered in stains, dust, and debris. Don’t bring down the kitchen wall if you’re not thrilled by the idea of cleanup hassle gone full-time: as suave as a spacious dining room may be, you will need to dress the floors with area rugs to keep footprints out of sight. Or, you can drop high-polish hardwood flooring and go with a matte varnish or laminate instead- this will minimize staining and allow you to get the most out of your open-floor room.
A Limit on Stylistic Freedom
Some interior designers say that there are no limits with décor style mixes in open-layout rooms – but this is not exactly true. Yes, you will be able to pair the mid-century modern and industrial look, and you can also try experimenting with Scandinavian and boho elements, but if you’re not all-out design-savvy, you should tread very carefully with stylistic combinations in the open-floor quarters. If you’re set on opening up your living area, make sure to invest special thought in the styles you’ll blend in there: not all pieces borrowed from different design eras will look equally at home sitting close together in a single spacious room.
Material Mixes That Fit the Bill
When furnishing open-floor spaces, you should also pay close attention to material blends. For instance, if your open layout living room is extending out to the garden, you can incorporate an accent wall crafted from natural stone indoors to achieve aesthetic flow throughout the space. Caesarstone is also a good option for areas that flow out into the yard: you can use quartz to coat the roofed deck and a part of the open-floor room extending out to achieve a sense of visual unity. Another simple trick to seamlessly connect indoor space with areas al fresco is to use home décor and upholstery fabrics same or similar print/ color scheme. It is another hot design feature this year which you can sneak into your nest for bonus trend points!
The open-floor layout is not all glam and no cons: from higher utility bills and stylistic limitations to more cleanup hassle and privacy points lost, the open plan may not be all sheer coolness at a second glance. Does this mean you have to ditch your home remodeling project inspired by chic open-layout designer homes and offices? Definitely not: you just need to be a tad more careful and plan the makeover so as to skirt the negatives rather than settle for them.