The Decline of Open Floor Plans?

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

When my parents remodeled their house in the early 2000’s, their architect recommended tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a more open concept. “But if we don’t have a formal dining room, where will we eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners?” exclaimed my mom. Well, her concern prevailed in the end and they didn’t tear down the wall. Now, 20 years later, they’re regretting that decision. That’s because over the last couple decades, open floor plans have been all the rage, with many people replacing the traditional layouts of yesteryear with larger, mixed-use spaces. The last 5-10 years have seen floor plans open even further with cooking, living and dining areas being combined into one large space. Better traffic flow, improved sociability and communication, shared light and flexibility have all been cited as benefits of an open floor plan.

But just when we thought we had it all figured out, things are starting to change. Cue the pendulum swing. “We’ve actually seen a recent decline in open floor plans,” says Kate Brower, designer at JKAE. “Instead, semi-open floor plans, which offer a progressive unfolding of space and reduced noise transfer, appeal to the trend of home becoming an experience and sanctuary.”

(Hang in there mom, your house is about to be stylish again!)

There are some disadvantages to open floor plans such as lack of privacy and higher heating and cooling costs, and perhaps people are starting to mitigate these issues by enclosing their spaces. Whatever the reason, don’t feel discouraged if you recently purchased the open-style home of your dreams. While it’s certainly interesting to follow the latest design trends, your unique style and vision transform a generic space into your home. At JKAE, our client’s vision is paramount to every design decision. “Whether it is a home on top of the trends or one which speaks to a family’s use and interest for decades, we have the experience to achieve their vision,” says Kate.

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