edubya

POLL: Open Concept House?

Emily H
8 months ago


Malibu Residence · More Info



Open concept homes have been a big trend for years, but I've seen hints of more closed concepts making a comeback. For your own home, which do you prefer? (I have to say my opinion of this changed during shelter in place orders.)


Do you prefer an open or closed concept layout for your home?


VOTE and tell us about it in the comments!

Open
Closed
Other - Tell us below!

Comments (246)

  • Shon Hall
    2 months ago

    Most definitely: to each their own!!

    We didn’t rehab our old warehouse to please anyone, but ourselves.

    This was a dream come true for both my wife AND myself.

    We just spent the winter (3-1/2 months) in Arizona in a travel trailer (talk about small!), and just returned yesterday.

    The wide open spaces are sooo amazingly refreshing for us!!

    Fwiw: we just purchased a small Park Model home in Mesa, AZ. One of the things we’re planning to do, is build an Arizona Room (a 450 sq. ft. addition permanently attached to the Park Home), with its main feature: a wall of glass doors that open up completely to the outside.

    So, much like Costa Rica, we want that inside to flow to the outside seamlessly. That being said, we can always close the glass doors to close the room off, if necessary.

  • shannon_mahar3
    2 months ago

    My home is partially open with the kitchen and family room together and then a wall between another open space for the formal fining and living room. French doors close off an office and mudroom where my kids can do zoom meetings without the entire house hearing them. Best of both worlds!

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  • Ninja Doll
    2 months ago

    Defined space inside an open concept works for me. I like the adaptability of an open floor plan but enjoy parceling it out in whatever configuration is needed over time.

  • Shon Hall
    2 months ago

    If I’m completely honest: it sounds like the anti-open-spacers are trying convince themselves as to why they’re not open spacers.

    To each their own!

    We absolutely LOVE our space!! Not for everyone. Most certainly for us!

  • Shon Hall
    2 months ago

    @ninja doll: that’s what we’ve done, as well. We have it all very wide open. Yet, there are very defined areas created by furniture and other items.

  • tionbabs
    2 months ago

    Having lived in 2 lofts in Chicago and a "soft loft" in CA, I cringe every time I see/hear home

    owners say "got to have open concept". Pleeeaase! No where to hang art/family pix and limits

    furniture arrangements considerably. Sorry, but I don't want guests looking/smelling my dirty kitchen after a huge dinner. I certainly don't want them in there either when preparing the meal.

    Give me a home with walls & their own personality anytime!


  • Michal Mendelsohn
    2 months ago

    open concept makes sense if you have little ones to watch while cooking or cleaning up, but when kids get older- everyone wants a little separation. For us, we'd never have open concept because we have thousands of books and wonderful art on our walls and open concept has very little wall space that is not kitchen cabinets, windows, or doors to the outside.

  • Renata Fenger
    2 months ago

    I have open concept and I have found it great for families and entertaining. In my current house, and my previous house, we are able to close off the TV room. This has been very useful from a noise and privacy point of view. When kids are small you want to be able to keep an eye on them and what they are watching but as they grow older and have lots of friends over you want to close them off because the TV gets loud and they also want their privacy. Now that my children are 18 and 20 years old, they are doing the entertaining and I want to close myself off and watch the telly in peace.

    I do however agree with the comment before me that there are a lot less walls to hang art but having lots of windows and letting the light in is just as good for the soul.

    I hope this is helpful.

  • PRO
    Abigail True
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!!!

    How you structure your space will either promote you and your families health and happiness or stress and hinder everyone’s growth and wellbeing.... EVERYONE ALWAYS GETS IT BACKWARDS. It doesn’t matter about size of space or family...

    We all need spaces to be together AND spaces to be away from each other. Ive lived in a one bedroom with den apartment that slept all 10 of us perfectly joyously and comfortable for all... You must create communal spaces and personal spaces.... And setting up a clear place to put away everything and everything in its place... Half and half! Of course your family size and interests considered. I, as a professional Organize, which unlike an interior designers who image what would work I create, fix, understand and make a priority what works for how people Really need and use space.

    Basically what is best is seperate rooms but not all equally closed. Kitchens with some but not full openings to mid sized dining room flowing through a larger size enterance to living room. sepetate: mud room, foyer, pantry, office, and bedrlooms ....

    I don’t believe in playrooms... children need to be easily seen , cared for, and interacting w adults...! l better to have a play inclusive living room and children s bedroom organized w safe toys and lots of floor space to play... and no matter how big or small the home ... don’t forget The ballroom !!!

  • bludvl82
    2 months ago

    I have to admit, as much as I love open concept, we did finish a basement room when the kids were teens 😂. But they hung out at our house and I knew where they were. But generally we have just needed bedroom and office doors.

  • Sue Yopek
    2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    Open concepts have been around for decades but until more recent times... were limited to "contemporary" styles. Now you find them in all design styles. One must step with greater caution when considering open concepts to curb "echos" and noise in common areas from those of quiet areas. More deliberate use of floor outlets and air circulation is often overlooked as well in an open concept design. I think the real consideration is personal and certainly not for everyone. I would like to add to this... if you are in the process of house hunting, and have (more than likely) seen plenty of open concept homes on the market... be sure if it is new construction without any furniture you can use as a "space/size" guide... that you get/take measurements and see how furniture might work for you. I have seen plenty of gorgeous open concept homes, but when it's time to sit... there is not adequate room for furniture. Many space planners cut one dimension too small and it results in awkward seating areas... can't face the windows... can't face the fireplace... have to run cords across long distances for table lighting... etc. I see this a lot with log homes.

  • HU-392862768
    2 months ago

    Hybrid. Open kitchen, dining, great room. Office getaway. Pocket doors to close off TV area if needed.

  • Olga Kunz
    2 months ago

    I find open concept homes are not as cozy, and are less energy efficient, however the worse, IMO, is the lack of privacy and, especially, the noise that travels unrestricted: kitchen noise + tv noise + people noise + …

    So, not for me.



  • Snaggy
    2 months ago

    The only open bit I would have is a Kitchen /dining room ..I much prefer separate rooms ..what I would love is a pantry and a utility room !

  • Snaggy
    2 months ago

    Shon Hall *f I’m completely honest: it sounds like the anti-open-spacers are trying convince themselves as to why they’re not open spacers.* ..um no .. never liked open living !

  • Kathleen Marineau
    2 months ago

    As some one mentioned above, it's not just noise that makes some of us dislike open concept, it's also the lack of walls.


    I have large (5'x8') and small (2'x3') tapestries my mother made, art from my favorite aunt, enlarged photos, coat of arms, silhouettes of ancestors, a large shadow box honoring my husband's Vietnam era naval service, with another one for my dad's WWII service in the works. Hiding them in a box does no good. They are teaching moments for the grandchildren and conversation starters for friends. They define who we are, just as much as an open concept minimalist home defines their owners.


    Coming from families that made their living from the land we probably spend more time in our homes than people who have lived in or near cities for generations. For us, walls are important. When we want wide open space we step out the back door.

  • Deanna Concidine
    last month

    I loved the idea of an open concept when I purchased the house. I love the natural lighting of the open concept, but the heating and cooling costs are a beast. Plus the HUGE blank walls to try to figure out what to put on them.


    I love that my kitchen opens up into the living room, but the acoustics are terrible if someone is watching television downstairs, the sound travels all through the house.


    The formal living room and dining room are a waste for me. I closed off the formal dining room with french doors to turn it into an office. But I understand why they put it in, there is only a small space in the kitchen to fit a table or you would have to sit at the island. The formal living room has 18 foot ceilings and I am not sure what to do to break up the expanse of blank wall. It is currently empty, but it would make a nice reading area, as it has good lighting.


    This was the first house built, so I have learned quite a few things such as you can never have too may outlets. I did a combination of hardwoods, tile and carpet downstairs, now I am wishing I had put hardwoods throughout the whole bottom floor, and used rugs. The open concept living room and kitchen area is a challenge for lamps as there are no outlets except on one wall.


    Oh and if you have an 18 foot ceilings with fans or chandeliers, splurge for the mechanics that can lower and raise it, trust me if it not fun to get a ladder and balance on it to change a bulb.

  • Carla Baldwin
    last month

    My dog and I live in 1300 square feet with an open floorplan and high ceilings. We love our small home. Except for sleeping and laundry, we barely use more than the pleasant, open space. This condo would feel cramped and claustrophobic with closed off rooms. It isn’t the latest fashion or anything fancy, but when it comes to everyday life, it is remarkable how little we really need, especially when it flows.



  • raecatgarden
    last month

    We recently bought our dream farm and i seriously was more interested in the out buildings than the farm house. My husband tho is a carpenter and he was very critical. His first impression was 'its a tear down" but I know what that means. 4 years in we are on our last room in the remodel and guess what. We kept all the small rooms. Our lives as farmers are mostly outside and we have the great outdoors for wide open spaces. We love our small farm cottage with all its rooms. Each one a little jewel box. They all have their separate purposes. Each one its own character. People love our little cottage and always remark on how individual and cozy it is. Many long nights in Wisconsin are spent at our dining room table with guests and then we go to the den out of sight of the dishes in the kitchen. I love it no, reminders of the work later. Our kids come home for visits and can hunker down for quiet naps or work from a peaceful spot with out the general household noise. I am all for a closed traditional floorplan.

  • HU-929255614
    last month

    We have a 1996 manufactured home. The main living areas are open (living room, kitchen, dining room) with hardly any curves or turns like you would find in a regular home. We had to open up the laundry room door since we could barely fit a skinny person through it let alone a washer or dryer. The rest of the place has the master bedroom, bathroom, and small walk-in closet on the dining room side and a hallway with a small bathroom and a small bedroom that we turned into an office. It's only 1,008 square feet so there isn't much room.


    I love large, open rooms and spaces, especially since I am completely blind in one eye and getting there in the other one. Having the open space means that we can move the furniture around so that I won't fall over it. Bad enough I do that with walls and doors! After being here nearly 11 years, we are finally getting help getting the inside organized and cleaned up and having construction done on the outside. It's finally starting to look like I imagined it!

  • JULIA ROSA Lozano
    last month

    theres no Privacity

  • chasesgama
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It’s possible to achieve the feel of open concept without being completely open. I prefer some definition between areas of my home. While it could be argued that furniture arrangement and a well placed plant can do this, its the placement of architectural structure that adds character, not only to a specific room but to an overall space. Full walls and the usual doorway are certainly not necessary. But something like ceiling beams or side posts can add interest and leave the open feel and flow without making a room seem like it all blends together to the point of looking rather blah. Such structures become a hint of definition in style and between areas of a space. I think there’s a certain warmth that is brought to a home with their use. These were two separate rooms, a living and family room in an older home that we had completely remodeled before moving in, removing the wall between the rooms. The openness is welcoming and conducive to more guests than we would have otherwise been able to accommodate. We turned the front living room into our dining room with easy access to the kitchen from the hallway. We're able to seat up to 16 at the dining room table and the openness of the living room next to the kitchen allows up to set up another table for 10. We have a big family and love to invite guests for Thanksgiving.



  • margiemclellan
    last month

    We are building our home with an open plan for great room, dining and kitchen. There are separate rooms for an office, library and of course bedrooms. In retrospect, we would have made it even more open by not having walls around the library; it would then have been just a cozy corner of the great room! (Second picture below)


    This small library room might have been better left open....

  • Michelle Twitchell
    last month

    I don't like open concept

  • Webado Webada
    last month

    @margiemclellan, if you have a library room without walls ... where would your bookcases rest?

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last month


    They don't rest, they stand on their own, in a modern or classic style.


    You could even get a double sided bookcase to serve as a room divider.




  • MaryBocaTX
    last month

    @chasesgama - I’m not a fan of open style. But I have to say that your pic shows one of the prettiest (and most appealing) open plan spaces I’ve seen. Lovely.

  • margiemclellan
    last month

    Webado, we would have removed only two of the walls so the back wall of the library would work for the book cases.

  • roja56
    last month

    I'm going to 'vote' to make that library into a magical, a bit mysterious, little jewel box.

    I promise you that it will be a constant joy!

  • Tamsin James
    last month

    I agree, keep the library as a magical jewel box! Also, the traditional use of a library would be quiet reading or study - so not such a good idea to have it open unless you have a household of only one or two quiet people. In a home with children or lots of guests you'd appreciate a quieter space!

  • B O
    last month

    Open house with nooks where you can get away from the main flow and traffic.

  • Webado Webada
    last month

    @Toronto Veterinarian I prefer my bookcases to have glass doors on them. I can't stand all the dust collecting on open shelves anywhere. Anyway, I'm also not a fan of an extensive open plan, especially for me the kitchen has to be closed off.


  • Leeza
    last month

    I voted "Other". I prefer a house with individual rooms, but I am making peace with the open floorplan my husband fell in love with after retiring just before the pandemic (which put all our travel plans on hold). It is a lovely home and living here is like being on vacation every day, or it will be once we are fully settled it.

  • Toni Wallace Werner
    last month

    I have a newly built home! No idea what to do and where to

  • Toni Wallace Werner
    last month
    last modified: last month



  • Tom
    last month

    we are just building a new home, and have an open concept kitchen, dining, living room space, but private spaces along where the bedrooms are, with a study that has a door that opens to the deck. feels like the right combination for socializing and private space if one or a couple of people would like. we'll see! hope to move in soon


  • K Hoax
    last month

    I like an easy flow between rooms but want to be able close off the kitchen sometimes after dinner so no one needs to see the dishes. Our living room and dining room are open. The kitchen can be opened to the dining room (or closed) via pocket doors. Pocket doors give us both options!

  • Elizabeth B
    last month

    I'm all about open concept. Closed feels claustrophobic to me and it just wouldn't work for my family.

    When I'm in the kitchen, I want to see and hear what's going on in the dining room or living room. I don't want to be tucked away like I'm a line cook at a diner. This is important to me for day to day life as well as when we have visitors.

    If the kitchen is open, people will gather there. The kitchen is the best place to be even if there is gasp a dirty dish.

    If I want privacy, I'll retreat to my room or office or basement. Anyone else who wants privacy can do the same.

    I'm lucky to have a house that is big enough for the open concept we love and also has some private areas when we want an escape. The entry is also tucked behind a wall so you don't see the main living area when you first open the door. You have to step around and then the glorious view is revealed.

    Team open for life, but I can see how some others may want closed. Luckily there's plenty of both types of homes available for all of us to choose from

  • bludvl82
    last month

    Agree!

  • vinmarks
    last month

    I don't understand this thing with people seeing dirty dishes. We all have kitchens. We all cook and we all have dirty dishes. After a meal is finished people have dirty plates sitting in front of them. Do people have guests who are offended by dirty dishes?


    Just because a house is open concept it does not mean you can see straight into the kitchen when you enter through the front door. It also does not mean that every room is open. My kitchen is open to my dining room which is open to my great room. Each is their own space.



  • sling60
    last month

    When we have family, or company over again, after pandemic, I imagine they don’t care what dirty dishes are there or even if food was Ok, we’ll be together! The only thing that counts!
    BTW, we are going to build another open concept house, for retirement. 2nd retirement house! Long story! 4th open concept house, who needs a precious never used dining room? Just two of now, generally we don’t annoy each other in the open space, just get a separate office space with walls! For non-pandemic times, must be able to see the grandchildren while making dinner and visiting after supper, supervision while having some adult time with their parents. Can’t wait!

  • bludvl82
    last month

    That's exactly what we did

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last month

    "I don't understand this thing with people seeing dirty dishes. We all have kitchens. We all cook and we all have dirty dishes."

    I was thinking the same thing, because I only have friends over for dinner, and my friends don't care about whether my home is clean, messy, or in between. I could see a concern, though, for people who have acquaintances or business associates over for dinner -- people with a less close connection are more likely to form opinions with the extraneous things that they see, because they're trying to fill in the holes in what (and how) they know you. That would go for having judge-y in-laws or scowling aunts over for dinner too.

  • sling60
    last month

    We used to have “ dinner parties “ years ago when everything should be just right and in the dining room and the kids were fed earlier and made themselves scarce. It was all fun, but life has just changed since then and simple is always better I find.

  • HU-365143923
    last month

    I love my open floor plan with loft! I say that with a caviate. I am pretty anal, so my house is kept straightened up and dirty dishes go into the dishwasher quickly. I also now live alone or occasionally with my daughter. When my wife, her son, our daughter, and I all lived here, the concept of openness showed its faults.

    First off, every conversation was less than private. The slightest mess disturbed the whole look of the place. Closets became " catch-alls".

    If someone wanted to listen to the stereo (I'm not a earbud or headset fan) and someone wanted to watch TV or read in silence the only option was to head to respective bedrooms.

    I still loved my large livingroom in which to entertain but also loved the thought of separated family room or den.

    That said, everyone always ends up in the kitchen at parties so an open kitchen to a large room is primo!



  • hakehl
    last month

    I love the visual of an open concept. I dislike the bills for climatization of an open house, the lack of privacy when living with family and the smell of food (specially seafood) all around.

  • ckbrown100
    last month

    Combination open area(s) with a secluded 'reading room' library and perhaps a porch/deck on one side -- this would be my version of a combo open & closed style design. Perhaps not too different from the common design of an open kitchen and dining area, where everyone can gather for meals but can return to some semblance of privacy in 'closed off' areas.

  • Suzanne
    last month

    Open concept is great, I like having plenty of windows and a low vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/living area. We have a second living area that is somewhat open to our living/kitchen/dining area. This second living area is not open enough to be part of everything else, but not closed enough to be private and this makes it kind of a wasted space. The second living area also has the highest ceilings and that makes it a pain to paint and clean, and also wastes energy for heating and cooling. The best of both worlds would be a combination of open and closed space and the ingenuity to accomplish this without needing to have a mega mansion. In a new build I would be thinking about less square footage and more efficiency in design.

  • bludvl82
    last month

    We downsized once the kids grew up and are actually using all the rooms for the first time ever probably. Open kitchen, great room and dining. Separate office and guest room plus another bedroom I’m using as my office. And an open space upstairs I work out in. 2800 sq feet

  • lmkw17
    last month

    The open concept allows for the illusion of a bigger area. We affectionately call ours the "great room". It is an open room of the living room, dining room, & kitchen with a vaulted ceiling from the moment you walk into the front or garage door. As I have read on other comments, it keeps everyone together for either growing families or grandparents entertaining their grandchildren. In addition, when we entertain, everyone seems to gather in the kitchen (or where the food is located). When the area is open, I can still do things in the kitchen without my guests in the way & still be a part of the party. I love it! If we ever decide to relocate or downsize, I would still want a similar floor plan.