Traditional vs. Open Concept: Which Floorplan is Right for Me?
Open-concept floorplans have definitely been the stars of the home design world for the last 30 years, but they’re not the ONLY way to design a home. For years, traditional layouts offered families privacy and separation, and that’s a big reason why they’ve been gaining popularity lately as more people have needed to perform more tasks at home. So what’s right for you? Let’s start with a few definitions:
Open-Concept Floorplan: Two or more common rooms — like a kitchen, living, or dining room — are joined together to form a larger space.
Traditional Floorplan: Walls separate the common areas, sometimes with a door, sometimes with just an opening. The result is smaller, more dedicated spaces.
Why An Open-Concept Plan Might Work for You:
You Multitask: In an open-concept plan, families can spend time together while each person works on a separate activity. Children may do homework at the dining table while a parent cooks dinner and helps out, or a toddler can play in the living room under the supervision of a parent cleaning the kitchen.
You Entertain Often: In an open floorplan, it’s much easier for the hosts to enjoy the party by feeling connected to their guests even while prepping food or serving drinks. Guests can mingle in one open space, yet still have private conversations in dedicated sitting areas.
You Prefer Open Lines of Sight: It can be easy to feel claustrophobic in a series of small, enclosed spaces, particularly if you spend a lot of time at home. Open concept homes feel larger, brighter, and more airy.
You Need Ease of Mobility: It’s much easier to navigate a space when there are few walls. Anyone needing a larger space to move around in — such as someone who uses a wheelchair, a person with mobility issues, or even a parent of a small child — will appreciate the freedom of movement in an open-concept plan.
Why a Traditional Plan Might Work for You:
You are Energy-Conscious: Generally, it costs more to heat and cool a large, open space. In a traditional floorplan, your conditioned air is trapped in a series of smaller rooms and stays there, allowing the HVAC to work more efficiently and lowering your energy bills.
You Prefer Intimate, Cozy Spaces: A traditional plan can be more conducive to creating that “warm, cozy” feeling of home, since each space is physically smaller and therefore more intimate.
You’re Too Busy to Clean Constantly: When your spaces are compartmentalized, it’s easier to keep each one clean and tidy. If you have a room that you just haven’t gotten to yet, you can simply close the door until you have time to clean and your house will still look great. In open concept, on the other hand, if you have an orderly living room and a messy kitchen, it will make the entire space look unkempt.
You Need/Prefer Privacy: With so many people performing more tasks at home these days (work, school, working out, hobbies, etc), you may need separate spaces that you can easily close off, to ensure everyone can focus on what they’re doing. This is what a traditional floorplan is designed for.
Too Much Noise/Smell is Distracting: In a traditional floorplan, you can contain noises and smells, especially coming from the kitchen, by simply closing the door. The same is true if there’s a particularly exciting game on TV in the living room and other people in the house need peace and quiet.
Many builders these days build exclusively open-concept homes, but if you’re in the market for more flexibility, a custom home is the way to go. At Heartland Builders, we can design a home that fits any lifestyle. Whether you need more space or less space, or different kinds of spaces, we can create a home that enhances the unique way you live. We can even design your home with a hybrid traditional/open-concept layout that keeps some of your living spaces connected but features a few rooms that can be closed off and used for dedicated purposes like work, study, or exercise.
To learn more about our various home plans, to find the one that’s right for you, or to design a plan that’s completely your own, please contact us!