Open Floor Plans versus Closed Floor Plans

It’s rather surprising when you think about it: More and more studies suggest that open floor plans in an office are literally the worst thing ever for a business’ productivity and privacy.

But they’re still a great floor plan for our homes, and at Broadpoint Custom Homes, we see a lot of people who want their new home to be open, spacious, and airy. We also hear from people who prefer a more closed floor plan with separate rooms instead.

So it can be a little tough to make up your mind. Here are a few reasons for choosing either plan, and we’ll let you make up your own mind.

An example of open floor plans in one of our custom homes.

An example of an open floor plan in one of our custom homes.

It’s easier to stay connected in an open-plan house. You can see the dining room and the living room from the kitchen, and vice versa, which means you can have a conversation while guests are over for a dinner party. You can talk with one another, watch TV or listen to music throughout the house, and just stay connected.

On the other hand. . .

You get more privacy with a closed floor plan. If you live in an open floor plan house, there’s nowhere to easily get away, short of going to a bedroom. Trying to read in your living room while someone else is watching TV can be hard, and hearing the TV above a lot of kitchen noise isn’t optimal. With a closed floor plan, you can go to a different room for some quiet time.

Of course, that’s not always convenient.

An open plan can be better for parents of younger children or people caring for elderly parents themselves.
You can keep an eye on younger children or your parents, whether you’re in the kitchen or sitting at the dining table for a cup of coffee. They can be watching TV or the kids can play in the living area, and you can know what they’re doing at all times. If someone needs some help, you’re just a slightly raised voice away.

But that means if something gets messy, it all looks messy.

A closed floor plan is more organized. If you have young kids, you can at least keep them and their mess confined to one room. Or as some parents like to think of it, you can “limit the blast radius.” You can assign one room as the kids’ playroom, while another serves as a den or office, and you never have to worry about where to put things.

That’s because. . .

More walls in a closed floor plan means more places for storage. More shelves, more closets, more places to hang your art. And more places for electrical outlets and cable hookups, so you’re not limited to just one spot in the entire house for your TV. In an open floor plan, you essentially have two or three good walls to hang art or put bookshelves. A closed floor plan lets you turn a little-used dining room into an office or a guest bedroom.

Still. . .

An open floor plan is so much more spacious. If you have a smaller house, it likely feels bigger with an open plan. If the whole downstairs is a single room — kitchen, dining area, living room — your house can feel bigger than if it’s just those three individual rooms, and you have to walk from one room to the next just to get somewhere. Larger footprints lend themselves to a more closed floor plan, even if it’s just an extra room here or there. For example, if you wanted a downstairs bathroom, you can just carve out a little space with a couple of walls. With a closed floor plan, you don’t have that kind of leeway.

Do you have questions about the ideal floor plan for your custom home? Visit our website or contact us and ask to speak to one of our project managers to help you find the best plan for your dream home.