Open home design, or better known as open floor plan, started becoming popular in the 1980′s and have become even more widely-used in contemporary houses. While individual rooms and compartmentalized areas are still common in many houses, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for open floor plans in order to better integrate with their busy lifestyle as well as foster more interaction and conversation between family members. This page provides background innformation on how open home design started and its early advocates.
Admittedly, there are both pros and cons when it comes to adopting an open home design. The main advantage is the maximization of available space. You can more easily rearrange and repurpose your available spaces and furniture because there are less walls or compartments to restrict ease of access. Your living room can double as an additional dining area with more tables and chairs when you host a dinner party. Or if you are watching a big football game and hosting a viewing party, you can temporarily remove the dining table set-up and opt for more couches and chairs around the big screen TV.
As for the drawbacks, noise management is more of a necessity if you have an open floor plan. Because there are less walls, noise from one area of the home can easily travel to the other areas. This may not be as big of an issue if you live alone or you are just a couple, but for families with children this would require additional planning.
Getting an open home design to work takes careful planning. It is not for everyone, but if you’re one of those homeowners who want to try this non-traditional design, here are some safety reminders for homes with open floor plan:
- Secure entrances and windows. An open home design refers only to the spaces in the exterior and should not mean a home that is available for anyone to just trespass into. Make sure your doors and windows have the necessary safety features to keep intruders away. Alarms and electronic home security systems must also be considered. Always check overhead door parts and ensure that they are in optimum condition. Here’s an overhead door parts guide that you can refer to should you need help in doing a regular inspection of these parts.
- Art work and décor should be appropriate for the space. Because there is more open space, you have more flexibility in choosing what art and sculpture pieces to hang or display, but you should also consider safety and ease of movement. For instance, décor should not be in walkways or other common areas where they can be obstacles or cause accidents.
- Maximize natural lighting without sacrificing privacy. One benefit of an open floor plan is the increased flexibility as far as allowing natural light into every space. Window fixtures and treatments can be selected to allow as much sunlight and even air into the interiors. However, the drawback is that if you are not careful, anyone from the street might be able to peer into the home and see your activities. Privacy should be foremost when you select curtains, blinds, or other window fixtures. This site features the best options for light filtering shades that you can use for privacy.
- Use rugs and carpets. Area rugs and carpets can be utilized not only for differentiating certain areas in your open home design, but also for safety reasons. Wooden or tiled floors can be slippery and cause accidents if not maintained properly. Rugs and carpets positioned properly can reduce the risk of accidents especially if you have younger children running around all the time. They also help with insulation as well as noise control, such as around your home entertainment system or in entrances.