4 min read

Open Concept vs. The Traditional Floor Plan

Open Concept vs. The Traditional Floor Plan

When you’re looking to build a custom home in Cincinnati, one of the most important things to consider is the floor plan. Basically, a floor plan is a diagram of the layout of a home, showing the location of each room and how they are connected.

There are two main types of floor plans: open concept and traditional. Open concept floor plans have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they allow for more flexibility and connectivity between different spaces. Traditional floor plans, on the other hand, are more compartmentalized, with each room having its own defined space. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each floor plan and which is right for you and your family? 


Open Concept Floor Plans

An open floor plan is meant to keep the shared spaces of a home easily flowing from one space to the other. There may be narrow partial walls that help to designate one space from another while keeping the sightlines open. This type of floor plan has become increasingly popular in recent years as it allows for a more fluid, open feel in a home. 

Pros of an Open Floor Plan

  • More space: An open concept floor plan makes a home feel larger. Compared to a home with a traditional floor plan of the same size, a home with an open floor plan will give the impression of more space. 
  • Easier communication and interaction: Since no walls are separating the living spaces, communication and interaction between family members are much easier and you’ll feel more connected.
  • Great for entertaining: An open concept floor plan is perfect for hosting guests. There is plenty of space for people to gather and socialize while remaining generally in the same space. 
  • More natural light: You’ll have more opportunities to illuminate your space with natural light because an open floor plan doesn’t have walls to interrupt it. Open floor plans often incorporate large expanses of walls, which allow for large expanses of windows as well. 

Cons of an Open Floor Plan

  • Less privacy: If you’re someone who likes your privacy, an open concept floor plan may not be right for you. There are fewer walls to provide privacy between different areas of the home, so attempting to take a meeting online may prove difficult if not impossible. It also means that a messy kitchen or living area can’t be hidden away. 
  • Less noise control: An open concept floor plan also means that noise travels easily from one area to another. This can be a problem if you have children or pets that tend to make a lot of noise.
  • Can be challenging to style: It can be more difficult to design and style an open concept floor plan than a traditional floor plan. You’ll need to be careful not to overwhelm the space with too much furniture or décor or your previously roomy space could feel cramped. 


What Are the Different Types of Open Floor Plans?

Not all open floor plans combine every common area, like the kitchen, dining room, and living room. You may decide that one of these rooms should still be closed off to the others or that you’d prefer for all three to be open to one another in your custom home

Living and Dining Rooms

If you like to entertain friends and family, combining these rooms is a great option. As dishes pile up from a dinner party, you won’t have to worry about the unsightly mess. Moving between the dining area and the living area is seamless and doesn’t break up the party. 

Kitchen and Dining Room

For many, combining these rooms is a sensical option. Carrying full plates or serving ware through doorways can cause a mess. It’s a convenient combination that takes you from preparing, plating, serving, and clean-up a breeze. You’ll also have plenty of room for a kitchen island, which can offer more seating, prep space, and serving dinner buffet-style. 

Completely Open Floor Plan

When people think of an open floor plan, this is usually the combination that comes to mind. The larger space helps to create a feeling of connection and more easily offers awareness of needs in other spaces. For example, if you’re preparing dinner in the kitchen and the kids are in the living room. 

Traditional Floor Plans

Each room is separate and distinct from the others, with no shared living areas. This can be great for those who need their own quiet space or want to avoid distractions while they’re working or relaxing.

Pros of a Traditional Floor Plan

  • More sound and smell control: Sounds and smells can more easily be kept in the room they originated in, so burnt popcorn in the kitchen or a loud cartoon in the living room can be contained so as not to bother other members of the household or guests. 
  • Easier to style: Separate spaces mean being able to change your color scheme or wood tones from room to room. You’re not limited to a single palette or style as you would with an open floor plan. 
  • Privacy: This is a big consideration if you’d like to watch a movie alone in the living room or work on the kitchen island without interruption. A traditional floor plan affords you privacy and seclusion when you need it. 
  • Keep messes hidden: Just as with sounds and smells, sights are closed off with a traditional floor plan. A mess left behind by kids in the dining room can be kept closed off until you’re ready to take care of it, and the same goes for the kitchen. 

Cons of a Traditional Floor Plan

  • Spaces feel smaller: A traditional floor plan can feel confining unless your home boasts a very large square footage. 
  • Less usable space: The closed-off nature of a traditional floor plan can leave lots of space unused. Think of a large dining room where the center is used for the dining table and perhaps a hutch on one wall, but the rest of the square footage isn’t quite big enough for another use, creating dead zones. 
  • Less natural light: Frequent walls in a traditional floor plan means blocking the potential for taking advantage of natural light. You will likely need to use more artificial light, which consumes more energy. 
  • Accessibility: Open floor plans tend to lend well for accessibility because there are fewer doorways and sharp corners to traverse. 
  • Resale value: Open concept floor plans have become very popular with potential buyers and a closed or traditional floor plan may be a deal-breaker. 

Look to the Professionals to Help You Decide Which Floor Plan is Best for You 

Which type of floor plan is right for your Cincinnati home? That depends on your lifestyle and needs. If you entertain frequently or need a lot of space to spread out, then an open concept floor plan is probably the best option. If you prefer more defined living spaces or need extra privacy, then a traditional floor plan may be a better fit.

At Chris Gorman Homes, our designers will work with you to create a floor plan that meets your specific needs and wants. Contact Chris Gorman Homes to schedule a consultation and we’d be happy to help you decide which floor plan is best for you and your family. 


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