residential renovation

The Space Debate: Open Concept Versus Traditional Floor Plan

The Space Debate: Open Concept Versus Traditional Floor Plan 1164 779 Tessa Maristela

One of the major decisions in purchasing a new home or custom-building a home is choosing between an open concept or a traditional floor plan. Understanding the distinction between the two floor plans helps to decide which one best suit your needs.

Open Floor Plan

The open floor plan has been interminably the prevailing inclination of modern architecture. Walls that conventionally divide two or three rooms are eliminated to devise one room with unrestricted space. The kitchen, dining and living rooms are collectively integrated into one sizeable room.

Traditional Floor Plan

The traditional or closed floor plan reflects the classical elements of architecture defined by walls separating each room for a designated purpose.

A Brief Architectural History

Prior to the mid-40s, the traditional floor plan included a hallway that channeled access to each room isolated by walls to distinctly serve their function. The kitchen, considered a utilitarian section for food preparation, was located at the rear end of the house. The dining room was a formal area for meal consumption and the living room was essentially for socialization. In the 1900s, forward thinking architects like Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized the configuration of the kitchen, dining and living rooms into one great space, transforming it into the heart of social gathering and entertainment. Thriving families became more relaxed and less forbidding in their approach to space use, especially in the fabric of urban living.

Pros and Cons 

Accessibility and Traffic Fluidity

People can move freely through a large space on an open floor plan, making itself seamlessly accessible to central living spaces such as the kitchen, dining and living rooms.  The absence of walls allows efficient traffic circulation for domestic activities or entertainment of large guests. In contrast, a traditional floor plan hinders movement while navigating around dividing walls or opening doors to access another room. People with mobility concerns such as those with walking aids or confined in a wheelchair may find walls and doors challenging in their limited ability to move effortlessly.

Natural Light

An open concept home obliges the sun to bathe the space with natural light through huge windows. A room with lavish supply of sunlight feels more cheerful, warm and cozy. Not to mention the additional benefit of having large windows invite into the interior a view of the outdoor landscape and to enjoy the spectacular changing colors of the twilight sky. Shared natural light also provide the opportunity to save on electricity use.

Traditional floor plans, on the other hand, have walls that are constricting and do not provide even distribution of natural light. Windows are smaller in each room, limiting the amount of light flooding in.

Sound and Smell 

Open floor plans have the disadvantage of sound and smell traveling across space, while traditional homes have wall partitions to suppress the spread of bothersome noise or odor.

Heating and Cooling

The traditional floor plan offers more economical heating and cooling distribution. Each confined space can be designated as a separate HVAC section, granting the capacity to manage temperature in rooms that are in use.

Temperature control in an open floor plan can be prohibitive. A large space naturally requires more cooling and heating and is less energy efficient. Huge windows that are typical in open concept homes provides less cushion against the outdoor cold or heat.

Socialization and Entertainment

Unlike a traditional floor plan, open concept homes enable you to enjoy conversing and exchanging stories with your friends and family in the living room while you are preparing meals in the kitchen, because there are no walls separating you from them.

Privacy

Open floor plans are excellent for social occasions but are limiting when you are looking for a quiet retreat from a gathering. The traditional floor plan provides a public space for socializing and personal space to relax and cherish your private time.

Clutter Control

There is a greater need to control clutter in an open concept layout to keep things tidy. Toys scattered on the living room floor need to be stored or a messy kitchen has to be organized at once to avoid unsightly disorder. Traditional homes have the advantage of hiding clutter behind wall enclosures.

Aesthetics

It is recommended to conceive a unified and collective design theme for a large living space on an open floor plan. A closed floor plan, however, is more flexible with creating design statements that can be unique in each room.

Safety

With an open-concept home, parents who are working in the kitchen have full visibility of their children at play or an elderly family member watching television in the living room. This is a discernable challenge in a traditional home, since wall barriers enclose the occupant of the room.

Open concept and traditional floor plans have both positive and negative attributes. Debating about which one works best ultimately comes down to fundamental considerations such as your lifestyle, funding, space requirement and growing needs.

 

 

 

What are the Top Trends in Home Renovation?

What are the Top Trends in Home Renovation? 2560 1709 Majid Riahi

It’s no doubt that the stay-at-home orders in 2020 stirred many people to reconsider their living situations. As a result, the housing market was a boom as a seller’s market, while home renovations were higher than the previous year. 

We experienced this increase in the number of home renovation projects we’ve received. Most of our projects since the pandemic began were home renovations and additional dwelling units (ADUs). 

Here are the trends we saw happening:

Kitchen

The kitchen is considered the heart of the home. It’s where members of the household gather to enjoy food, converse and socialize. Many desired an open kitchen layout plan with an island.

More so, every Pinterest kitchen organizer’s dream is coming alive. With that, we’ve brought to life new pantries and kitchen islands with organizers within the drawers. Stay tuned for a future blog all about kitchen organization trends.

kitchen with quartz top counter on island

Kitchen design of residence on Moraga Drive

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kitchen design

Kitchen design of residence on Superba Ave

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Bathroom

primary suite bathroom of residence on beverlywood ave

Primary Suite Bathroom of Residence on Beverlywood Ave

Many are opting for sleeker, modern concepts for their bathrooms. For example, we’ve seen non-enclosed showers trending. We have added plenty of skylights, built walk-in showers, cut out niches for shower products, and installed unique stone and tile styles.

Open Layout Concepts

open floor plan by Historia Design & Consulting

Open Floor Plan by Historia Design & Consulting

As it is increasingly harder to buy a new home in Los Angeles, most are redesigning what they have. Thus, the open layout allows more movement and fluid between spaces without walls—merging the living, kitchen, and dining into one great room enables a home to feel larger yet homey.

Replacing Sliding Doors with Bifold Doors

Bifold doors do a lot in merging indoor and outdoor spaces. Once pulled back, the two areas are blurred, allowing for uninterrupted flow. It’s a concept that enables the room to enlarge–most desirable for people who love to host gatherings and parties in their homes.

Exterior view of residence on Curson Ave

Exterior view of residence on Curson Ave

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Exterior

Creative, innovative exterior finishes

Architects are introducing exterior finishes that combine metal, wood, and stucco. It’s innovative, fresh, and modern.

exterior of ADU

Exterior of a proposed ADU on Hoover Street

ADU Rendering by Nwankpa Design
Spaces – decks and balcony additions

It’s hard not to want to enjoy the beautiful California weather year-round. As a result, we added plenty of balconies and decks to many of the homes we’ve renovated.

exterior details of a home

Exterior of a residence on Superba Ave

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When it comes to renovating your home, you must do the work in the beginning to ensure a relatively smooth experience. We highly suggest that you set out to interview qualified general contractors. They are the people who you will be in contact with for the next few months as your home is being worked on. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we’d love to get to know your story and see how we can best serve you.

Fill out the form below today! We can’t wait to talk to you.