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Is Open Concept Right for You?

Turn on any home-makeover TV show and you’ll hear the term “open concept” at least twice.  As the latest rage in interior design, it’s sweeping through homes across the United States and Canada.  Before you jump on the bandwagon, though, make sure you’ve thought through what will ultimately be a big remodeling project.

What does “open concept” mean?

Also referred to as simply an “open plan,” this style involves making the main rooms on a level more accessible to one another.  Often, it requires the demolition of doors and walls that previously served to separate functional living spaces.  It’s most popular in entertaining areas like the living room, dining room, and kitchen.  While some newer homes come prefabricated with this type of floor plan, it’s often an upgrade or a serious home renovation.

What are the some benefits of an open-concept design?

If space is a commodity in your house, this style can instantly make your floor plan appear larger.  By removing many of the visual obstacles that can cause rooms to feel small and/or cramped, you suddenly have a more open and spacious area to entertain guests.  It’s also an easy way to make your home more modern, while emphasizing the original architectural lines (or creating new ones).

Additionally, it allows your family and guests to socialize more freely.  If you love to cook, why should you remain hidden away in the kitchen for the duration of your party?  When your kitchen and living room connect freely, then you can talk with everyone while you prepare a delicious meal.  Family time is also easier to cultivate when you’re all sharing one large space, rather than branching out into separate rooms on evenings and weekends.

What about the negatives?

An open concept isn’t for everyone.  If you’ve already got a lot of square footage to your space, this floor plan can make it feel overly large—cavernous even.  Then, in the winter time, this can equate to bigger heating bills, since there are no internal walls to provide extra insulation.

While you might appreciate an open plan for entertaining when it’s expected, spontaneous drop-ins can be a problem.  Daily living naturally makes for a certain amount of untidiness that, by virtue, is simply harder to hide with this type of arrangement.  That mess that you make when cooking will automatically be visible to your guests.  Therefore, it requires a little more maintenance and cleaning than a traditional floor plan.

You also have to consider the style of your home before beginning this project.  If your home is beautiful in its historic authenticity, then switching to this very modern design could come off as incongruous.  Overall, you want the your interior and exterior décor to echo one another without being identical.  Not every person will appreciate this particular style, which can make a house harder to resell should this fashion fall out of favor.  After all, it’s not that easy to replace load-bearing walls.


If you’re absolutely in love with the idea of an open-concept space, we can help you realize your dream!  Custom Build Maryland specializes in remodeling projects large and small, so come to us with your questions.  Even if you don’t want to fully commit to this design, we can help you come up with a compromise that will suit your home.