Denver is quickly becoming a hotbed for all things open concept. The “open-concept” trend — the antithesis of traditional closed floor plans with their insulated walls and doors — can be seen in Denver’s most desirable neighborhoods, where old homes are being combined into larger residences that break down those barriers between rooms. Many of these new-old homes in Denver boast high ceilings with oversized windows, creating an airy feel that welcomes both the outside and inside out.
New open-concept spaces also offer a level of interaction between owner and guests not often seen before. “Many homeowners like the integration of rooms,” says Avi Schwalb, principal at Denver design firm Avi’s Remodeling. “In fact, when you build a new home from the ground up, it’s really easy to make it an open concept.
But when you add on to an existing structure, it can be difficult because of things like foundation issues and room sizes.” If you’re considering integrating more open-concept living into your own home in Denver or elsewhere, here are some elements to consider.
How do you like to live?
The first step in creating an open-concept living space is deciding how you plan to use the area. Do you envision an office nook, a gathering area for drinks with friends, or a more formal dining room where you can host fabulous holiday dinners?
Making use of space is at the heart of any successful open-concept design, says Avi with Denver’s Remodeling. “You’re not really part of a room unless you can see each other,” she says. This integration between rooms helps define your activities — and your life with others.
Where will you spend your time?
While modern floor plans may eliminate walls and doors to create one large area, they often fail to consider the things people love most about private rooms. Think of a comfortable chair where you can curl up with a book or an open fireplace for curling up by yourself with a good novel.
These cozy areas should be well-lit and comfortable enough to accommodate someone spending an entire evening there. It’s also important to create places in the open concept design that allow each person in your household to retreat without disrupting everyone else, says Schwalb. ”
The family room is often set up with a TV area, and it’s great for when people want to watch TV,” he adds. “But when people are in the family room, you can’t really get to the kitchen. That’s a problem.”
How will your open concept design flow?
When creating an open-concept floor plan, it’s essential to consider how each area connects and flows into the next. “You don’t want too many abrupt changes,” says Schwalb.
If you’re ready to expand your existing home but aren’t sure about an open-concept layout, Avi suggests drawing up a few different layouts on paper before making any big decisions.
“Before committing to anything, I would spend some serious time planning,” she says. “I would definitely do that at least once before you start building out of your house.”
Who will live there?
Living in an open-concept environment can bring up some questions when it comes to personal space. “When you’re in the kitchen with someone, is that uncomfortable?” Avi asks.
The question of discomfort can be further complicated when you consider whether or not your friends and family are diminishing your private time by hanging out in what used to be a bedroom, he adds.
“How do you feel about people eating in your dining room at your table?” These are all things to consider before deciding on an open-concept design for your home, says McKenna. “I think it takes effort to make any space flow well.”
How will guests react?
One benefit of integrating more open concept living into your home has more space for entertaining. “You can have a nice dinner party with people spread out all over the place,” Avi says.
But there’s also the chance that guests could feel uncomfortable in an open-concept setting or even become worried about privacy, she adds. When considering introducing more open-concept elements to your living space, it’s essential to evaluate how visitors respond.
What is an open concept home?
In a nutshell, an open concept is a floor plan that combines rooms into one ample space. Homeowners often choose this design for its versatility. It allows you to create different areas throughout the house so you can entertain or relax by yourself.
An open-concept layout also opens up the home’s indoor and outdoor flow, so people can quickly move from room to room.
What are some benefits of an open concept home?
An open-concept floor plan gives homeowners much more flexibility in their living space. You can divide it up into separate rooms when necessary or keep everything flowing into one another to offer guests plenty of options for entertaining themselves.
Light & Airy
In addition to freeing up valuable square footage, an open-concept floor plan allows sunlight to penetrate the home entirely. This can cut down on electricity usage in general, but it’s also a great way to infuse your living space with natural light.
As mentioned above, an open-concept layout offers homeowners easy flow between different rooms in the home. You won’t have to worry about trespassing into someone else’s personal space — something that may not be possible with separate rooms.
What are some drawbacks of an open concept home?
Homeowners who live in smaller homes or homes where bedrooms are small might struggle with privacy when dealing with an open-concept design. A lack of doors or walls can create awkward situations for couples and families who want some privacy.
If you’re not careful, an open-concept home can also be less functional in terms of storage options. You’ll need to carefully consider where all your belongings will go without the help of doors and walls — especially if you plan on having a large number of guests over.
Is an open concept right for my dream home?
As with most things in life, there are some pros and cons to consider when planning out an open-concept layout. For example, homeowners who live in smaller homes may appreciate the additional flexibility of this type of design. But they might also struggle with issues involving privacy and storage space within their living area.
For that reason, it’s critical to think carefully about the layout of your home and how you plan to use it before choosing an open-concept design. If you decide on this type of floor plan, remember that maintaining furniture arrangements can help with any potential problems involving privacy or storage.
Number of Rooms in an Open Concept Home
Typically, having more rooms doesn’t necessarily mean fewer open concept elements in your living area. On the contrary, an open-concept layout can allow homeowners to incorporate multiple rooms into one ample space even if they only have a few options overall.
Basic examples of common spaces include:
- Great room – Living room combined with dining room.
- Den – Office combined with family/TV room.
- Library – Study/reading nook combined with book storage space.
- Foyer & mudroom – Coat closet/storage area, combined with the entranceway to the home.
The Pros and Cons of an Open Concept Home
As with any home design, there are several benefits and drawbacks to consider when dealing with open-concept layouts. Keep the following factors in mind as you think about whether or not this type of floor plan will work for your particular circumstances:
- Flexibility more effortless flow between rooms.
- More natural light from windows.
- Less need for electrical lighting options.
- Creates more usable square footage.
- Adds variety to room arrangements.
- May limit privacy.
- Inconvenient for certain types of furniture.
- Inconvenient for homeowners who live alone.
- May struggle with storage space.
- It can be distracting if everyone is home during the day.
The Open Concept by Rooms
Open concept homes are perfect for those who want to avoid feeling cramped or boxed while still maximizing their square footage. If you’re thinking about building a new home or renovating your current space, consider one of these options and embrace the cozy and modern feel of open-concept living!
The Open Concept Home Office
With wall-to-wall whiteboard walls and plenty of natural light, this office indeed provides an open concept. The white walls help make the space feel bigger while also creating a clean and fresh look.
The Open Concept Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of a home. With polished stone countertops, sleek stainless steel appliances, and dark wood cabinets, this open layout exemplifies modern style with functionality for days!
Open Concept Dining Room
This cozy dining room features unique wall art above the table, making it easy to display family photos or other keepsakes in a fashionably functional way that doesn’t take away from the design of your home.
Open Concept Family Room
Though small in size, this family room makes excellent use of its space by having one area for sitting and another for playing games or watching TV coupled with a large window, this open concept is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing!
The Open Concept Living Room
This open concept living room features subtle pops of color on the walls to provide visual interest while also making it easy to switch up the design of the space whenever you want. With two cozy armchairs, a coffee table, and plenty of light, this room provides endless opportunities for comfort and relaxation.
Open Concept Outdoor Spaces
Having an outdoor living space can help homeowners enjoy their homes even more. This deck makes excellent use of its length by accommodating an entire dinner party at the same time with plenty of seating options without feeling cramped or overcrowded. The furniture is also perfectly sized for adults and children, making it easy to host guests of any age.
Having an open concept home can be a great way to save space and increase flexibility within your living area. It’s essential to carefully consider how each room will function overall and its placement with other rooms before moving forward with this type of design. Contact local real estate agents today for more information on what you need to know about this option.