If you’re in the process of planning a renovation, one of the first and most important decisions you’ll need to make is what kind of floor plan you want for your home. From open-concept great rooms to closed kitchens and formal dining rooms, a floor plan can have a major impact on your lifestyle and daily routine, as well as the aesthetic personality of your home.
Choosing a floor plan that works for you and your family starts with considering the options available and comparing them to your needs, lifestyle, and preferences. The goal is to transform your home so it’s layout and design work for you.
Types of Floor Plans
From sprawling multigenerational homes, to traditional single-family homes, to open-concept condos, there are floor plans to suit just about any lifestyle and design preference. In general, we can separate floor plans into two broad categories: traditional (closed) and contemporary (open).
Traditional (Closed) Floor Plans
Traditional floor plans tend to have walls separating the major living spaces in a home. For example, you might have a closed-off kitchen with a small eating nook, a separate formal dining room, a formal living room or “parlor,” and a more casual family room.
There are pros and cons to closed floor plans, but here are some of the reasons homeowners may choose a more traditional layout:
- More opportunities for design — because rooms are more separate, you can design each room in it’s own unique style and experiment with different materials, colors, tones, and furnishings.
- Smaller, cozier spaces — for some, larger open-concept spaces may feel too spacious to feel comfortable; more walls and separate rooms can help create a more cozy atmosphere.
- Better sound control — extra walls and objects absorb sound, avoiding an echo effect and making it easier for family members to do separate things in separate spaces without disturbing others.
- Added privacy — more walls offer more opportunities to find private, quiet spaces in your home.
Contemporary (Open) Floor Plans
Unlike traditional layouts, contemporary floor plans generally have larger, more open spaces. Often, the kitchen is open to other living spaces, separated only by an island or peninsula. Some contemporary floor plans have a great room that serves as the home’s single, central living space, with bedrooms and bathrooms being the only separate, private rooms.
As with traditional (closed) layouts, contemporary, open-concept floor plans come with advantages and potential drawbacks, depending on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Here are some of the reasons homeowners opt for an open floor plan:
- Convenience — it’s much easier to move around a room when there’s more space, and an open floor plan generally allows you to cook in the kitchen while still interacting with people in the living room or watching TV.
- More natural light — great rooms and open floor plans generally allow more light from your windows to enter your home without obstruction from walls or other large objects.
- More cohesive design — with an open living area, you have the opportunity to create a single design aesthetic; choosing neutral basics like wall paint, flooring, and kitchen cabinets then allows you to enjoy experimenting with stand-out pieces like mirrors, centerpieces, and decorative cushions and art.
- Potential resale-value benefits — open-concept floor plans have continued to grow in popularity in the 21st century, so you may have an easier time selling your home if it has an open layout.
How to Choose the Right Floor Plan for Your Home
There are pros and cons to choosing different types of floor plans. But the right layout for your home is one that suits your lifestyle, needs, goals, and preferences.
Consider your current lifestyle.
Your floor plan should match how you live. Do you have to recede into the kitchen to cook most nights while your family spends quality time together? A renovation that removes the wall between your kitchen and the rest of your living space may better suit your lifestyle. On the other hand, if you work from home and need added privacy and noise control, a more traditional, closed floor plan may accommodate your needs better.
Think about your future plans.
Consider your current lifestyle, but also look ahead. How might your circumstances change in the future? Do you anticipate having children? Are grown-up children coming back home? Does an elderly relative need their own space? These are examples of situations that may impact the kind of floor plan that would work best for you and your family. Consider your family’s specific needs in terms of things like noise control, privacy, and spending quality time together.
Consult your personal style and preferences.
Your lifestyle and practical needs are important. So are your personal preferences. You want your home to reflect your style and design aesthetic. Do you love the idea of an open great room with vaulted ceilings and a kitchen that’s open to the primary living and eating spaces? In contrast, are you drawn to smaller, more traditional rooms that exude a cozy charm? Your individual style preferences should not be secondary when you’re choosing a floor plan for your home.
Consider your budget
Altering your home’s floor plan can be relatively simple and inexpensive, or more complicated. For example, adding a wall and door to create a closet space in an existing den could be relatively budget-friendly and efficient. You can expect to spend more if you’re planning to alter support beams or remove a wall between your kitchen and living room that contains piping or ductwork. That’s because the project is more complex and involves more time and steps.
Renovate Your Home With a Floor Plan That Suits Your Life & Style
Transform your home into a space that works for you. L. Evans Design Group is an award-winning home design and remodeling company based in Portland, Oregon. We believe your home should be designed and built for you. That’s why we take the time to understand how you live, your needs, and your unique design perspective so we’re able to begin designing spaces that are both functional and beautiful — spaces you’ll love to spend time in for many years to come.