Open concept floor plans
How to design an open concept floor plan
What features make a floor plan feel more open, spacious, and inviting? What does an "open floor plan" look like?
The term "open concept floor plan" can refer to many different architectural features and design techniques.
Here are a few common open concept design features - with tips on how to maximize the openness of your new home:
Open concept idea #1: Minimize hallways.
Open concept floor plans often minimize hallways - eliminating potential wasted space.
This is why Craftsman style homes are often referred to as open concept designs:
They maximize functionality by minimizing hallways or integrating dual purpose features
(such as storage benches) inside hallways.
Click here for ten craftsman style home features - and learn common techniques for building an open concept craftsman home.
In this example, a craftsman style home plan, see how to design an open concept floor plan, with a few modifications:
These simple changes - made to a Frank Betz floor plan concept - include removing half walls and adding archways.
Open concept idea #2: Orient rooms.
In open concept floor plans, the rooms you use most often should flow into one another.
Tip: Keep the kitchen open to the family room and breakfast nook.
Take a look at the Treehouse floor plan modifications:
We moved the island closer to the breakfast room and rotated it to face directly into the family room.
Moving the island created a flow-through between rooms, and kept the wall of windows in sight of the prep sink.
When you're browsing floor plan designs, you'll want to know what features are already present in the kitchen.
Click here for a guide on reading kitchen floor plans - and learn more about common layout styles.
And if you prefer island kitchen designs,
click here to learn more about creating an efficient kitchen work triangle.
Open concept idea #3: Create lines of sight.
Clear lines of sight - especially when emphasized with dramatic features - will always make a home feel more open.
A "line of sight" refers to the amount of distance you can see between rooms.
For instance, fireplaces are often created to be the focal point of a room - placed with maximum visibility in mind
(in sight of the kitchen and breakfast nook).
Tip: Don't place two dominating features (such as a two story stone fireplace and a full height glass mosaic backsplash)
in the same line of sight.
Instead, place these features at a diagonal (or around the corner) from one another.
Open concept idea #4: Designate a center point.
Plan your home around one room - most often the kitchen becomes the hub of the home - and focus on that space, first.
Inevitably, the kitchen island serves as a cooking bar, homework station, and conversation area.
So take advantage of this space by including the most useful features to you.
Tip: When choosing a central point for your open concept floor plan,
brainstorm about what types of storage matter most to your lifestyle.
Open shelving for cookbooks? Outward-facing cubbies for kid's homework? Glass-faced cabinets for displaying fine china? Built-in wine racks? An island can serve as a storage space for more than just pots, pans, and baking dishes.
Open concept idea #5: Open upwards.
Open concept floor plans often feature ceiling designs that open upwards.
Two story ceilings, arched openings, barrel vaults, ceiling vaults, and
other specialty ceilings will draw the eye upward,
even in smaller floor plans - making them feel much larger on the inside.
Tip: varying the height of your ceilings will ALWAYS have a dramatic effect - making a home feel larger inside.
Instead of including 9 foot ceilings throughout the first floor, consider raising your living room ceiling or master bedroom ceiling to 11 feet tall. You'll be amazed at the difference this can make. (This is not a feature you can change later on, so talk to your builder about what ceiling heights they offer, at what cost.)
Open concept idea #6: Add architectural details.
Consider adding columns, rather than full walls, between rooms.
Pictured here is the Maple Lane great room.
See more photos of custom homes that incorporate decorative columns as an open design feature:
The Summerlyn (sun room)
The Carwile (great room)
The Mastrosimone (master bedroom and the kitchen)
The Sutherland (formal dining room)
Open concept idea #7: Avoid formal spaces.
Formal rooms, such as living rooms or dining rooms, may divide your home into more distinct spaces than ideal for an open concept home.
By eliminating formal spaces, you can open up the plan and create a more casual feel.
In this version of the Carwile, the
Wainscoting panneling keeps the area formal, whle minimized walls maintain the open concept.
Open Concept Floor Plans
Stanton Homes is not limited by a set few homes like most builders – we can modify and build virtually any
from any architect or online home plan source, and we also have
interior designers who
will work with you to make a plan exactly the way you need it.
Tell us what you’d like to create together.
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