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Today, everybody wants an open concept floor plan for their home. I understand the reasons for this –

  • If you’re entertaining, you can be part of the group, if you’re the one in the kitchen.
  • Good sight lines when you have children.
  • More natural light available.
  • In a smaller home, fewer walls mean more usable floor space.

All of those are great reasons to have that open concept layout in a home. Why would you want more walls?

  • More rooms offer more privacy.
  • Cuts down on the noise level.
  • More walls offer more space to hang art (or quilts). 🙂
  • Easier to heat or cool smaller areas.
  • Less housekeeping needed when unexpected guest drop by.

Those are the logical reasons, and they all sound great. Let’s talk about them. I’ve lived in both kinds of home.

When I was in high school, we lived in an open concept home. Surprised they had them that long ago? 🙂 I suppose it wasn’t a true open concept, but it was darn close. When you came in the front door, you stepped right into the living room and you could see all of the dining room and the majority of the kitchen.

My mother reports, “I had to keep the house clean all the time. All of it! There was no closing doors if one of the rooms were messy. It was all on view – all the time.”

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Look at these beautiful homes and imagine them with kids running around, backpacks, homework, dinner prep, a laundry basket, the dog dripping water on the floor, lunch dishes on the table – does it still look so beautiful? (And they are really pretty, huh?) Everything is light and bright, lovely neutral tones, high end finishes and pops of color.

Another thing that bothers me about Open Concept – there is this huge room, with people doing all kinds of things in each part. Some are doing homework, others are watching TV and me … well I’m stuck in the kitchen making sure it’s spotlessly clean. The children can’t concentrate on their homework because of the TV, but where else can they go?

With separate rooms, everyone can do their particular thing without disturbing everyone else. And all your Mom’s, answer me this! How many times have you disappeared into the kitchen to escape for just a minute? If it’s open to everyone, you can’t do that! You’ll have to crouch on the floor like a slinking cat. Those kids could sneak up behind you and scare you to death. I raised kids, they’d do something like that.

I like to have a foyer in my house. Not everybody that knocks on the door is family or friends. Do you really want your insurance agent stepping into the living room when it Jammie Game night? Not me! I lived in a house in Missouri with a great foyer. It was a small room!

It had 3 doors off of it, 4 if you counted the front door. It was big enough to decorate nicely and provide a welcoming scene for any guest. (I had a picture of it, but I can’t find it.)

On Friday, I’ll tell you a story about how those closed rooms probably saved our lives! (I’m not being dramatic!)

What do you think about the Open Concept debate? Do you like Open or Closed?

Till Friday!


P.S. The Newsletter is going out on Saturday (Aug. 20) Sign up now so you don’t miss it. Some good stuff going in there! 🙂



Author: Karen

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9 thoughts on “What’s the Big Deal About Open Concept?

  1. I agree that it looks lovely and makes it easier to watch children, but it reminds me of some decades ago when schools decided that open-concept classrooms were a good idea. Of course, they didn’t ask us teachers our opinions on it first. We could have told them it would fail and why. After a few years, fail it did, and too many children suffered by being far behind in their studies. One huge classroom with a different class in every corner and another in the middle. Need I say more? – You are right, Karen. Privacy and quiet are important for homework, etc. – However, for couples with no children, or adult children on their own, it could work very nicely.

    Posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:11 pm
    1. Maria, I didn’t know they tried that. It seems to me it would be chaotic! And noisy.

      I did hear about a similar trial with the playground. ‘Someone’ thought it would be a good idea to remove the fences from the playground, and believed it would help the children feel free! What it actually did was cause the children to only play in the middle of the playground. They didn’t feel free, they felt scared! Once the fences went back up, they played all over, including hanging out on the fence 🙂

      Of course, it’s not the same at home where it’s just a kitchen and living space, but I like the separate rooms.

      Posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm
      1. Karen,

        I doubt they did it everywhere, but the experiment went on in many places. Unfortunately, one of them was the school board I taught for. Luckily, the school I was in wasn’t changed to open concept. However, the year it was cancelled, I had a class of 45 children who came from those schools and who should have been in grade 4, but instead ranged in their abilities in various subjects, especially reading and spelling, from grade one to three.

        Posted on August 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm
      2. P.S. I can’t imagine that being done in a playground! Incredible!

        Posted on August 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm
  2. I like closed better too. Right now my place is open out of necessity, but it’s small, so it’s doable.
    Closed is just cozy. 🙂

    Posted on August 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm
    1. That’s a great way to put it – ‘Closed is just cosy’ 🙂 I tend to agree with you. I think the pictures of the open concept houses are very pretty, but there is no one living there!

      And this is my lovely Aunt Carol 🙂 I’m so tickled you guys are here today!!!

      Posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm
      1. I wouldn’t miss it. Thank you for the lovely comment, Love you

        Posted on August 17, 2016 at 4:42 pm
  3. That’s a good compromise. Actually, it’s just like your house! 🙂

    This is my sister – so I know just what her house looks like!

    Posted on August 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm
  4. Love this! I prefer semi-open where the kitchen is not visible from the front door but not completely closed off to the rest of the house. 🙂

    Posted on August 17, 2016 at 10:16 am