It’s a trend that started in offices during the late twentieth century, but now open floor plans are taking over the finest luxury homes in the world. For those unfamiliar with the definition of this style, it simply refers to removing internal walls separating reception rooms to create one communal area, bringing residents closer together. This central space will often include a line of kitchen units, central island, sofa and television area and in some properties a full dining table, avoiding the modern phenomenon of returning home to find each room occupied by a different lone family member. Open floor plans are particular popular with couples and families that enjoy socialising – free movement between the different ‘zones’ aids mingling at parties and helps to prevent all the guests ending up slightly cramped in just one room.
For similar reasons, open floor plans have been popular for years in city settings where every square foot is important. However, although in the past many professionals owning these kinds of properties might have aspired to a home with separate rooms, the increasing popularity of open floor plans in large suburban homes where space-saving isn’t an issue has led to the open floor plan being valued as a design statement, instead of solely as a practical device.
One of the reasons for this is that open floor plans almost guarantee good sight lines. This term, most commonly used in architecture, refers to your viewpoint from various points in your home. If there’s a wall or a closed door in your sight line, the space will seem smaller. Opening things up by getting rid of walls and doors creates a comforting space that feels larger, especially when combined with the high ceilings that seem to have replaced mezzanines as the must-have feature in new buildings.
Of course, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to properties, and open plan homes won’t suit all families. Although open floor plans are ideal for throwing parties when you have the house to yourself, children wanting to play video games around the television may be less appreciative of the amount of space you have to entertain. However, this is easily solved in larger homes by the addition of a child-focussed playroom or den upstairs, and even in smaller homes intelligent layouts can be used to minimise the risk of these inconveniences. Pillars and arches can often serve to obstruct views and noises from the kitchen, screens can be used to create private spaces within an open living area and clever furniture placement can minimise disturbance from other family members.
If you think a new home with an open floor plan would be ideal for your lifestyle, start your search today by visiting Engel & Völkers online. With a range of luxury properties located all around the world, we combine expert local knowledge with a global outlook to ensure you get the best possible selection of properties and thoughtful, friendly advice throughout the buying process.