The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan


Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan - Hamilton Homes

When you hire custom builders in Melbourne, you can exercise complete freedom over the layout of your home and experiment with less traditional home layouts, such as open floor plans.

Open floor plans are a common feature in modern interior design but have only been around since the mid 20th century. A house with an open floor plan has a seamless flow between the kitchen, living room, and other common areas. Many homeowners value these plans because they make it easier to entertain and expand the space.

However, an open floor plan is not for everyone. Here are a few pros and cons that you should think about before opting for an open floor plan.

Why Is the Open Floor Plan Only a Modern Trend?

If you are buying an older house, chances are that it will not have an open floor plan. You can still create one with the help of custom builders in Melbourne, but it will require extensive renovations. The popularity of the open floor plan reflects changing ideas about entertaining and the family.

In the early modern period, middle-class families saw entertaining as a very formal affair. There were designated rooms for guests, such as the parlour. The kitchen was a place for servants (and also a more uncomfortable place before the rise of proper ventilation) so it was punted to the back.

As rules around guests and cooking became more relaxed, the distinction between the kitchen as a space for domestic labour and other spaces in the house became less pronounced. These changes led to the open floor plans that we know today.

Benefits of an Open Floor Plan

Here are a few reasons why an open floor plan might work for you.

More Efficient Use of Space

It’s no coincidence that open floor plans started to become popular around the time when populations became more urbanised (and suburbanised). As more people packed into cities and the average home size shrank, people needed to maximise how they used their space.

With an open floor plan, you do not need to create rigid demarcations for different room uses. The same room can get used for family playtime or for entertaining guests with a little tidying up. Less space is wasted on walls and other barriers, increasing the available space for usage.


Open floor plans are often the saving grace of harried parents with small children. Parents can work or perform necessary chores, such as cooking dinner, while keeping an eye on kids playing elsewhere in the dining area. There’s no need to keep a fussy toddler in the kitchen while you cook, or risk burning dinner while running out of the kitchen every two minutes to make sure your kids don’t endanger themselves.

Open floor plans are a benefit even for families with older children. Having a large common area with few barriers makes it easier for the whole family to spend time together, even while everyone is doing individual activities in their own corner of the room.

The Pros and Cons of Open Floor Plans | Millionacres

Better for Hosting Parties

People who like to host dinner parties and entertain often will benefit from open floor plans. Open floor plans allow people to move freely from one end of the party to the other while still preserving the privacy of some rooms, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. There are also no walls to block sound, so everyone can freely participate in the conversation.

Open floor plans are the most beneficial for dinner party hosts. Instead of spending half the party in the kitchen cut off from the event, a host can work on finishing the meal while still being part of the action.

More Freedom with Decorating

If you are someone who dreams of decorating your home with no limits, an open floor plan is for you. Instead of relying on walls, you can partition the space according to your tastes and needs. Put up a fun bookshelf to separate parts of the living area, or install a picturesque kitchen island for counter space and separating.

An open floor plan also means that you can rearrange your home according to your whims. Create a play area for your kids in the morning, then rearrange the furniture for a more open space at night when friends come over.

Cons of an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are not for everyone. Here are a few drawbacks to consider.


If you are buying an older home, the cost of knocking down interior walls and installing load-bearing beams may be higher than you think. Be sure to get an accurate quote from your custom builders in Melbourne before embarking on your renovation.

Once you are done building, your open floor plan could still cost you more money than you think. Larger rooms are more expensive to heat or cool, particularly if they have high ceilings or many windows. Your bills each month may be much higher than if you keep your interior walls.

Lack of Privacy and Calm

With an open floor plan, some rooms in the house are protected from prying eyes, but not all of them. This may be a disadvantage, depending on your preferences. Some people don’t like curious guests peeking into the kitchen while they cook.

Open floor plans also make sound travel further, meaning that your family may have a harder time finding quiet spaces to work or do homework away from the clanging of pots and pans or noisy younger siblings.

Open floor plans are a popular feature of modern design, and having one raises the value of a home. They maximise the use of space and make it easier to entertain guests during parties. However, there are some potential drawbacks you should consider before getting one, such as the cost of renovation and heating and the lack of privacy and sound control.

Most newly-built homes already come with open floor plans. If you are buying an older house, then you can hire custom builders in Melbourne to renovate and install an open floor plan.