What exactly constitutes an open concept floor plan? Open floor plans are defined by an absence of partitions between rooms in the home, most often, the living room, kitchen, and dining room. An open concept design is often seen in lofts, townhomes, and apartments but has become very popular in single-family homes. They are also quite popular along the New Jersey coast and make up a large portion of the real estate in Margate and Ventnor.
On the other hand, traditional, or conventional-type floor plans consist of individual rooms divided by walls and doorways, creating a confined space. In older homes, the kitchen was often isolated from the rest of the living quarters. This is less common in newer homes, as homeowners now enjoy sharing their cooking space with family and guests.
Open Concept Design Advantages
The primary advantage of an open floor plan is that this design creates the feel of a larger space, especially if the home does not have much square footage. By removing walls in an older, traditional home, or building an open-concept new home can add visual square footage without the expense of a larger build, or addition.
An open floor plan is a popular feature for entertaining guests. Having an unobstructed layout creates a central vantage point of congregation, allowing effortless mingling of family and friends. This also creates the look and feel of a modern, updated space.
On the downside, an open floor plan can be difficult to keep noise levels down, and can be harder to maintain a desired temperature, especially if the ceiling is vaulted. If privacy is important, it may be harder to find in an open concept space. Something else that many don’t consider is furnishings – having multiple rooms within the same space should be cohesive with furnishing colors and style.
Traditional Living Space Benefits
Atlantic County residents who enjoy this particular layout say that traditional floor plans tend to make a home feel cozier and more intimate. With defined spaces, a feel of separation is created between each room.
Conventional floor plans also convey a sense of privacy in the defined space. This has become especially beneficial after the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people have shifted to working from home. Most prefer the privacy of a separate room that can be used as a home office or study.
However, traditional floor plans can make a home feel small, cramped, and cluttered. One of the best ways to avoid clutter in a home is to decorate with a minimalistic style. Entertaining can also prove more challenging, as guests tend to spread out into various spaces. This makes it hard to maintain cohesion in conversation.
Which Layout Do Buyers Prefer
The answer is entirely up to the personal preferences of the homeowner. In a smaller home, an open floor plan can make the space feel larger without actually adding expensive square footage in lieu of an addition. In a large home, a traditional floor plan can help to create a sense of separation between different areas. Ultimately, the best way to decide which space would best suit your needs is to tour our homes and see what feels best to you.
When discussing these starkly different layouts it makes sense to also look at the current trends in architecture and interior design. Looking into 2023, a variety of exciting features are getting attention from home buyers in Atlantic County and beyond.
• Multiple Window Banks
Especially in kitchens, creating a space with multiple window banks allows natural light to penetrate the space, creating an open feel that brings the outside in.
• Casual, But Collected
Another design trend has decorators looking to a casual, yet sophisticated look. By choosing natural textures and colors, in paint, wallpaper, and furnishings, this style creates a refined look and feel. Incorporating raw materials, like stone, wood and glass is also trending high in casual elegance.
• Large Islands
Multi-functional kitchen islands, with seating and built-in appliances are what buyers are looking for in both open concept and conventional spaces. Integrating a cooktop, sink or microwave drawer adds convenience, and functionality to a heavily trafficked space.
• The Outdoors
Buyers are looking to utilize all available space in a home, and this includes the outdoors. Trending now more than ever is the functionality of an outdoor gathering space that feels more like an extension of the interior of the home.
Bringing the inside of the home outdoors, and vice versa creates a delightful extension of the living area. Of course, privacy may be a consideration for many, so utilizing structural pergolas, décor, and strategic planting, can create a privacy screen for the areas that need it.