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The pros and cons of open-concept living

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Living in one big space

Open-concept living spaces have been a huge trend for years now. The idea is to create a sort of flow throughout your living space and create a sense of openness. This trend, which began back in the 80s, is still a huge selling point for many people. However, as with most things, there are some pros and cons to this style of living.

The pros

There is a certain sense of luxury that comes with open-concept living. An open-concept floor plan can make the smallest room seem grand in the right context. When decorating, you can flow your design from kitchen to living room. Modern furnishings and accents look great in an open-concept space and add to the sense of luxury as well. You can even use fewer lights in your décor because light fills an open space better than a closed one. That will also cut down on your energy costs.

For those with children, having an open-concept living room and kitchen can provide great sight lines. You can be making dinner in the kitchen while the kids play in the living room. The same can be said for those who like to entertain. A small kitchen can get awfully crowded when everyone is hanging out there with the host. This sense of connectivity can be quite valuable for the socially inclined.

A clean freak will love the idea of open-concept because it is easy to keep clean and if you implement the right storage solutions, you can keep everything looking slick and open all the time.

The cons

If keeping things clean is a hassle for you, then open-concept will only remind you of the mess you have. Hiding dishes in the sink isn’t as easy when you’re hosting a dinner party and some guests can get nosy. Then there is the noise factor. High ceilings sure look great, but carry sound throughout the house like a cave. Not to mention cleaning up there is no easy trick. Not only does noise carry, but also so do smells. If you make a pungent dish the night before, the odor can linger.

While those things permeate an open-concept layout, heating and cooling such a space can be challenging. Remember, heat rises and if you have high ceilings it can get trapped up there.

There is also a lack of privacy that comes with an open-concept plan. A separate space for an office might be needed for parents who work from home. If you’re thinking of tearing down walls to create an open-concept space, you need to consider the costs of doing so. It’s not just tearing down the walls, but also considering the load. Installing the right beam can be very expensive and might not be worth risking the structure of your house. Also, tearing down walls can drastically cut down your cabinet space in the kitchen.

It’s important to consider these pros and cons when buying or renovating a home. Depending on your needs, separation may be needed elsewhere in the home. An open space between the kitchen and living room might be all you need to live comfortably.

By Meagan Dieroff

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