Professional Advice for deciding if an open or closed floor plan is right for you

While architecture and interior design often go hand in hand and work together harmoniously, they can also end up at odds with one another. A prime example of this is the layout of your home and whether it should have a closed or open floor plan.


Modern, open concept floor plans are all the rage right now and are appealing from a design perspective, but they may not be the best fit for every structure and homeowner. The same applies for closed floor plans.

You might be thinking – can’t my contractor decide this for me? Even though we are a highly-experienced contractor able to provide a wealth of knowledge, when it comes to helping you make this decision, it’s important for you, the homeowner, to also have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of each floor plan option going into your custom home design project to help establish your expectations.


What Is an Open Concept Home?

In open-concept homes, barriers are eliminated and traditional closed-off rooms are replaced by open spaces that aren’t separated by walls.

Such a floor plan can often exclude hallways, doors, and of course, walls, resulting in a more inviting, seemingly larger layout.

These types of floor plans have surged in popularity over the past decade as they are the epitome of contemporary design and offer homeowners a variety of benefits.


Benefits of An Open Concept Home


Open-concept floor plans are excellent for creating space in a smaller home. Because there are not many walls to break up the flow of your space and divide it into separated rooms, you’ll have one large open area that looks bigger than it actually is.

This not only allows people to move around more easily but makes your home feel more spacious.


What’s great about an open floor plan is that you can turn your space into anything you want it to be, and you don’t have to commit yourself to one permanent layout.

The absence of walls makes it easier to re-designate certain areas for different purposes and come up with creative ways to separate spaces without closing them off.


Open concept homes can be a great option for families with young children, as it makes it easier to keep an eye on your little ones at all times.

This means you can be cooking dinner in the kitchen and still be able to keep a watchful eye on your kids watching television in the living room. Or if you’re the one watching that’s watching T.V., you’ll be able to see them sneak cookies from the kitchen. It’s a win-win for parents, really.


With an open concept home, you have more flexibility when it comes to furniture layout and room design, allowing you to create a better flow of traffic.

This can also be incredibly beneficial for people who require mobility aids, since there are fewer doorways, hallways, and narrow passages that can be difficult to navigate.

Resale Value

Open concept is a real estate buzz word, often giving these homes an advantage when it comes to resale.

Many buyers are attracted to these types of floor plans and are often willing to pay more for a home with an open interior compared to a similar home with a closed floor plan.

Whether you’re in your forever home or plan on putting it up for sale in the future, you may want to consider an open floor plan to boost home value.

Plenty of Natural Light

A significant advantage of having an open floor plan is the amount of natural light that fills your home. It’s no surprise that sunlight is a real mood changer, so having it flood through all corner of your home can have a calming, relaxing effect.

Without walls to break up space, sunlight is able to disperse throughout the home, making the entire house feel bigger, brighter, and homier.

Downsides to an Open Floor Plan

While there are many benefits to designing a home with an open floor plan, there are some drawbacks to consider.

For example, rather than designing several individual, distinct spaces as you would with a closed floor plan, an open-concept floor plan requires a cohesive design process throughout the space with the right décor and furnishings to avoid clashing styles.

Additional downsides to an open concept home include:

  • Less privacy
  • Smells can travel easily throughout the home
  • Noise becomes difficult to contain
  • May be difficult to heat efficiently

comparison of a closed and open concept living room and dinning room

When Would an Open Floor Plan be Recommended?

Open concept homes without dividing walls are ideal for smaller homes, as this helps to open up the space and makes your home look and feel larger than it actually is.

Here are some additional instances where an open floor plan may be recommended:

  • You have a large family with small children
  • You are frequently entertaining guests
  • You want the freedom to switch up your layout
  • You are eventually planning to sell
  • You or someone in your family requires better accessibility

What Does Closed Concept Mean?

A closed concept home has a traditional floor plan and layout that features multiple rooms or separated spaces enclosed by walls and doors.

Essentially, each designated area of the home becomes its own separate space or room, including the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

Benefits of a Closed Concept Home

While open-concept has been trending in recent years, some homeowners are starting to shift away from modern floor plans in favour of more traditional, closed-off designs.

Here are a few reasons to explain this.


While having more open space can be great for bringing families together, sometimes, you may want a bit of privacy, which can be hard to come by without many walls, doors, or separated spaces.

Closed rooms in your home’s main areas that are separated by walls and doors help you to isolate the space if need be.

Furthermore, walls and doors offer an extra layer of soundproofing for the home, giving you even more privacy than with an open concept floor plan.

Sound Control

Any family with young children knows that sound travels, and with an open layout, sound will inevitably carry throughout the house more so than with a closed-off home.

Another benefit of a closed concept home is that sound is contained within a particular room and tends to not travel as much throughout the house and disturb other family members who may need a bit of peace and quiet from time to time.

Energy Efficiency

With an open floor plan, the entire space must be heated or cooled, while traditional, closed floor plans can allow you to heat or cool certain rooms.

This means that with a closed floor plan, you are likely to pay less for heating and cooling costs.


With a closed floor plan, it’s easy to hide clutter in less-used rooms or put off tidying up when life gets busy.

But with an open floor plan, it’s hard to escape and ignore messes and clutter, and you may find that you have to put more effort into keeping your home tidy.

Interior Design

A closed layout is often more appealing from a design standpoint, as it allows you focus on making each room unique and design it to match your own personal taste rather than having to pick one type of design or décor for the entire home.

For example, in an open concept home, the dining area, living room, and kitchen have to be cohesive.

But with closed-concept, you get to be a bit more creative and not worry as much about picking décor that compliments the design of other rooms.

Downsides of a Closed Concept Home

Some downsides to a closed concept home include:

  • Less natural light
  • Smaller spaces
  • Reduced accessibility
  • No line of sight


Things to Take into Consideration When Choosing Open vs. Closed Concept

Do You Host A Lot of Parties and Events?

If you’re the life of the party and frequently entertain guests in your home or take pleasure in hosting extravagant dinner parties on the weekends, this is something you should keep in mind when designing or remodelling your home.


Having an open concept layout means you can be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, while still having the ability to interact with your guests in the living area.

An open concept layout also allows guests to move more effortlessly between the kitchen, living room, and dining area for a more inviting experience.

That being said, you’ll have to keep in mind that any messes you make in the kitchen will be visible to your guests.

Do You Prefer Smaller, Quiet Spaces?

If you enjoy having a study or other room to retreat to for some peace and quiet, and open floor plan may not suit your needs (unless you live solo, of course).

With open floor plans, everything is accessible, making it difficult to find a space to call your own and that is free of distractions.

Does Your Family Create a Lot of Noise?

Whether it’s noise from the TV, pets, chatter, the latest metal hits or clinking and rattling in the kitchen, open concept homes tend to elevate the sounds in your house. If you’re hard of hearing or don’t mind the background noise, open concept could still work for you.

But a closed layout will help to contain the noise and prevent it from spreading throughout your home.

Do You Prefer a Modern or Classic Look?

Open floor plans offer a contemporary and modern style, while closed-concept provides a more classic, traditional look.

Therefore, nailing down your own personal tastes and preferences when it comes to home design is important, as it can be a significant factor when deciding which floor plan best suits your needs.

Do You Spend a Lot of Time in The Kitchen?

If you cook a lot at home, an open concept kitchen means messy pots, pans, and dirty dishes will be visible to family and friends in other areas of the house. Not to mention, smells and sounds will inevitably travel from the kitchen out into the living room area.

Plus, keeping your kitchen clean becomes a constant chore (more so than it already is), as you can no longer put off doing the dishes by hiding them behind a wall until the next day.

On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a closed-concept design means you’re isolated from the happenings of your home. It’s all about your personal preference!

When it comes to deciding whether to choose an open or closed floor plan, you have a lot to think about.


Ultimately, it’s important to consider your overall lifestyle and choose a layout that works for you and your family.

Before making this decision, ask for guidance from professionals to gain a better understanding of what each layout will entail so you can make an educated decision regarding what is best for your home.

At Sunter Homes, it’s our mission to build you the home you’ve always dreamed of
and work towards bringing your vision to life.
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