Some Buyers Are Done With Open Floor Plans
The open floor plan went mainstream more than a decade ago, and many real estate pros insist it’s not going anywhere. But they do acknowledge a growing subgroup of buyers is showing a desire for
The open floor plan went mainstream more than a decade ago, and many real estate pros insist it’s not going anywhere. But they do acknowledge a growing subgroup of buyers is showing a desire for more walls to help define living spaces.
The open floor plan is where the kitchen and dining room and family room are in a wide-open space with no or little separation.
Older consumers may be growing most tired of the popular floor plan. Thirty-seven percent of baby boomers say they prefer the open concept, while 40% of Generation X buyers and 43% of millennials say they also prefer it. Among seniors older than boomers, just 29% said they prefer open floor plans, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Older buyers are more likely than younger buyers to desire more separation between the dining and family areas in a home, the NAHB notes.
The homeowners desiring more closed off space say they don’t like their kitchen always on display. Also, they say there’s more wasted spaces and it can be difficult to decorate. Some owners say they’re forced to put furniture in front of the windows because of the lack of walls.
“I think what people are seeking these days is kind of a mix of the two,” Greg Howe of Searl Lamaster Howe Architects told the Chicago Tribune. He described a place where the kitchen, living room, and dining room were open, but a secondary space was created for more privacy. In this home, it was a place behind the staircase with a study that had a TV. “It’s closed enough that it’s usable but separated enough to provide a sense of privacy,” Howe says.
He also says L-shaped living, dining, and kitchen spaces can offer a bit more seclusion to the open floor plan. However, some real estate pros say the open floor plan is still desirable among their buyers and it makes the first floor spaces appear much bigger.
“Open floor plans are still the way to go,” Gary Alveranga, a broker with Real People Realty, told the Chicago Tribune. “When [buyers] see closed and defined spaces, they’re asking us which wall to knock out.”