Open Floor Plan Verses Zoned Living Spaces

June 25, 2018

Open floor plans are all the rage in home design and they have been for some time. Many homeowners want to live in an open and airy space that feels like it has a bigger footprint than it really does, losing the closed off rooms of older, traditional styled homes. But many homeowners forget why designated rooms were originally implemented into particular zones of the house. These 'zones' served a specific purpose and increased energy efficiency of the house.

Check out our new blog featuring the pros and cons of each type of floor plan!  



Image via Huestis Tucker Architects, LLC



Open floor plans can lack one major necessity in a home- privacy. This depend on how you use the spaces within in your home. If you entertain often or live as a retired or empty nest couple, then having no or limited privacy may not be a big deal. But, if you live with teenagers or children, it's a different story. 

Most parents want an open floor plan when their children are younger, so they can see them as they are playing. This allows for parents to multitask in the kitchen while still being able to see and hear what their children are doing. As your children get older, they no longer need the supervision, and thus having a quiet designated kitchen space may be ideal. This makes it much easier to listen to music while cooking without having the sounds of the TV from the living room. 

Check out some ways below you can integrate both concepts into your home remodel. 



Image via PVA Developments


1. Entry Halls

Entry halls are are a great way to incorporate both open plan living and zoned rooms, in that having an entry hall gives you an opportunity to store coats and umbrellas in a closet, place a runner rug that connects the entry hall and next room into the home, and showcase a lovely table or work of art. 

Homes that open directly into the main living space can have several downsides, including cooking smells and a lack of storage. One way to get around this is to create a partition wall that has storage, but will lead into a larger living space. 




Image via Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design



Image via Peruri Design Company


2. Wet Bar in Wall

One common design for open plan living spaces is to incorporate a wet bar into a wall. This feature is usually done off of a kitchen in an area that connects the living room and kitchen. Imagine taking an unused wall and turning it into a built-in buffet. Even if the wall is load bearing, it is still possible to place a custom nook within the wall perfect for hiding items, such as the mixer, food processor, coffee maker, and blender. 


traditional-kitchen-2.jpgImage via Figura Kitchens & Interiors



Image via Venegas and Company


3. Mudroom

A mudroom may seem like a no-brainer if you have the space in your home, but for families that are trying to achieve an open floor plan, sometimes you have to take floor space from another room of the home in order to accommodate a new floor plan.  One common solution for this is to add hidden storage in the entryway that act as a mudroom, or you can also add storage to your garage or laundry room. 



Image via Whitten Architects


transitional-entry (1)-1

Image via Tiffany McKenzie Interior Design



4. Den or Playroom

Many families with young children agonize over their desired open floor plan and the endless clutter that seems to always come with young children. Hiding children's toys can be incredibly difficult in an open floor plan, because if you don't have time to clean up the mess, you can't just close a door and hide it away when guests are over. One solution we are seeing in home design is the addition of a nook that has hidden storage that allows for children to still keep their toys and books within arms reach, but also easy to hide away when parents want to entertain guests. 



Image via Lauren Nelson Design


transitional-kids (1)

Image via Lucy Interior Design


If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

Schedule Your Project and Cost Consultation