Is the open-floor plan on its way out?
BOSTON – April 3, 2019 – The open floor plan – a kitchen, living room and dining room often part of one large open space – has been a highly sought after layout among homebuyers for many years now, but homeowners who already live in open-concept homes say they're starting to miss the walls.
"Buyers are moving away from uninterrupted views," Loren Larsen, a real estate professional with Compass in Boston, according to what she frequently hears from clients. Owners of great-room homes, she says, no longer want their kitchen, along with all its dirty dishes, on full display.
Life can also be too loud in open concept living, says Bob Ernst, president of FBN Construction. The family togetherness that open concepts bred may ultimately be too much togetherness to some homeowners now. Parents find it difficult to watch adult TV programs if their school-age children are not in their rooms, or to conduct a work call in private.
However, some homeowners may be struggling to voice their dislike of the open concept.
"The message [of open concept living] is so powerful that to admit you don't want to live in a house as open as a soccer field is to reveal something shameful," The Boston Globe reports.
After all, the open floor plan was partially driven by the desire of parents to always be around their children, even when they're in the kitchen. Also, some may be concerned that admitting a dislike for open floor plans is akin to saying they're not relaxed enough to chat with guests while they prepare a fancy meal or neat enough to keep their rooms clutter-free at all times.
Open-floor remorse is even prompting some homeowners to consider adding new walls or sliding doors to bring in some privacy.
Nevertheless, current home shoppers still show a high desire for open floor plans.
"Whether [buyers] entertain or not, when they're looking for a new home, they picture themselves entertaining," says Kathy McSweeney with Collins & Demac Real Estate in Shrewbury, Mass. "They want that big open space."
Source: "People in Open-Concept Homes Are Realizing the Walls Were There for a Reason," Boston Globe (March 6, 2019)
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