The Open Floor Plan Layout: Pros & Cons

Deciding if an open floor plan layout is for you? There are a few different open floor plan layouts to consider, like open floor plans with a loft or open floor plan ranch homes. It’s worth considering the pros and cons of all of them, compared to something that’s a bit more closed off.


But before we get into that, what exactly is an open floor plan? Open concept living doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no walls, simply fewer. This mostly affects common areas like the living room and kitchen, allowing you sightlines across these areas of your home. But other rooms, like your bedroom and bathroom, will be mostly the same regardless of if you live in an open concept floor plan or not.

The Open Floor Plan Layout: Pros

Open floor plan layouts have been popular for years now, and there are a few reasons for that.  Here are some of the pros of an open floor plan layout.

Improves flow of traffic

An open floor plan layout can make it feel easier to navigate your home, especially if you’re carrying in heavy groceries, trying to move furniture around, or just doing everyday chores.

Increases sightlines

This can be especially important to families. Open floor plan layouts allow you to multi-task more simply. You can take care of dishes, for example, but also keep an eye on the kids.

Multi-function spaces

Not only can it feel easier to multi-task in an open floor plan layout, but it can also be easier to make the space itself multi-task. With the right design, you can have an office and a crafting space in the same area—you’ll just need to create organization nooks that help keep those spaces separate.

Shared light

Open floor plan layouts live up to their name—they can make your space feel more open and airier. But the opportunity to share light in different spaces can also increase that feeling.

Type of Open Floor Plan Layouts

There are a few open floor plan layouts to choose from, but what most have in common is the goal of creating the feeling of more space.

Open Floor Plans with Loft   

Two-story open floor plans sometimes also include a loft. This can be an ideal way to maximize space and is an addition to the open concept layout that is below. Lofts are especially common in homes with taller ceilings.

Open Floor Plans for Ranch Homes

In ranch homes, open floor plan layouts can play an even larger role. Traditional ranch homes are typically single-story homes designed with open-concept layouts that include large, front-facing windows and dedicated patio spaces. It can be a nice-to-have layout since ranch homes are sometimes on the smaller side.


The Open Floor Plan Layout: Cons

It’s not all sunshine and airy space with open floor plan layouts, though. They have a few drawbacks, and some are possible to get past, but you’ll want to stay organized and plan out your design well.


Heating & Cooling

It can be harder to regulate the temperature of larger spaces. And more expensive. But you can use fans to help circulate cool, and even warm, air.

Lack of Privacy

All those open sightlines are great for multi-tasking, but not so great for privacy. Without the right design, it might feel like you’re never in just one space or focused on one task. This is truly a design trick though, and the right furniture layout or lighting can help create more intimate corners that feel private when you want them to be.


With all that open space, there’s no place for the mess to hide. But much like you need to design your space for added privacy, it can help to organize your space for specific activities. Consider doubling up on space dividers that also serve as cubbies to organize your stuff.

From open floor plans with lofts to open floor plans for ranch homes, there are a few open floor plan layouts to consider—all with similar pros and cons. At the end of the day though, deciding if you want an open floor plan is personal and you should choose a home that matches your taste and style. Or you can work with new home builders to build your dream home.

Contributed to Your Home blog

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Published 9.1.2021

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