Should I Connect My Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas

When COVID-19 forced many people home, our lives changed significantly. To the point that it’s now affecting how we design and build our homes. For years, open-concept homes (where many of the rooms blend into one) were popular and in demand. Now, the concept of rooms and closed off spaces is needed as plenty of employers, especially here in the Ottawa area, are considering having their workers continue at home permanently.

This article is intended to help you decide which floor plan is best suited for you and your family’s lifestyle: should you connect your living room, dining room and kitchen? 

WHAT IS OPEN CONCEPT

In an open concept home, barriers are eliminated. Walls don’t stand in the way, creating a larger layout. With openconcept floor plans, we create more living space by limiting hallways and doors. 

WHAT IS CLOSED CONCEPT

Many older, unrenovated homes in the Ottawa area still feature this traditional floor plan. As you probably guessed, it means multiple rooms are separated by walls and have doors to further close off each room. It’s almost as though each area of the home is a designated space, including kitchens, living rooms, and playrooms.

OUR CHANGING NEEDS

With closed concept homes becoming popular again, there are some renewed perks. As we mentioned, the biggest factor driving this trend is more people working remotely. For those working from home it’s helpful to have your own dedicated office or workspace. Additionally, closed floor plans:

  • Make it easier to organize (or hide clutter). 
  • We save on energy because rooms that aren’t used can be left alone while the warm or cool air you’re looking for stays in the popular areas of the home. Better efficiency means lower utilities.
  • Allow you to better control the noise. If you have kids, you know how well sound travels, inevitably they will seem much louder in an open concept home. 
  • Are more appealing because it allows each room to have its own theme/feeling. It’s also more difficult to hang shelves or pictures in an open concept floor plan. 

PREFERENCES FOR THE LIVING ROOM, DINING ROOM, AND KITCHEN

As we just learned, there are many benefits to a closed concept home. But things are a little different when it comes to dining and living areas. These are the areas where people gather. Whether you’re having a party with a house full of guests or just a normal dinner with the family, this is where we catch up and share stories about our day. 

There are benefits to keeping the living room, dining room, and kitchen open concept, including:

  • More living space. With an open concept design, walls aren’t there to break up the flow and foot traffic of your home. 
  • It’s easier to keep an eye on the kids at all times when you’re in the same room. This means you can be preparing dinner in the kitchen while keeping an eye on the kids watching TV.
  • An open concept floor plan is beneficial for people requiring mobility aids. Navigating hallways and doorways can otherwise be difficult. 
  • You’ll notice an abundance of natural light. Since walls aren’t around to break up the space, the light can disperse creating a warmer, brighter atmosphere. 

There are some drawbacks to consider as well if you’re thinking about connecting your living room, dining room, and kitchen:

  • Smells can travel much easier throughout the home; this is fantastic if you’re baking a cake but that’s not always the case. 
  • It can be difficult to have a conversation in the kitchen, while the TV is on just a few meters away. 
  • Larger rooms can feel draftier and it’s harder to control the temperature of the space. 

BE SURE TO CONSIDER COSTS

When building a new home, it’s easy to create an open space, connecting the living room, dining room, and kitchen. However, renovating a closed concept home to remove walls and open up the space can be difficult and costly. It’s likely structural work will need to be done. You want to ensure you’re working with a reputable contractor who can determine what can be removed, what might need to be rebuilt and if new support beams need to be added. 

Aside from costs, you’ll also want to discuss the length of the renovation and if you’ll be able to have access to the space, especially your kitchen during the reno. 

If you’re daydreaming about your new open concept space with the living room, dining room, and kitchen all connected, then speak to a professional from the Phoenix Homes Design Centre. They’re a great source of information and ideas, and would love to help.