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Open Plan Living: Timeless Trend or Passing Fad?

Open floorplans are a cornerstone in home design, in part, because they foster greater connectivity and interactions. Most buyers are looking for open designs.

NEW YORK – Open plan living also known as open concept refers to a floor plan which eliminates barriers such as walls and doors between different areas in a home to create a larger space that allows the different spaces to flow freely from one area to another.

For instance, most modern homes do away with wall divisions from the sitting room, dining room, and kitchen, leaving one open space.

The open plan concept reached its peak popularity in the mid-20th century and was enabled by more advancement in construction techniques. It has since become a cornerstone in residential property design to reflect a contemporary lifestyle that many people are akin to.

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Here to stay

Roger Tamaale, a civil engineer, says open-plan living is far from dead and it continues to be a prevalent and sought-after design trend in residential architecture. While there may be periodic shifts in design preferences and emerging trends in the real estate market, open-plan living remains a popular choice for homeowners around the world.

Tamaale argues that far from being a disadvantage, the reduced privacy and increased noise levels inherent in open-plan spaces foster greater connectivity and interaction among residents. By removing physical barriers between different living areas, individuals are encouraged to engage with one another more frequently, strengthening social bonds and fostering a sense of community within the home.

Additionally, Tamaale observes that by eliminating walls and doors, homeowners reduce construction and maintenance expenses.

Open-plan living continues to maintain its appeal with younger homeowners due to its remarkable ability to adapt to the evolving needs and preferences of homeowners. This layout incorporates features that resonate strongly with contemporary lifestyles. Moreover, open-plan living promotes space maximization, a crucial consideration in today's urban environments where real estate comes at a premium.

“By consolidating multiple functions within a single expansive area, homeowners can make optimal use of available space, ensuring that every square foot serves a purpose. This versatility allows for greater flexibility in furniture arrangement, interior design, and utilization of space, catering to diverse needs and preferences,” Tamaale said.

Market demand

Richard Mayamba, a real estate agent, says modern homes featuring open-plan layouts hold a strong allure for buyers, largely due to their contemporary design features. The emphasis on minimalism, clean lines, and an open perception of space creates a visually appealing environment that resonates with the aesthetic preferences of many homeowners.

“One of the key advantages of open-plan layouts is their ability to create a sense of spaciousness and connectivity within the home. By removing physical barriers between different living areas, such as the kitchen, dining room, and living room, these layouts foster a seamless flow of movement and interaction. This open, airy ambiance not only enhances the overall living experience but also creates the illusion of larger living spaces, making the home feel more expansive and inviting,” he said.

The minimalist design elements commonly found in modern open-plan homes further contribute to their attractiveness to buyers. Clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a focus on functionality create a sense of simplicity and elegance that appeals to individuals seeking a contemporary lifestyle.

Technology integration

Open-plan living is especially conducive in today's rapidly evolving technological landscape. Open-plan living, characterized by expansive, interconnected living spaces without traditional barriers such as walls or partitions, enables seamless integration of smart devices and entertainment systems, enhancing convenience, connectivity, and functionality for homeowners.

With fewer physical barriers, individuals can access and control smart home devices from various vantage points within the living area. Whether adjusting the thermostat, dimming the lights, or streaming multimedia content, homeowners can do so effortlessly from any location within the open-plan space.


In a world where sustainable living and energy efficiency, have become a major concern, open-plan living has emerged as a beacon of innovation and environmental responsibility. By reimagining traditional living spaces and embracing interconnected layouts, open-plan homes offer many benefits that contribute to a greener and more eco-conscious lifestyle, such as the utilization of natural light and ventilation. With fewer walls and partitions obstructing the flow of light and air, open-plan spaces allow for enhanced daylight penetration and cross-ventilation throughout the home, this not only reduces the need for artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation but also creates a more comfortable and healthful indoor environment for occupants.

Aesthetics and design trends

The aesthetic allure of open-plan living lies in its ability to blend modern elegance with spatial freedom, creating a living environment that is as visually stunning as it is functionally practical.

With its minimalist design, clean lines, and expansive views, open-plan living continues to captivate the hearts and minds of homeowners seeking a contemporary and sophisticated lifestyle.

Mayamba observes that by stripping away unnecessary clutter and ornamentation, open-plan spaces create an ambiance that not only enhances visual appeal but also promotes a sense of calm and tranquility within the home.

“Open-plan living with its use of expansive windows and glass doors offers opportunities for showcasing the beauty of the surrounding environment. Whether it is a beautiful view of the countryside or a breathtaking urban skyline, open-plan spaces frame these views with grace and elegance,” he said.

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