As cities have been revitalized, open loft plans have gained popularity with their big open spaces with large windows, high ceilings and exposed structural materials. Open plan lofts are a great solution when builders are renovating old warehouses. It saves the cost of building walls, and gives homeowners tremendous flexibility in how they organize (and reorganized over the years) the space once they move in.
Open floor plans are now really popular in single family homes, along with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The question many people wonder about is how long will any of these trends remain popular? Maybe you're getting ready to buy a new refrigerator or remodel your kitchen, and you want your investment to last for twenty years.
Open Plan Lofts Lose Their Appeal
That's what made this article on Observer.com, All is Not Loft: Open-Plan Lofts Lose Their Appeal, so interesting. It starts with a nice history of the “loft cult, the obsession with open floorplans, exposed structural elements and industrial detailing that defined downtown cool through the 1990s”. You learn that not only did people move to buildings with lofts, they also tore down walls in their traditional apartments.
So what don't people like about open plan lofts? The challenge appears to be one of loving the big, open space but many find it hard to live comfortably in the space.
- Noise level is hard to control in big, open spaces and this is further compounded by a lack of sound reducing materials like drywall.
- Lighting is difficult to live with when the light from one room is visible in other shared spaces, like an open bedroom in a two-level loft.
- Difficult to hide messy kitchens, and other clutter in open floor plans. People need places to hide things, and that's a bigger challenge in open plan lofts.
- Decorating is more challenging when you need to continue and/or use complimentary colors in spaces that open to each other.
Balancing Rooms & Open Space Lofts
It often feels like the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. While I agree there are challenges with decorating and living comfortably with open floor plans, I know there are benefits too. It's wise to still define your different spaces when there are no dividing walls, and you can do this with rugs and/or ceiling changes.
The choice is yours and reading the article, will teach give you more insight into the choices every homeowner gets to make when buying, building or remodeling their home.