The open-floor concept, which is now a staple in many workspaces, has become a popular design option for homes, especially in Toronto. They’re trendy among modern urbanites, but it’s important to examine the pros and cons of these spaces before deciding.
Defining the Open Floor Plan Home
The term “open floor plan” is a bit of a misnomer. It doesn’t mean a house consisting of one giant space with no walls or barriers. Instead, an open floor plan only applies to critical rooms in the house, usually the kitchen, dining, and living room. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and home offices don’t count.
Typically, open floor plans in the Ontario real estate market assume one of three forms:
- A kitchen and dining room combination that features an island or a peninsula
- A dining and living room combination separated by a small staircase or a colour/design motif
- A combination of all three – the kitchen, living, and dining room in a broader room
Since the 1990s, the open floor plan has become the modern (and post-modern) aesthetic du jour for both younger and older homeowners alike. For many buyers, open floor plans usually stand out most over other configurations, especially in fiery locales such as the Toronto real estate market.
Reasons to Buy This Design
You can trace the popularity of open floor plans in Ontario real estate (and markets worldwide) to some tangible benefits today’s homeowners seek. In the mid-20th century, families prioritized the privacy and partitioning of various home spaces.
But as times progressed, homeowners wanted their homes to feel more conducive to socializing, brighter lights, and an appearance that seems like there is more room in the home. Modern open floor plans provide homeowners with distinct advantages their parents and grandparents couldn’t enjoy.
Impression of Larger Space
Many modern homes in Ontario have interiors that look quite large. Regardless of the square footage of a property, the open floor plan creates the illusion of more space. That is due to the lack of walls and doors, which hinder traffic flow in rooms.
Open Floor Plans Offer More Flexibility
Few configurations offer the flexibility that open floor plans do. They make it easier to rearrange furniture, and you can convert open space into an office or recreational area more easily.
More Natural Lighting
More walls and partitions tend to shut the light out of a home. Open spaces allow more natural light to infiltrate the room, meaning you can rely less on artificial light fixtures. That may even translate to slightly reduced electricity costs.
Easier to Watch Your Kids & Socialize
With fewer walls and doors in the house, it’s easier to see and communicate with family members. Parents can supervise kids while completing other tasks. Visitors can also see each other without moving from room to room.
Increased Value in Toronto Real Estate Market
We can assume that open floor plans in the Toronto real estate market (and Ontario real estate market) will remain in vogue for years to come. That said, a home with an open floor plan will likely sell for more.
Reasons Not to Buy
But the “Boomers” and old-schoolers were onto something with their more partitioned homes. Buying an open floor plan means forfeiting some comforts and conveniences that aren’t easy to compensate for.
Poor Noise Control
If you love a zen and quiet space, then an open space might not be ideal. Large connected rooms allow sound to travel more quickly since there are no walls (and soundproofing) to block noise.
Lack of Privacy
We mentioned above that open floor plans make socializing and seeing family members easier. Of course, that’s a double-edged sword since fewer walls mean less privacy when you need it. If you decide to set up an office or study room in an open space, it can make concentrating difficult.
Higher Heating/Cooling Costs
The bigger the room is, the bigger the (heating and cooling) bill. Large rooms, especially those with large windows, require more energy to stay warm or cool than homes with traditional partitioning.
Higher Likelihood of Cluttered Spaces
This point won’t apply to everyone, but open spaces can invite and contribute to clutter. Without partitioning housing elements, everything can appear to occupy a single area and create the illusion of clutter.
Finding an Open-Plan Home in Toronto’s Real Estate Market
The good news is that the Toronto real estate market and most of the Ontario real estate market have many open floor plan homes. They are the current norm. Of course, finding the right property takes some research and professional guidance.
For starters, check out our search tool to find listings for open floor plan homes that may suit your interests. More importantly, speak with a Toronto real estate agent who can help you find the best options for your given preferences and needs. There’s no doubt a home out there for you.
Are you ready to buy your dream home? Get in touch with Zoocasa so you can find your perfect house or condo.