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Open Vs. Closed Floor Plans: What Layout Should You Choose For Your Custom Home?

Open plan kitchen

If you are renovating your existing home or building a new home from scratch, one of the first and major decisions you will have to make is whether your home will feature an open or closed floor plan. While there are no right or wrong answers as to which floor plan is best, your final decision should be made in accordance to your personal needs and preference. If you are struggling to decide on which floor plan to pick, we’re here to break the process down to take away some of the confusion and/or doubts you may have.

Today, we look at the pros and cons of open vs closed floor plans, in a bid to help you make the best choice for your new home. Read on to find out more!

What Is An Open Floor Plan? 

Before embarking on your custom build home, it is important to fully understand exactly what an open floor plan pertains to. To put it simply, an open floor plan is one that consists of fewer separate and closed off rooms compared to a traditional or closed floor plan. As such, open plan living embraces fewer barriers and doors in the living space, kitchen and dining area to create one large, spacious room. You will notice an open living concept in many modern apartments and homes in 2022 thanks to its ability to create more usable space even in homes where square footage is a constraint.

Pros Of An Open Floor Plan 

The open floor plan boasts a variety of different benefits, such as:

Extra Space 

With an open floor plan, your home will feel instantly more spacious regardless of square footage. This makes open plan living the ideal option if you are living in a studio, small city apartment or townhouse. Because there are fewer walls and partitions dividing your space into smaller sections, you will be able to fully utilise every nook and cranny that your home has to offer.

Increased Natural Light 

The benefits of natural light at home are numerous – from improved mood and concentration, to reduced stress and anxiety. Many of us spend a significant portion of our lives indoors, making it all that more important that we prioritise our exposure to natural light. Without partitions or walls between different rooms in the home, open plan living allows for natural light to easily flow from into the home, thus illuminating the space to maximum capacity.

Easy Entertaining 

If you are someone who loves throwing dinner parties or gatherings, an open plan concept can be incredibly beneficial as it will provide ample space for guests to move around and socialise. Without the barriers of kitchen doors and partitions, you will also be able to chat with guests at the kitchen island while you prepare a variety of different snacks, dishes and drinks for all to enjoy.


If you have small children or pets, an open plan concept can be a great option as it makes it that much easier to keep an eye on your precious ones at all times. Unlike a more traditional set up that may separate you from the living space when you are cooking or engaging in other tasks, an open layout allows you full sight of everything that is going on in the home at all times. Better traffic flow due to fewer partitions can also help to ensure the security of your children and pets by reducing the potential of young ones running into walls or dangerous corners.

Cons Of An Open Floor Plan 

While there are a myriad of benefits to designing a home with an open layout, there are a few downsides that are important to consider. Some of these downsides include:

Less Privacy 

If you value privacy, an open floor plan with few partitions and/or doors may not be the best option for your needs. Additionally, an open concept allows for sound to easily travel across the home much easier than it would in a closed layout, thus further reducing, which can result in fewer areas of quiet or privacy.

More Costly To Heat and Cool 

If you live in a climate with harsh winters and scorching summers, an open plan layout may cost you significantly more to heat and cool. Because you will be heating and cooling a larger space (as opposed to individual rooms), heat will escape and come in more easily than it would in a closed layout. If exorbitant utility bills are a concern, you may be better off selecting a traditional floor plan.

 Bedroom with large painting hanging on the wall above the bed

What Is A Closed Floor Plan? 

A closed floor plan – sometimes referred to as a traditional floor plan – is a layout that clearly defines separate areas of the home with doors, partitions and more. In other words, each designated area of the home becomes its own separate space, including the living room, kitchen and dining room. Although open plan living has been incredibly popular over the last few years, we are seeing more and more people shifting away from modern floor plans in favour of more traditional, closed-off designs.

Pros Of A Closed Floor Plan 

The closed floor plan boasts a variety of different benefits, such as:

Increased Privacy

Compared to its open layout counterpart, closed/traditional floor plans offer a lot more privacy which can be seen as a bonus to many people. If you are someone who enjoys sitting back and relaxing in privacy and peace at the end of a stressful day, a closed layout will offer you all the quiet that you need. This added level of privacy is also incredibly helpful if you have teenagers in the home who want to be able to have their own space away from the family once in a while.

Better Sound Control

Anyone with young children will know that sound seriously travels. Unfortunately, open layouts do little to minimise sound travel in the home, making it sometimes a little stressful for parents to unwind when children are screaming in the living area. If this is a concern, a closed layout may be a better option for you. Thanks to the doors and partitions throughout the home, sound can be contained better within a room, offering you peace and quiet when you need it the most.

Less Mess and Clutter

If you are someone who doesn’t exactly consider yourself a disciple of Marie Kondo, a closed floor plan may be exactly what you need. We are all guilty of being a little messy sometimes, and with a closed layout, you’ll be able to hide your clutter or mess in a separate room when friends and family are over. You’ll get to organising eventually (maybe).

Cons Of An Open Floor Plan 

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of a traditional floor plan, let’s have a look at some of the downsides that it may bring:

Less Open Space

One of the biggest downsides of a closed layout is, of course, a lack of open space. With doors and partitions a plenty, your space may end up feeling cramped or constricted. This can prove to be challenging in situations where you have guests or family members over, as it may end up feeling slightly suffocating to have everyone in one room at a time.


We’ll go back to using teenagers as an example for this one. It can be all too easy to feel isolated or left-out in a closed layout home. If your teenager or child is feeling particularly distant from the rest of the family, a closed layout may add to feelings of isolation that can end up being problematic. Of course, this isn’t the case for every family, but it is still important to keep in mind if you have a family and are looking to foster open communication with your kids.

Picking Your Plan 

As you can see, there are pros and cons to open and closed floor design, so before you pick your plan, think about which type best suits your lifestyle. Depending on your individual needs and preferences, either or floor plans will work best for your situation. Ultimately, it is vital to consider your overall lifestyle and choose a layout that works for you and your family.