Wide Open Spaces

Open floor plans allow homeowners to live large without sacrificing family connection and easy access to important spaces such as the kitchen and living room.

Edited by Maya Brenningmeyer

Photography by Anne Matheis

Architect Aesh Design

Builder Aleto Construction Group



Open floor plans are a great concept to keep families and friends together in the same area of the house instead of scattered in separate rooms. It allows for easy entertaining and family time while enjoying a larger space. This has become the heart of entertaining. Most guests congregate to the kitchen, so having an extension to mix and mingle adds to the comfort and pleasure of the evening. I think these expanded rooms are quickly becoming a classic in most homes. Georgine O’Donnell, O’DESIGNS

Open floor plans are a new classic design element that we believe will go beyond a temporary design trend. In more recent years, our clients have developed a deeper value for togetherness within their space. Being able to have the kitchen, living and dining room work as one allows versatility for the people using them. One person who enjoys hosting a large group of friends can do so while the everyday parent would like to keep eyes on their children while preparing dinner or cleaning up after a long day.”  Christopher Amburn, Chelsea Design Company

Open floor plans are here to stay. The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, so opening that space up to your breakfast room and hearth room and allowing those spaces to be gathering spots for family and friends while entertaining just makes sense.  As your designer, we are working toward creating functional zones within the open plan that are multifunctional and of course aesthetically pleasing. Meagan Cooperman, C&M Interiors

Open floor plans are here to stay, making them a classic. It allows for more opportunity to feel a part of the other happenings in the house. We use spaces differently now; rooms seem to have multiple functions. Think of your kitchen—it's delightful to be able to cook dinner and feel like you are still in the family flow. Becki Huels, Anne Marie Design Studio

An open floor plan is a great way for your small house to live large!  It allows you to intermingle rooms and make the best use of the available space, all while feeling like you live in a much larger house. Even large homes benefit from a more open living area, especially for entertaining. While I think the trend went a little overkill with atrium ranch homes (where all the lower level noise easily filtered upstairs), I think the basic concept is here to stay. The mix of open social areas and private individual areas, such as bedrooms and home offices, to me is the perfect home.  Marcia Moore, Marcia Moore Design


Open floor plans present a wonderful opportunity for gathering and entertaining. Older homes often have too many small spaces that are closed off and seldom get used, the formal living room or parlor comes to mind. Open floor plans can be loud, not containing the noise of the television or a boisterous group of friends that stay past the kids' bedtime. I once had a builder say "I spent the last 20 years taking down walls. Now I'll spend the next 20 years putting them back up." These open spaces have their place and time. For years these have been all the rage, but in the end, we need to choose what works well for our individual needs. Teddy Karl, Allied ASID, Principal Designer at The Great Cover Up

The appeal of easy traffic flow and a cohesive home was a big draw into the floor plan design. There are a few challenges to open floor plans such as acoustics, storage and limited wall space for artwork or photographs.  Kitchens that are included in open floor plans might have lingering cooking odors and messy food prep areas on full display. Open floor plans have been popular for many years but as they are lived in and life is fully experienced in them, I think the charm will subside and rooms with actual walls and doors will become popular again. Separate rooms, noise control, and privacy are important to homeowners. Barbara Collins AKBD, Allied ASID