Everyone seems to be telling and showing us how important it is for "open concept living". I have blogged before on the pros and cons of it, but never really dug into why it is so popular. Here are a few reasons this type of space in a home makes sense to so many people:
Safety First - Young families today are B-U-S-Y! Not that families haven't always been busy, but we have families with both parents in the work force, single parent households and multigenerational ones as well. When they are home, they need to make productive use of their time, yet stay with and keep an eye on other family members! An open concept living, kitchen and dining area can make that happen. Kids can be watched while they play and do their homework while a parent is cooking in the kitchen, no leaving the stove unattended to see what is happening! Not only can an open concept help with the visual safety, but the sound safety as well. Less walls is more open sound. Easier to hear if someone falls in another room too. With such busy schedules, families want to be able to make sure no one gets lost in all the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Flexibility is Key - In an open concept you can either keep designated areas for living and dining space or you can change it up to fit more of your needs. In a traditional space, it is more difficult with walls to change up a space because, for instance a dining room that might be more convenient to be a living area might have too many walls to be able to have your furniture fit as a living space easily. An open concept can house many different room spaces in one.
Entertaining Needs - Having an open concept space can keep whoever is in the kitchen out where all the action is when you are entertaining. It can also have different areas where some can be playing a game, watching a movie or preparing snacks for all and still everyone can be together. The space can be moved around to create a huge dining room for large family dinners as well. An open concept can make a smaller home feel larger because of the lack of walls, which is also great for having larger gatherings in a home.
No Unused Space - In a traditionally spaced home, there may be some rooms that don't get used because they can't really be turned into another space easily. Formal dining rooms may sit and collect dust for that one time a year when everyone is over for Thanksgiving. Wasted space is still space that gets heated and cooled and still has to be cleaned. Today's busy people don't want to spend money on stuff they don't use and they certainly don't want to clean it either! An open concept helps ensure that all the spaces are used according to each families' different needs.
Open concept living isn't for everyone, but it certainly has been a great way for families to stay more connected. Families spend a lot of their time in a kitchen and to be able to still be with everyone else when you are in there is a great plus. I mean, the kitchen is the heart of the home, so it makes sense that it is the center of everything all the time!