The Concept Of Open Living Space

living room or parlour room in house

Remember the old days when a house had rooms that were all divided by doors.

There were doors of course to each bedroom, but do you remember the doors to the parlour room or a.k.a. sitting room?

Back in the day those were standard in homes. Having a sitting room/parlour meant that when guests arrived they were taken into that room usually at the front of the house.

vintage furniture in living room

Here is where conversations happened, food and drink was shared and hours were spent socializing.  Whether it was a group of ladies having afternoon tea and desserts, a group of men discussing business, or families gathering on a Sunday for the weekly get together, these rooms were well used.

open concept living room kitchen and family room

Flash forward to today 2018….  It’s been over a decade now that homes are built with the open concept living areas.  Even if you live in older homes the thought of open spaces is very appealing so walls begin to be taken down to make the home into an all open concept area.

The continual flow for the eye to look out from the kitchen and see the living room, dining room and family room all at a glance is appealing.

As much as it makes any house or condo look bigger it’s also useful to families with children as they can be watched over while they play or while dinner is prepared in the kitchen.

Pros and Cons to Open Concept Living

Are there downsides to open concept living? Should the parlour room / sitting room return?

open concept family room and kitchen

Privacy.  While someone is cooking dinner and others are trying to watch an important documentary or news bulletin on the T.V. or the kids are concentrating while sitting at the table doing homework, these can be considered distractions for all parties.

Of course there’s the upside that while cooking and homework are going on at same time it can be beneficial if they need help, you can easily help them out.

Safety  Most open areas have easy access to kitchen.  This is beneficial for all except maybe the little ones who are curious and might just want to find out why there’s a red flame coming from the gas stove element, or curious about seeing the bubbles from the boiling pot.

This is perhaps one of the times where having a closed off kitchen might be better.  This way it’s easy to close it off when we don’t want the little curious george’s investigating while we aren’t looking.

Although, today’s modern appliances have great new features for safety and making sure that the little ones are not harmed, there’s always something that could go wrong, when they want to know all the why’s, what’s and how’s.

Clutter From the children’s toys on the floor in the family room, to books scattered from their doing homework., to your just finished cooking and having dinner and the kitchen is still in tornado state, and all of a sudden unexpected guests arrive.

Maybe it’s the neighbor, friends who just happened to be in the neighborhood, they stop in.  How much easier would it be to have a door to that space you want to hide the clutter from them be.

The open concept, leaves little to hide in respect to the clutter.  Therefore when unexpected guests arrive there’s no where to hide.  🙂

Cozy spaces In today’s open concept homes there are no little cozy comfy spaces except for bathrooms and bedrooms.   🙂

With rooms that are separated there’s always one room one can escape the noise of the T.V. or music the other is listening to, or just those 15 minutes away from the kids, can be a door close away.

No Space Whether your just building your new home in the open concept way or you’re renovating an older home and taking away walls to create the open spaces, remember there will be less storage space.

With the open concept spaces, you want the visual flow of constant open space.  By adding shelving, or too many storage units it kind of defeats the open space theory.

Although there are many beautiful pieces that can be purchased and streamlined into the design, just note that most of the storage space will most likely be the basement or garage.

Not only is your space for storage reduced when you have less walls but you also have less space to display your photos or the artwork.  The whole appeal to open concept is less is more.

Heating and Cooling  The heating and cooling bills could be way higher for the bigger homes with all open concept.  If you consider that all that open space needs to be heated by one unit and there’s no place for it to stick around, you know the bills are gonna be higher.

When you have doors that can be closed off to confine the heat or air conditioning to that particular room, it helps to keep rooms warmer or cooler, and less stress on your furnace or air conditioner.

So whether your building or renovating a few things to remember when considering the open concept living space.

It’s great visual flow, making the house or condo look bigger and more spacious.

Having rooms divided or separated individually provides privacy as well maybe the return of the parlour / sitting room wouldn’t be that bad.  It would give us the opportunity of fitting into one room together and be all cozy and socialize for hours.

Painting Open Concept Homes

When painting an open concept home it’s either hard or easy to define where you want paint colours to start and end.

For some homeowners, they choose one paint colour to flow throughout the entire house.  While others prefer to choose different colours for different rooms .

open concept living area in house
open concept kitchen to living room and dining room

If the open concept area consists of family and living room area, and the kitchen is open to this space as well then choosing one paint colour makes perfect sense.

Perhaps a highlighted wall, painted in a darker shade would create a focal point and visual interest.

Because the bedrooms and bathrooms will have doors to create privacy, paint colours don’t have to match the rest of the open concept area.  In these rooms let your creativity and personality run free and paint any colour that fits your personality.

The why we choose the colours we do is reflected in this article on the psychology of paint colours.

Remember to take the lighting into consideration.  Do you get southern exposure, where the sun beams in most of the day, and how do the interior lights affect the look of the paint colour shade you select.

Don’t be afraid that dark colours will make a small room feel or look smaller.  In fact the opposite is true.

So in the end, open concept living is the most modern look for any home these days.  It’s spacious and beautiful.  Would you rather have the  rooms separated by doors or all open concept?

Thoughts?  Yay or Nay on open concept?  Leave us with your opinion, we’d love to know what your thoughts are.

Thanks for reading PG PAINT & DESIGN - Ottawa House Painters blog post by Pina
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