The open floor plan has become hugely popular, but where did we get the concept of “open floor” plan? Trends come and go so often that we sometimes forget that every trend has a history and an origin. Let’s take a look at where the open floor plan concept originated, and why it keeps popping back up as a popular interior design trend.
Open floor plan history
Before the 1950s, the floor plan consisted of a hallway running through the house, as sort of “yellow brick road” taking you to every separate room. Unlike today, where the kitchen is the heart of the home, pre-war kitchens were often placed in the back of the home. The kitchen was merely a functional space, not fit for socializing, and certainly not grand enough for entertaining guests.
After the 1950s the open floor plan began to emerge. Frank Lloyd Wright began to design homes that combined the dining area and the living space, but the kitchen was still kept hidden. There was even an “upstairs/downstairs” mentality, and the kitchen was considered a place for working, not socializing. However, as the family dynamic changed and living situations became more casual, the open floor plan had some advantages.
Open floor plan Advantages
The baby-boom post-WWII meant many more families with children. Having the kitchen shut off from the rest of the house made it difficult for parents to cook and keep an eye on the kids at the same time. Tearing down a few walls and creating one big communal living space was much more convenient.
New homes were necessary to house the rise in population and families. Many homes were squeezed into smaller spaces. The open floor plan would allow for more interior space in smaller homes. Eliminating walls would free up a lot more space for growing families.
Interior design trends
The open floor plan has become a trend in modern interior design because it adds both an ease and a sophistication to the home. The open floor concept lets the home be one cohesive communal space for family and entertaining. It also elevated the kitchen to its rightful place as the heart of the home, and not tucked away in the back.
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