Although technological advancements of the early 20th century brought us the tools needed to construct larger and more open rooms, a paradigm shift in how we live today has fast tracked the popularity of the open floor plan. American Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, took advantage of the bigger lumber and new central heating with his Prairie and Usonian home designs, essentially inventing the “open” floor plan. Today’s modern family enjoys a more “informal” lifestyle and as such the way we use our homes has changed with the kitchen becoming the centre and heart of the home.
An informal/open floor plan, blurs the lines between rooms, allowing the space to flow, and allowing furniture to flow with it. When you remove the walls between rooms, the total area gets larger and that can add up to quite a bit of space. One of the keys to a successful open concept floor plan design is designing the spaces around the furniture. With the elimination of walls there are no clearly defined rooms such as “living” or “dining”. The space in an open concept is fluid which allows the residents to create a uniquely furnished space that is representative of how their lives function. We’re becoming a more casual society all the time – we’re working at home more, and we’re entertaining in our kitchens more (which would have been a unthinkable faux pas just a few generations ago).