I love having a closed-concept home.
To me, a closed-concept home means that (in most cases) there isn’t a direct view from one main living space to the next. Rooms are separated by either a wall, a door, or an archway. In our home, while there is a view from the entryway to the dining room to the living room, most of our main living areas are separate from the others.
I am often asked about the downsides of living without the direct sight lines that tend to come with homes built in the past twenty years. In my experience, there are plenty more reasons to love living in a closed-concept home than there are to dislike it. Truly, the only times I would consider a slightly more open-concept layout is when I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner. When we’re hosting, I sometimes get FOMO and don’t want to miss anything with our guests. To counter this, I invite people to come chat with me while I cook.
A girlfriend recently reminded me what happened the first time I had her over for dinner. I let the dogs in the back door, covered in mud, and a mess quickly ensued. I closed the doors between the kitchen and the rest of the house to contain the mess, cleaned everything up, and then got back to the party pretty quickly. It was something I’d become so used to, I didn’t think twice about it! It wasn’t until she brought it up that I realized how useful the layout is for our family’s lifestyle.
When we have people over, it’s also easier to do last-minute cleaning and to maintain a general sense of order since things don’t spread out from room to room as much.
Now that the kids are getting a little older, we can let them play independently more often and Joe and I can have alone time in separate spaces. Having the rooms divided up helps facilitate this, and I treasure the alone time I can get in an otherwise busy life.
It should be noted that we do live in a bigger house than we did before. This means there’s naturally more space to spend time separately. However, we tend to use about half of the house most frequently when it’s just our immediate family, so the closed-concept floor plan definitely still helps provide some separation.
When you are designing within an open-concept floor plan, you’re first and foremost building the design around a cohesive scheme. It takes a bit of skill to figure out how to do that. With our closed-concept spaces, it’s felt like each room can have its own personality.
While I’ll consider the overall color palette of the home when I’m designing any given room, I don’t feel a need to be too closely tied to it. This made the process of experimenting with rooms in our main living areas especially fun. You can see the individual personality of different spaces in rooms like the blue library/office and the green family room.
I know from experience that when you have a big great room with a TV, it’s easier to get set in your routines. When it comes to downtime, this often includes the TV. In this home, with separate spaces without a TV, we’re drawn to do different activities. The kids will read when I’m working in the blue library/office, we’ll play games in the living room, and we’ll do crafts at the kitchen island.
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - June 15, 2022
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Like you, I love my closed concept home! While the entry, den and dining room are open to each other, I love that my kitchen and its mess are not open to the rest of the house. I can close off curious toddlers & muddy pups without having to barricade the living area. The whole family aren’t held hostage to the television. I hope I never have to move because far too many homes are open concept, so my options would be so limited.
Thanks for your comment, Karen! I’m glad you love your closed-concept home too.
Closed concept homes!! I wonder if most introverts like closed concept homes – ha!
This is a good point!!
I have a closed concept home from the 1920s and love it. The visual composition of each space is much simpler and more serene than having everything stacked on top of each other. Also, I’m not sitting at the dining table looking at all the dishes to be washed!
I’m glad you love yours too!
Open concept is proof that designers don’t actually live in the homes they design. Why would anyone want to sit down to a lovely dinner (think Thanksgiving) with a chaotic kitchen fully exposed? I found myself nodding to every sentence in this article. Cheers to “closed-concept” (or as they used to be called, rooms.)
Cheers to closed-concept indeed!
I totally agree with each of these points! My home is 100 years old, remodeled 20ish years ago and aside from one change to the traffic flow from front to back, we left all the rooms and their walls in tact.
I love that you kept the layout intact!
I agree wholeheartedly with all of this. Another reason to love closed concept is there are more walls for furniture to be anchored to so it’s easier to design a floorpan that flows. When you have one massive room for kitchen, dining, and living space it can be a huge challenge to float all the necessary furniture pieces in a way that traffic patterns feel natural.
Yes, this is a great point too!
For me it’s about transitioning from space to space during the day and into the evening, having portals such as archways, seeing beyond the room, with some mystery and adventure along the way. Because our spaces are separate we have more reasons and ways too define the spaces too. Our Living room functions as an art and homework room, kids play there, we sit, read, use the fireplace. Family room is where we spend time in the evenings, watch tv, play, read. We walk through other spaces, some rooms are connected so kids can walk in a loop too.
And so much more wall space for art 😍 and lots of cozy corners!