Which Would You Choose: Open Plan vs. Individual Rooms

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The open-plan room above in my Riverside Penthouse project is fabulous – it allows for great traffic flow, and fantastic areas for people to have conversations, whether in the kitchen or the living room area.

So that got me thinking about my own house project – should I remove a wall or two and have an open-plan area for my living room and kitchen, or should I keep them as individual rooms?


I do like separate rooms, though, like these from my Shadow Valley project. They give you a cleaner break between activity areas in the home, which is more organized and structured – two things I LOVE!

swope family room 2

You can still connect to those in the breakfast room and the kitchen is just on the other side of this wall, so not too far away. Oftentimes I find that taking down walls creates problems with noise level and also there is often no wall for anchoring a sofa or placing a beloved antique or even to hang the television. This separate family room is nice and large and so it accommodates 2 separate seating areas, the one above and then below the area around the fireplace and television.

swope family room

When I keep the family room and kitchen separate, I still like to tie the areas together with similar color palettes, like I did above with the yellows and greys.


This large open area in my Crestwood project is a great inspiration for going with an open-plan. There are just so many distinct zones for eating, cooking, talking, reading – it could make me decide that tearing down walls would be worth the trouble and expense!

So which would YOU choose? Would you go with separate rooms for your living area and kitchen, or do you like a large open space where everyone can congregate? Let me know your decision – and why you chose the one you did – in the comments area below!

Thanks for helping me decide the layout of my home!









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12 Responses to Which Would You Choose: Open Plan vs. Individual Rooms

  1. paige ward says:

    Def open! I took my little bungalow from 8 room to five rooms. Bumped out LR to make room for dining area instead of having the original separate dining room. Dining room walls taken down to became part of the kitchen & now opens into den. Such a difference in the vibe of the house & ease of entertaining.

  2. KATHYSUE says:

    My home is a open concept. You can see my kitchen, kitchen dinette, and family room all at one glance. I have always liked this plan because when I am in the kitchen I could see the boys playing or watching tv, or visit with company as I cooked. I can not imagine being closed off in the kitchen. I know it makes the homeowner have to keep a tidy kitchen, but I do anyway and I know you do too. I vote for open to family room from the kitchen, but keep living room it’s own special quiet place.

  3. Rhonda says:

    I always love the look of an open floor plan, but your rooms have a good size and the introvert in me loves that I could have quiet spaces without everyone being around (as an open floor plan would require).

  4. Cammie says:

    Depends on the kind of house it is. For example, we are getting ready to renovate a 100 year old house. It is extremely traditional so I don’t think it’s appropriate. We wil be making the entries to each room wider and rearranging a few walls, but we want to stay within the spirit of the house. I think you’re in a 70’s house? So in my opinion, it’s completely appropriate to open it up and bling it out! Just depends on how you like to live. We always think of resale as well. I’m sure you’ll have to gut your kitchen if it’s original! We did with our 70’s house and were still able to have a large breakfast table in the kitchen as well as a large separate dining room, since we entertain a lot and most family gatherings are here. However, family and living rooms are separate and can be closed off with French doors. No regrets for us. One last thing–best feature of our kitchen is two dishwashers. You are a cook and probably already thought of that. And another last thing–haha– I’m doing a house with similar colors to the penthouse you did, so your images have been super helpful. Love the amethyst.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    I appreciate both, but need some division in my life. I agree that the open concept is a good idea, but most times the rooms just seem too large, where I crave cozy rooms for the kitchen and family rooms. It always seems like people congregate in the smallest rooms!

  6. LindaG says:

    I choose an open floor plan for two reasons. 1. An open floor plan actually requires less furniture and accessories which equals more savings in my pocket. 2. Our family lifestyle spends time together. We like being around each other although we are in our own zones. I guess It really depends on your family style of living.

  7. Karen T. says:

    This is a hard one. I agree with both the pros and with the cons for open and individual rooms. I don’t think I would make all the public rooms open because of the noise factor that you mentioned. Noisy activities (like playing board or card games, playing music, dancing; loud action movies, etc.) may interfere with the enjoyment of more quiet activities (like those engaged in conversation in normal tones of voice, movies where you really need few distractions in order to follow the plot, and of course for reading a good book). I do like what some call a “hearth room” so the cook does not have to miss out on the fun and conversation. I can hardly wait to see which you choose for your new home!

  8. Cindy says:

    Three words: Open. It. Up. 🙂

  9. Diane Dyhan says:

    I like an open floor plan but you need walls for art and larger scale accessories or the space can look cluttered. With that in mind, I would have to think about window placement and the size of the windows.

  10. Scribbler says:

    Keep the separate rooms. My son calls the too-open concept “an auditorium with a fire pit.” I say who wants to look at the mess in the kitchen? You also point out the noise. I do not want the sports stuff on TV all the time while I am in my domain. Kills my creativity!

  11. I’ve had it both ways, and am not a fan of open plans. You’re right, it’s often hard to place furniture! Our house now has the living and dining rooms separate in the front of the house. They face north, so there isn’t a lot of light. But, with color, they’re warm and cozy. The back of the house is open and sunny. The kitchen, dining area and family room are open to each other. I think this is the best compromise.

  12. Victoria says:

    When we were looking for a new home, I specifically was looking for a more open plan than I had before. I was always stuck in the kitchen and could never easily converse or know what was going on with everyone in the family room. I could see the formal dining room, but people tended not to congregate there. Since we have a large extended family, I wanted to be able to be in the kitchen and still be in the middle of all the action. And that’s exactly what I have and I love it. I do still have a formal living and dining. But when my grandchildren are practicing their piano recital pieces on our piano, I can see and hear them from the kitchen and breakfast room through the doorway that opens into the formal living/dining. Or I can step into the hallway that runs through the middle of the house. I do have small nooks for reading and lounging. It is louder with hardwoods running throughout the open concept. But the majority of the time it’s just me and my husband. And with rugs and drapes, it can soften some of the noise. When the family comes, I welcome the noise and laughter. We kept and remodeled our old house as a rental. We opened it up a bit more simply by taking down a tall peninsula in the kitchen so there was more openness to view into the family room. Enjoy making decisions for your new home and making it all you dream.