Just as the name suggests, a home with this type of layout has one or more large, open rooms that function as multiple rooms within a single living space. The most common is a “great room” that combines the kitchen, dining room, and living room in one shared space.
These floor plans usually work extremely well in homes with less square footage – sometimes out of necessity – while larger homes have more leeway to work with when integrating great rooms into a floor plan.
Traditionally, homes built pre-1990s were designed with lots of separate rooms in mind, even though many of these distinct rooms were really only separated by three-quarters of a wall and an open walkway – most often the kitchen, dining room, and living room.
The mindset was that the more rooms a house had, the more attractive, compartmentalized, and functional it was. But designers and homeowners alike started realizing that homes with open floor plan designs could fit more usable living space into the same amount of square footage.
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