What is an Open Plan?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many ways to design the interior space in a building. One way is a style known as an open plan. This type of design creates spacious areas and can be applied to both residential and commercial dwellings.

One of the advantages of an open plan is that it reduces space constraints. This is possible because much of a building’s inner structure is eliminated. There are fewer interior walls. When columns are used, their numbers may be decreased, and they may be smaller. The idea is to create an area that is more spacious than most other design types.

Two buildings can be the same size. If one has an open plan and the other does not, they will generally feel as if they are different sizes. The one that has the open plan should appear much larger. It should also accommodate more contents and offer more decorating options.

Another advantage of the open plan design is that it can make spaces more versatile. People have more liberty to develop spaces as they like them and for the purposes that they want. In many cases this design involves opening one room up into another. For example, a kitchen, dining area, and lounge may be included in a single open area that does not have walls separating each into a room. People with families and those who regularly entertain guests often find this to be an attractive feature.


Since an open plan provides an opportunity to re-create an area to suit one’s preferences, it is often used as a selling point in the real estate industry. In a commercial structure, an area that is now used for office space can later be used for production. This is possible because the office space may be created and divided with temporary structures, such as cubicles, which can be removed. If this is done, there will be a spacious area to place equipment in.

This type of design can also be beneficial for various other reasons. People with handicaps may find it is easier to get around and it reduces their isolation. It can also benefit people with indoor pets by allowing them more space to move around.

Many people prefer the open plan to other design styles. Like many things, building design goes through phases. The popularity of this style may one day run its course and the majority of people may prefer segmented buildings.



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Post 2

I grew up in a house that was very segmented. Every room had a door, and there wasn't really a space open enough to have a party or play with toys. I decided that when I was old enough to buy my own house, it was going to be an open plan home.

I really enjoy having a lot of room for my kids to run around, and I also like the effect of coming through one door and being able to see all the way to the back door. My wife likes having an open plan kitchen, so she doesn't feel hemmed in by counters and doors. She can see what's going on in other places, too. Our upstairs space is a little more traditional, with separate bedrooms defined by walls and doors. The finished basement is also very open, and I use it mostly as a man cave.

Post 1

Maybe it's because I grew up in a different time, but I am just not interested in an open plan design. I like to have doors and walls and defined spaces when I'm in my house. If someone else wants to entertain friends in the living room or work on a meal in the kitchen, I want to be able to go into the den and shut a door behind me.

I can understand the appeal of an open plan interior if privacy is not an issue, or there are young children and pets that could use the extra space. My daughter insisted on an open plan design when she and her husband went house hunting. Their house is

essentially one giant room with each area defined by the furnishings. The "living room" is a cluster of couches and an area rug positioned in front of a TV set. The "dining room" has a large table, chairs and a chandelier, and so on.

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