Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

remodeling, interior design

5 Tips for Creating an Open Floor Plan

By HomeCentrl on Oct 27, 2012

The total square footage of a home is a great indicator of space and manageability. However, the type of floor plan you have is really what counts when it comes to achieving the type of atmosphere you’re looking for. An open floor plan immediately creates more space, and it is much more inviting than several closed-off rooms stuck together. If you are looking for ways to achieve an open floor plan in an existing home, consider the following five tips.

Use Vaulted Ceilings

Vaulted ceilings are a great way to enhance your floor space. These types of ceilings create an angled formation in the middle, instead of being cut straight across. This makes the room seem bigger, and your eye is instantly drawn to the beautiful floors as well as your home’s contents. Before converting to vaulted ceilings, make sure that you have AC installed to maximize air flow within the room.

Add Variety

Using just one type of flooring in your house is not only impractical, but it can actually make your entire home look smaller. Add multiple types of flooring to create the open floor plan you desire. For example, you might consider:
·      Carpeting in bedrooms
·      Ceramic tile in bathrooms and kitchen
·      Hardwood in common areas
·      Laminate and rugs in kids’ areas

Furniture Size Does Matter

Furniture is a necessity in any home, but adding bulky pieces is one of the quickest ways to eat up all the available floor space. While you certainly want to keep options for people to sit, consider downsizing your furniture to really maximize your floor plan. For example, you can trade in elongated couches to multiple recliners. This way, the furniture takes up space only when the seats are used. Also consider getting smaller chairs and barstools.
If you simply can’t part with your furniture, consider ways to make it less cumbersome in the room. Play around and see what gives you the most floor space, whether it is keeping the furniture up against the walls, or leaving pieces out in the open.

Remove Extra Walls

If you can’t stand the walls between certain rooms, consider knocking them out altogether. One of the most common space-makers is the removal of the wall that separates the kitchen sink area and the family room. Not only does this directly create more space, but the openness encourages more togetherness. You and your loved ones can have the ability to walk into another room without missing out on a thing. Another option is remove unnecessary doors in offices, dens and other areas of the home.

Add a Window

No innovations in electrical lighting beat the benefits of natural light. Adding a window in a room maximizes natural light flow, which makes the space look bigger. Plus, you can adjust your blinds and curtains just right so the light hits your flooring. This adds the illusion of space, even in the smallest of rooms.

Abby Evans is a writer at The House Designers, writing articles on DIY and home improvement on The House Designers blog. She loves learning about architecture, online house plans, and home decor.

Photo Credit: Stef,



Visit HomeCentrl »

blog comments powered by Disqus