An open floor plan is a floor plan with few walls in public areas of the home. In a home with a typical open floor plan, the dining room, kitchen and living room may all flow together in one area, with few visual cues to indicate where one room ends and another room begins.
Open floor plans allow members of the household or visitors to spend time together in one large space while each person engages in a separate activity. These kinds of layouts promote togetherness, while still enabling each person to have their own space. In addition, open floor plans are perfect for people who enjoy entertaining, because they can easily accommodate large groups of people.
These floor plans are the preference of many homeowners today, but it was not always the case. In the past, many homes were built with closed floor plans. Rooms were somewhat small and connected by hallways. Selling a home with a closed floor plan can take some special accommodations to make the property appealing to modern home buyers.
Bring in Light
Open floor plans are spacious, open and airy. One of the ways that home sellers can make their closed floor plan home seem more open is by bringing in more light. Brightening the rooms of the home can help make the space feel more open. Luckily here are many ways to bring in light into a small, closed room.
- Install a Ceiling Fan: Ceiling fans with lights are an attractive source of light. Ceiling fans also help keep enclosed spaces comfortable by helping air circulate throughout rooms.
- Use Small Lamps: A good amount of lamps can help illuminate darker areas of your home. For full effectiveness, turn on most or all lamps in your home during showings and open house events.
- Install Recessed Lighting: Recessed lighting brings focused, directed light to any room, and can be useful for lighting dark corners.
- Avoid Dark Colors: Dark paint colors can reduce visibility in enclosed spaces and can make small spaces seem smaller. Repainting dark walls in a medium-tone or lighter color paint can help open up the space.
Open Up the Space in Other Ways
There are many ways that you can create a sense of openness in enclosed rooms of your home.
- Install Open Shelving: Open shelving has become very popular in recent years, because it promotes a sense of openness and also creates visual interest in a room. Removing bookcases and cabinets and replacing them with open shelving can help push back walls, visually opening up the space.
- Remove Unnecessary Doors Between Rooms: If there’s no reason for a door to separate your kitchen from your dining room, or your dining room from your living room, remove these doors to prevent these rooms from becoming closed off from one another.
- Remove Doors From the Cabinets: Taking doors off your cabinets effectively turns the cabinets into open shelving. If you decide to remove the doors from your kitchen cabinets, take care to ensure that your dishes are attractive, matched and orderly.
Create a Flow of Color From One Room to the Next
Pay close attention to the relationship of paint colors between rooms in your home. Avoid situations wherein the paint color of the walls in one room clashes with paint colors on the walls in adjacent rooms. Paint colors in the rooms of your house should match one another and flow together, so that all rooms seem to have a visual relationship to one another.
Consider Some Light Demolition
Consider knocking down a few non-load bearing walls. This does’t have to cost a lot and can be very effective for opening up your home’s floor plan. Some confident DIYers can even knock down their own walls, provided that these walls enclose no wiring or plumbing, and the wall itself is not load bearing. If you’re not confident in your ability to knock down walls in your own home, contact a licensed contractor to handle this task for you.
Embrace the “Vintage” Side Of Your Home
Rather than knocking down walls of your home, you can also try to attract buyers by embracing the vintage quality of your home. Doing so can attract buyers who like historic properties. To do this, try decorating your home with vintage items found in consignment shops and garage sales. Choose vintage wall paint colors and add other special touches that clearly reflects the time period when your home was built. The usual rules of staging apply of, course, as you will not want to create a space that is too "busy" for buyers to appreciate.
Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
Your agent can help you decide how to handle the particular floor plan of your home. With smart decorating choices, you can make your home look attractive to potential buyers, which can help your home sell more quickly.