Planning An Open Home Layout? 5 Flow Mistakes To Avoid

Posted on: 26 July 2021


Do you want to build an open floor plan home? Modern homeowners increasingly enjoy open floor plans for their flexibility, improved entertainment options, and airy appeal. But to make the most of your open floor plan, you will need to pay special attention to the flow in this important, vast area. What flow mistakes should you avoid? Here are five of the most important aspects of interior design for an open concept. 

1. Placing Obstacles in the Way. Furniture forms the structure of an open floor layout, so placement is more important than ever. But avoid placing furniture in ways that create obstacles to natural movement. Users, in other words, should not have to change direction or be faced with decision-making as they move from room to room or from zone to zone. This stops flow and creates traffic bottlenecks. 

2. Having Unrelated Adjacent Spaces. Due to the flexibility inherent in an open floor design, you choose where to place zones for different purposes. When placing certain elements of the layout, look for zones that complement each other. The dining area, for instance, is most logically located next to the kitchen. This makes flow efficient and comfortable. Even if the space could function well by itself in some other way — such as a home office with a great view — consider the surrounding effects before interrupting the flow of the entire area. 

3. Giving Low Priority Spaces Priority. Every home has functional spaces that are necessary but not the most exciting feature of the house. Avoid giving them priority real estate in your design. A back door entry space may be necessary for many reasons, but it should not create an obstacle to comfortable flow between the living room and dining area, for instance. 

4. Wasting Space. If your open floor design is large or has awkward parts, it can be hard to design the right use for every space. But this results in bad flow as people have to maneuver around or through wasted space. It also contributes to overworking other spaces. This doesn't mean every square foot has to be filled, but it does mean your whole home should have a purpose. 

5. Making Design Inflexible. As mentioned, a key design feature of open plan layouts is their flexibility. Don't restrict this with your internal layout or furnishing. Make zones easy to move around to new configurations depending on how they're being used. Don't add unnecessary permanent borders, such as partial walls or fireplaces, when flexible options (such as a slider door for temporary privacy) could do better. 

Want to know more about these or other open floor plan flow mistakes? Start by consulting with an experienced home designer in your area today.