Residential Design Trends: The Open Concept Debate

Design trends in the last decade have steered toward the benefits of an open concept floor plan, especially with regards to the kitchen and dining areas having few to zero barriers to the main living space. While many people report experiencing pleasure in the aesthetic of being able to see the breadth of their space from wherever they are, others are looking to close their spaces back in to achieve a greater sense of privacy.

And so the open concept debate continues. Here at Ascent, we believe that walls up or walls down, it's up to your own personal preference. If you're putting on an addition, building new or embarking on a remodel, choose the design that fits your needs and that you personally adore the most, not a design based on industry trends. Incase you're having trouble deciding, here's a list of open concept pros and cons we've compiled to help you make an informed decision.


There's no light like daylight - Letting daylight into a space that would otherwise be artificially lit is a huge plus. Especially true in homes with large or numerous southern facing windows, taking full advantage of nature's lightbulb is a great asset.
Keep the family connected - Parents of young children especially love an open concept as it allows them to keep an eye on their kids from afar.
Visually pleasing - When done correctly, an open concept design is grand, dramatic and can make your space feel much larger.
Friends and family gatherings - Entertaining is fun without walls. You won't miss a thing while you're hard at work preparing the meal in the kitchen. Since you're visible, you're free to engage in conversations, see what everyone's laughing about on the TV, or even ask for help without feeling like you're dragging someone away from the fun.


Visible life mess - Though walls can at times feel confining, they certainly offer a better sense of privacy. If you would loathe people seeing all your dirty dishes and the clutter that inevitably gathers on the dining room table, then an open concept probably isn't for you.
Cooking odors - In an enclosed kitchen, odors are well-contained and stand less chance of permeating the entire house as they sometimes do with an open kitchen.
No walls limits storage space - In any open concept layout, not just the kitchen, lack of walls can lead to lack of storage space. Walls provide convenient places to mount cabinets, house furniture, and make various closet and pantry nooks.
It's noisy in here! - It's true, voices do carry further in an open concept space. Be prepared to be displaced to another section of the house, or head outdoors to answer your phone or engage in conversations of a private nature.
Whichever way you're leaning, our expert team at Ascent Builders can make your vision a reality. Don't hesitate to contact us anytime for all your general contracting needs.