Last updated on June 26th, 2017
How many of you are house-hunting at the moment? Mind telling us what features you’re drawn to? If your goal is a new(ish) house with an open floor plan, you’re not alone. According to HGTV’s “Property Virgins,” everyone wants what you want! Still, I hope you won’t overlook the benefits of owning an old, “traditional” house with lots of walls, rooms, and doors.
A contemporary, “open concept” house resembles a very large studio apartment. Everything is on view. Open the front door, and you’ll immediately glimpse the living, dining, and cooking areas. It might be a terrific space for entertaining. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to escape the crowd by hiding out in the kitchen. The kitchen is missing walls and a door.
True Confession: I grew up in an open-concept house. It was a challenge to practice piano there (I was a budding concert musician), because of constant competition from a television set. The TV was turned up high in order to drown out the cooking sounds that emerged from the kitchen, and yes, the noise was unbearable.
Consequently, all of my adult homes — and I’m including NYC apartments here — have been “closed concept.” I love the privacy that walls, rooms, and doors provide.
I also love the quiet privacy that every old, traditional home has to offer.
We might find a parlor behind door #1. It’s a private room, ideal for reading in quiet solitude. It’s also a terrific place for serving afternoon tea or pre-dinner cocktails before a roaring fire. (Traditional homes have fireplaces.) More pictures here.
The kitchen might be hidden behind door #2. Since the room has 4 walls, it can accommodate lots of counter space and storage cabinets. Wanna keep an eye on your toddlers while you prepare a meal? Put some fun toys or coloring books on the floor, and close the door. And don’t worry about the dirty dishes in the sink. The room is not open to prying eyes! More pictures of this room.
Frankly, I’m always stunned by the young homeowners who knock down walls in order to have an open-concept kitchen. Perhaps they are tidier than me. Or, perhaps their kitchen appliances are really beautiful, and worth public display. My own appliances are nothing to boast about.
Door #3 could lead to an honest-to-goodness dining room. The ambiance of the room isn’t undermined by any on-view mayhem in the kitchen. Oh, the joys of living in a house with walls and doors. (More pictures of the dining room.)
Maybe door #5 reveals a TV room/Library. I did not photograph this room because it’s a big fat mess right now. But trust me, when the door is closed, I can’t see the clutter. Nor can I hear my spouse clap and scream as he watches endless games during baseball season.
And here’s another perk that an old, traditional home can offer:
Now back to the topic at hand: Are you a fan of the modern house with its free-flowing floor plan and open-concept kitchen? Or are you drawn to the old (or old-style) traditional home that offers walls, rooms, doors, and…oodles of privacy?
Share your thoughts in the comments field below.
Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s email updates.