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Old 10-30-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,993 posts, read 13,064,337 times
Reputation: 34020

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I love open concept. 90% of the time, it's me and my son, and that suits the way we live. 9% of the time, there is company and I'll have things tidied up to look nice. I like having baskets and things, and I can clear away the magazines and remotes, etc. in about 2 minutes and stick the basket up on a shelf.

1% of the time, there might be someone randomly stopping by and sees a well lived in home. I don't really care about it.

As for the kitchen, mine is totally open and I got a counter depth island with no wall or breakfast bar to block it off. Had one of those in the last house and loathed and despised it. I'm getting a very large, very deep sink, sufficient to hide as much mess as I'm likely to let build up.

We do have a separate family room on the 2nd floor, in addition to the great room downstairs so there is still room to hide stuff so it's not all on display, I guess, but it really don't bother me if people see that I live in home.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
50,732 posts, read 40,119,236 times
Reputation: 71696
We just moved from a four year old open concept house to a 17 year old very traditional house, with separate living room and den, separate kitchen, and separate formal dining room, with the master bedroom and bath tucked away in it's separate wing (with no one above it!) and two big bedrooms with a big bathroom between them upstairs.

Our former house was beautiful - gorgeous trim, vaulted ceilings everywhere, rustic beams and stone, and granite countertops, oiled bronze fixtures, yadda yadda yadda.

It definitely had "WOW" factor (and it had a nice feature, which was a separate den that you could close off if you wanted to watch TV without kitchen noise - something many open concept homes don't have). But as we lived in it, we also found the downside pretty quickly.

With tile and wood floors and tall ceilings and that open concept, the main living area was, well, LOUD. The kitchen was truly "the heart of the home" and all noise, smells, etc was right in our face. It wasn't that we had stinky stuff going on, but pots and pans on granite counter tops, friends over, people talking, trying to set the table, etc - wow, it could get loud.

Speaking of the table, it had no formal dining area. It had room for ONE table - that seated six. That was it. Oh, and three bar stools. We had to buy a card table for things like holidays, parties, etc. and set it up in the middle of the living area, which was less than ideal, for sure.

Another thing that bothered us after awhile was that the garage, though a side entrance garage (good) was across the house from the kitchen (bad). So with groceries, you'd have to walk through the mudroom, which was big (nice), then the large foyer (nice), then the living room, through the dining area and then around the bar into the kitchen. Dang. I mean, first world problems and all that but still...

Finally - the master DID have an extra layer of insulation to in the wall that adjoined the living room - right where the TV was. But still - though the door to the master was tucked away in what looked like a little hall, when you actually went into the master, one wall shared a wall with the living room. NO BUENO.

This time, we bought a classic Low Country style home - AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!

You walk in, and you're in a foyer, with a really pretty stairway pretty much front and center, going up to the two minor bedrooms. To the right is a den/office, with lots of built ins, and to the left is a formal dining room. Straight ahead is a small hall/foyer with an arched doorway leading into the beautiful living room with a fireplace front and center and lots of big, beautiful windows. All the ceilings are ten feet at least throughout the house. Anyway, you can access the large kitchen through either the formal dining room or the living room, with another wide archway. The kitchen has a comfortable breakfast nook and an island that seats two. So...on any given holiday or get together, we can quickly and easily seat fourteen - and if I need to, I still have room to put up the card table and seat four more!

Each room is separate, but - HERE'S WHAT TO LOOK FOR WITH SEPARATE ROOMS - there are open arched doorways that lead from one room to the next, in a circle. So - if you like to entertain, this is a great floorplan. People can circle through the house, to different "stations" so to speak, with no dead ends. Things can be kept moving, but people have little sitting areas where they can sit and talk without a cacophony of noise and kitchen smells.

I love it.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:48 PM
 
6,040 posts, read 4,710,994 times
Reputation: 16753
I love most everything about a well-designed (duh) open concept except for the NOISE!

I have mild tinnitus and the drone of an open space can become troublesome quickly.

As we redesign our kitchen/dining/living area I'm paying extra attention to keeping nooks that can be somewhat closed off.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,856 posts, read 26,052,902 times
Reputation: 21427
I don't like it either.
Now if the foyer is seperate, then you walk into the open space fine.
But to me, the open concept looks like a furniture store.....
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,819,498 times
Reputation: 1638
Kathryn, I so enjoyed reading your very descriptive post! I can see it all in my minds eye . And I'm very glad you are enjoying your new hime.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,521 posts, read 27,052,742 times
Reputation: 88591
I do like an open concept but I don't like a clear view front door. Once you are inside i want to enjoy everyone and everything in my home.

This from the woman who now has a non open concept house but all rooms have lots of open windows to the outside. Thankfully I have no neighbors, lol. Only a few boaters can see in each day…I just wave Bedrooms and bathrooms need to be private though.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 12,305,197 times
Reputation: 4846
I don't think this is an HGTV thing at all. A LOT of older homes, especially ranchers and cape cods and the like, had front doors that opened up directly into the living room with the dining room right there, so would end up with the same situation the OP describes. I once lived in a 1950s cottage house that had the front door open into the living room/dining room combo area. it was a small house and that's just the way they were built, LONG before there was any HGTV in existence.

Who are these people that youre worried about "getting up in your business" by seeing through the front door to a messy house?
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
15,713 posts, read 11,452,999 times
Reputation: 21186
I hate the open concept. HATE it. When we were last house shopping I told the realtor no open concept. He looked at me like I was crazy and said that everyone wants open concept. No, everyone doesn't.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:18 PM
 
3,408 posts, read 4,732,871 times
Reputation: 5364
Years ago when we had our tri level home built I put the living room on the main floor with 7 steps at the back of it going up to the open dining room with the kitchen behind it. So at least if I had dishes in the sink they weren't seen at the front door.

The other 7 steps there went downstairs to the family room, which had open wall plans and no doors. I knew I was going to have kids and didn't want to live through endless cartoon and music blasting through the home so had walls and a door installed. Glad I did too.

Other models had the wall all open downstairs and what a noise they had. Some had their kitchen at the front door with a dining room behind it. Didn't like that at all.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,819,498 times
Reputation: 1638
What people do I not want seeing my entire living space from the front door? Let's see...solicitors, Mormon missionaries, Jehovah's Witnesses, parents of my kids' friends when they come to pick up/drop off their kids. Etc etc etc. Plus I don't open the door for strangers, and it's awkward to "hide" when they can see you watching tv through your front window or sidelights.

Although they might not have been the best from an aesthetic perspective, I can now see how the old split level homes could function well for a family. Once the kids get 9 yrs & older, you don't need them in your sight at all times, and they don't have to be. They can be off in their own space doing their thing. And like KayeKaye said, you don't want to listen to cartoons etc all the time.
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