A floor plan is the arrangement of rooms within one story of a home.
A home’s floor plan is among its most important elements. The entrance and exits, where the walls are located, the size of the rooms and how sound and light travel are all decided by the floor plan.
When your home’s floor plan meets your unique needs and lifestyle, then each day will seem to flow better.
Does your home’s floor plan currently inspire you?
In order for your home to be a source of daily inspiration to you, it needs to have a layout that promotes a good flow of energy.
A home that has an unfortunate furniture-layout and an awkward floor plan can have energy that is either too stimulating or too stagnant.
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Finding a Floor Plan that Works Best for You
A floor plan is like anything else: it can become dated over time.
Does your home design fit your current lifestyle?
You know how you sometimes look at photographs of yourself from 20 years ago and think, “what the heck am I wearing?”
Well, just as acid-wash jeans and big hair go out-of-style, so do trends the floor plan of home designs.
When home builders fall prey to fads, they create cookie-cutter floor plans that may or may not be functional for everyday living in the years to come.
The truth is, some of today’s fashionable home features are overrated.
The Myth About the Open Floor Plan
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a home that nourishes and restores you. I encourage you to see beyond the current fads, and design a home – or choose a floor plan – that fits your unique needs and style of everyday living.
Yes, parents of young children can find it especially helpful to have a kitchen that opens out onto the living room and within sight of a backyard – because it makes multi-tasking easier (one can make pancakes while keeping an eye on the little ones as they play with their toys in the next room).
However, as children enter their teens (those years when kids seem to be listening to music, texting, and doing their homework – all simultaneously), parents begin to find that clearly defined spaces become increasingly helpful (translation: they don’t want to be around you every second, and you don’t want to be around them every second).
Home Is Where You Rejuvenate
From the perspective of energy and purpose, a home is much more than just shelter from the elements.
A well-designed home can fill-up your emotional batteries and give you the motivation to achieve your life purpose and do great works in the world.
Many people give minimal thought to the floor plan of a home, the purpose of each room, or the layout of the furniture. But it’s worth thinking about. A home must energize you and help you to feel good.
Remember, the better a home meets your needs, the better you will feel – and the better you feel, the more energy you will have for your loved-ones and for your career and hobbies.
Envision your home as the foundation from you which you create great works in your life.
There are adults without young children who also like open floor plans (the bachelor who likes to microwave his buffalo wings while keeping an eye on the Lakers game on his large living room flat-screen), but that’s just my point: everyone is different, and each family needs to layout their home in a way that works best for them, uniquely.
Take, for instance, folks who are lucky enough to have a housekeeper. They often find that a separate, privated-off kitchen is better, as it keeps the housekeeper from infringing on the family’s privacy (or for those occasions when entertaining with caterers, the function flows better if staff have a separate area to work).
…as children enter their teens, parents begin to find that clearly defined spaces become increasingly helpful”
Even those without a housekeeper who still like to entertain occasionally find that the event goes more smoothly when the noise and bustle of the kitchen is kept separate from the rest of the living space.
Essentially, the more often – and the more formally one entertains – the less advantageous an open floor plan becomes, and the more handy a formal dining room is.
On the other hand, for those who live in year-round humid climates, an open floor plan can allow outdoor breezes to circulate a bit more freely through a home – lessening the concentrations of heavy, stale air and mold growth.
A floor plan will also impact your ideal home office – a feature that is becoming increasingly important in today’s homes as technology allows us to do our work from anywhere.
Some people feel lonely and isolated when their home office is sequestered away from the noise and bustle of the rest of the house – while other people insist on it!
Some people like to see the rest of the house from where they sit at their desks – me, I like to use a standing desk in complete quiet and solitude, so that I can concentrate fully on my work.
A newer trend in some parts of the country is more and more people finding ways to move home offices outdoors.
Functional matters aside, some people enjoy the energy and breeziness of an open floor plan, while others believe open floor plans make a space seem too commercial-feeling, like they live in an echo-y airport hangar.
Some professional interior designers are even reporting that the ‘great room’ idea is becoming a bit dated. Once again, it comes down to different-strokes-for-different-folks.
Sometimes, when people say they are looking for the right house or their dream home, what they really mean is they’re looking for their perfect floor plan:
- What is the current floor plan in your home?
- Is that floor plan still meeting your needs?
- Could your floor plan be improved?
- What would you change about your floor plan if you could?