Open Floor Plan Design
Our society has evolved with much technology, a desire for collaborative and transparent communication and a more relaxed environment to live in.
Transferring these aspects to the built environment, architecture, and in particular to one’s home, presents some really interesting, fun and functional architectural design results.
Within the ‘public areas’ of the home and likely the space(s) where most family time is spent, is the Kitchen and Family Room. Just about all of the older homes we have remodeled, have existing conditions whereby these spaces are separated by walls and are more or less compartmentalized. Thus family members that are in these areas at the same time, find it difficult to communicate audibly, or have visual contact, or be able to jointly enjoy a TV program, or be able to participate one-on-one with certain tasks (i.e. a Mom helping her child with homework).
So the evolution of open floor plan design. With the above considerations in mind, our approach with the design and construction/reconfiguration of these existing spaces (rooms), is to first receive input from our Client regarding any specific requirements or priorities, that should be incorporated into the plans. Then we combine this input with our (30) years of general contracting experience, budget considerations and logistical concerns, to formulate a Scope Of Work to design from.
We remodeled a one story ‘house’ on the Westside of Los Angeles that was approximately (50) years old and had the existing floor plan configuration that is described above, into a beautiful, functional and energy efficient ‘home’. In addition, their home value spiked up considerably upon completion, which was within (6) months time.
Several walls were removed, ceilings rebuilt to achieve a volume of heights and outdated carpet removed and replaced with a contiguous new wood floor. Additionally, low voltage halogen lighting, sustainable materials, ‘healthy home practice’ (i.e. water based sealers; lead free paint; hepa filters for the a/c and heating system, etc.) are always incorporated into our jobs.
In the end, the TV, along with the Family Room and its occupants, could enjoy interplay from the kitchen sink; view to the backyard was available; communication between kids and parents was readily accessible; this open floor plan created a soaring depth of space, along with additional light into the Family Room; and skylights provided daytime lighting as an energy efficient resource, so that conventional lighting/electricity is not needed during the daytime.
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Best Regards Always,
Barry R. Shaw AIA, GC