Do you want to enhance the quality of your living space by creating a more modern feel with free-flowing areas? Or perhaps you want the privacy of individualised spaces for a home office, library or playroom? Your home renovation goals and needs will determine the type of floor plan you choose.

Before you put hammer to wall, know the unique advantages and disadvantages of open floor plans and zoned/closed floor plans so you can make the best choice for your family and your home.


Open floor plans feature one large room that serves as a single living space. This room is usually an integration of the kitchen, dining room and living room – a feature that makes open floor plans favourable for family homes.

Advantages of an open floor plan:

Enables natural light to fill the home

With fewer walls blocking the natural light, more sunlight can fill a room, which makes for a very welcoming and functional space.

They bring people together

This is especially beneficial for families as it allows parents to spend time with their children while also doing other things like cooking. Open plan spaces encourage people to interact with each other and are useful for frequent entertainers.

Disadvantages of an open floor plan:

While open floor plans have become increasingly popular among many homeowners, there are disadvantages.

Higher energy bills

Large, open spaces take longer to heat in winter and cool in summer, which may have a significant impact on your energy bill.

Privacy and noise

Because everyone’s sharing a space, there’s not a lot of privacy to be had in the living areas. In addition, with no walls to keep sound in or out, it can be difficult to escape the noise of TVs, music and other distractions, which may be annoying, particularly if you work from home.


Zoned living focuses on individual functional areas that are closed off. Main rooms are separated and have a more traditional design aesthetic. Separate structures favour flexibility in function and use and are ideal for families with older children and young adults.

Advantages of a closed floor plan:

Less noise disturbance

If you want the peace of a private space, this is a good option. Noise won’t travel as easily through a closed space meaning a more peaceful room for you.

Easier to decorate

With more walls to choose from, closed floor plans allow for better decorating options allowing you to hang more artwork and place furniture in more functional positions.

Disadvantages of a closed floor plan:

You’ll need to spend more on lighting

Because the walls are blocking the flow of natural light, you will probably have to spend more on lighting, and you won’t have the airy feel of more open spaces.

Your house could feel smaller

Unless an expert home extension designer creates your floor plan, you run the risk of your home feeling a little like a rabbit warren – cramped and full of too-small spaces.

Do you need specialist advice to create your ideal living space? Our experienced home extension builders at Duncan Thompson Extensions will create your dream space. Call us today.