We're Making A Case For The Not-So-Open Floor Plans

Vintage Lowcountry House Plan Exterior
Photo: Lucas Allen

Despite all the walls knocked down on HGTV, it turns out there are some drawbacks to the wide-open floor plans that have been so popular the last few years. "There's been a slow but steady change," said Andrew Cogar in 2018. "The thought was that an open and informal plan would create a sense of ease, but people are realizing that it also means everything has to be organized or else the house can quickly feel cluttered. And then the pandemic forced so many of us to start working and learning from our houses, which really caused many of us to rethink the open floor plan and the way we design and live in our homes.

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Not-So-Wide Open Spaces

Vintage Lowcountry House Plan Exterior
Lucas Allen

Closed-off rooms allow people to cut down on some of that visual noise. It may sound counterintuitive, but people are returning to separated spaces as a way of simplifying how they live on a daily basis." Consider this update to one of our most popular and cover-worthy homes, featured in our June 2011 issue. After the story ran, we asked the architect—Rick Clanton of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina—to make his popular plan available through our Southern Living House Plans service. It quickly became one of our top sellers. (He then adapted the plan in 2018.) It maintains the still-in-demand open kitchen/great room/dining concept but adds a study, a walk-in pantry, and a flex room off the kitchen. Clanton says, "Sometimes you want a place where you can close the door. Open space is good, but too much open space is not."

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Room with a View

Vintage Lowcountry House Plan Dining Room
Lucas Allen

Close but still far enough away. In this clever design, adding a window gives diners take-it-or-leave-it access to kitchen happenings.

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Drawbacks to Open Floor Plans

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Build Your Own SL-1831

New Vintage Lowcountry Floor Plan
Southern Living

Rick Clanton, a principal architect of Group 3, designed this house plan for our not-so-open way of living these days. Check out the New Vintage Lowcountry (SL-1831) at houseplans.southernliving.com.

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