After nearly three decades of preference for open floor plans, the popular home layout is on its way out. Open floor plans started arriving in homes in the postwar era as Americans sought larger spaces for socializing and raising kids.
Trends come and go—it's natural and expected—but the widespread elimination of the barriers between work, home, and family life starting in 2020 expedited the change. Our homes were no longer just a place to socialize and raise kids. They became offices, daycares, schools, gyms, and bars.
The complaints about closed floor plans are easily remedied with a little extra design consideration. Concerns over lighting, feeling cramped, and poor traffic flow are only issues for those with no imagination. These 12 spaces prove just that.
In this closed floor plan sitting room, Bespoke Only embraced one of the furniture trends of the moment by choosing a curved sofa. Within these four walls, the curved shape has been repeated—in the tables, armchair, foot stool, and built-in shelving. The beauty of trying such a trend in an enclosed space is that this bold choice doesn't have to be the focal point of your home.
Whether you have an open or closed plan space, picking a paint color is always the first (and biggest) challenge you face. Enclosed spaces leaves more room for experimentation. You don't have to commit to one color palette throughout or else become a maximalist.
Scale and Proportion
In a large open plan room, your furniture and décor must be larger as well to have the appropriate scale and proportion. Enclosed spaces allow for more freedom, letting you embrace small pieces, like the wooden table and café chairs and sideboard of this moody dining space.
Keep the Flow Going
The flow of foot traffic, energy, a toddler's toy trucks—whatever moves in your home—doesn't have to be disrupted by walls and doors. Furniture should be place outside the transition space (the area on either side of a doorway), as Erin Williamson did here in this living room and sitting room. Pocket doors are a genius touch for maximizing sight lines and space.
Lighting Is Exciting
When you add walls, you also have to add lighting. Emily Bowser kept lighting at the forefront of her mind when designing this living room. Overhead lighting, wall sconces, standing lamps, and a table lamp add more interest and excitement to this room than natural lighting would.
Address Many Needs
Addressing multiple needs in one room is possible in a closed floor plan, you just have to make specific, targeted choices. Keep the kitchen for cooking by adding a command center on the counter instead of a desk in the corner, or a few stools at the island instead of a breakfast nook in the corner. Small additions can make a big impact.
Keep closed floor plan spaces from feeling like individual, unrelated rooms by creating sight lines. This dining room has well placed sight lines from the head of the table into the kitchen, and from the various seats at the table into the front hallway and living room, both just out of frame.
Create Cozy Spaces
Within four walls, make yourself a cozy space. Surround yourself with favorite books, plants, and warm lighting. Mirror the coziest or most unique element of your space in your wallpaper to create a clubhouse feeling.
Go for Contemporary
Closed floor plans may as old as time, but they can still be contemporary. The wall inlet for the sideboard, the clean lines, and a triadic color scheme all contribute to this dining room's contemporary look (and make the room look bigger than it actually is!).
The design of this dining room is impeccable. Rather than having an open plan living space where visitors migrate between the living and dining rooms to have cocktail hour, dinner, and dessert, this dining room has social seating lining the walls. Guests can chat together on the banquettes before dessert without ever leaving the room.
Find Some Privacy
For many people, home has become work, daycare, and the place to socialize. Closed floor plans create pockets of peace and quiet, like in this room by Marie Flanigan Interiors. Paned double doors, wallpaper with a natural motif, and the palest shade of turquoise turn this sitting room into an oasis.
Maximize Natural Light
Even with just one window providing natural light, you can illuminate a room. Reflective wood flooring, cool-toned white walls, and sheer curtains maximize the light in this room. Add natural elements and textures, like plants, woven baskets, macramé lamp shades, and rattan chairs for an indoor-outdoor feel.