Open vs Traditional Floor Plans—Which One is for You?

One of the most important features a homeowner should understand is the type of floor plan they need for their custom home.  A floor plan impacts how the overall space will be utilized. If you want your home to feel larger by combining rooms, an open floor plan is for you. If you want specific designed spaces for each room, a traditional floor plan is the best solution. Read on to discover the pros of cons of an open or traditional floor plan to design the perfect custom home for your needs.

Open Floor Plan

open floor plan

An open floor plan is a concept of combining at least two traditional spaces to create a larger space. The concept removes division or walls for the “open” appeal. Typically, an open floor plan will integrate common rooms only, such as living rooms/spaces, great rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. Consider the pros and cons:


In our luxury Clyde Hill custom home (above), the kitchen area and great room have been converted into a single space allowing for an even flow between the two rooms. For homeowners who enjoy having guests over, a larger space without divisive walls creates easier communication to talk across the rooms. Navigating in a home will also become easier for homeowners and visiting guests as well. Plus, homeowners that have kids will have ease of watching their children play in the great room while preparing dinner. Regarding design, open floor plans reflect both a modern and luxury appeal that is represented in interior design magazines.


Open floor plans may not be the ideal layout for those who desire privacy in their common rooms. The spaces are evidently open therefore, anyone can come in and out where you want to relax. Noise or even smells are other shared factors, especially if the kitchen and living room is part of the floor plan.

Traditional Floor Plan

traditional floor plan

Traditional floor plans (also known as closed floor plans) create an individual area or room, involving walls and separation from other rooms. Displayed above is our spacious luxury living room design that is its own designated space from the rest of the home.  Consider the pros and cons:


Homeowners are generally aware of traditional floor plans and it works for them. Plus, they are easier to design and style with more options. Each room can have its own style and decorative elements. In open floor plans, the entire combined area needs to be cohesive. Also, traditional floor plans offer privacy and sound control with walls to separate each room.


Custom homes may feel less spacious without an open floor plan. Since each room is separated and distinct, this can make the home feel less accessible. Closed rooms may lead to less natural light filtering through the home to increase brightness and improve overall mood. Privacy can be positive, but for those who would like a direct line of sight for their children and older family members, traditional floor plans do not essentially provide that benefit.

We Can Build Custom Homes with Open and Traditional Floor Plans

Which floor plan works best for you? At Steven D. Smith, we are professional custom home builders who can create both traditional and open floor plans that match your needs. Our custom home building services offer incomparable design and old-world craftsmanship for over 35 years. We are the trusted builder of luxury custom homes in the Pacific Northwest because we never settle for less than the absolute best. Contact us online or by phone at (425) 869-2148 to start designing your dream home today.