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Let’s Talk Open Floor Plan

Open Floor Plan Olivia Quinlan Blog

A Little History

I grew up in an old Victorian in Rochester that was not an open floor plan. There was the kitchen very separate from the dining room, both separated by the foyer and on the other side of the living and family rooms.

Lots of walls I tell you.

What do walls mean? Privacy. Think of life back in the early 1900’s even the late 19th century. Many families that built these grand homes had servants, and various forms of help, hence the servant staircase. Deliveries for the newspaper, milk, ice, etc. were made daily to the back kitchen. Children and women were not supposed to be the center or even the forefront of the home, but to stay behind closed doors as much as possible. The more separation, the easier it was to keep everything just as it should be.


Enter the Open Floor Plan

Obviously, that era has passed and we’ve pretty much thrown that whole privacy thing out the window. Children are the center of attention. Both men and women make these homes go round, and everyone is always together. Company is often entertained and enjoyed in the kitchen. The design of a home is all about how to make each room flow so that no matter where you go you are comfortable and inclusive, which is easily done with an open floor plan.

The norm of today’s society within a home is about creating a space that’s aesthetically pleasing, but also very livable. There’s no need for separation from the kitchen to the dining to the living because now we use it all, together. I want guests to feel comfortable anywhere in my home, feel like they can do whatever they want. Can you imagine back then that it was rude to go into a kitchen while at a party? I guess it’s just a different time but I’m pretty glad things have changed, to say the least.

Open Floor Plan Inspiration

Fun fact: I saw this picture way back in January and I fell in love. It’s warm, it’s white with wood, it’s a beautifully clean design, it’s got the open floor plan. Oh, and those countertops I had to have.



Some more beautiful ideas..






Tips for Going Open

Whether you are looking to open your walls now or looking to purchase and renovate a house there are a few key things to getting the open floor plan.

Know where your bearing walls are.

Sometimes, you can’t know. It can alter your original ideas and plans but depending on if the structural support comes from different areas you can get creative. Make sure to work with an engineer if it’s a tough job, or, your contractor can facilitate any additional resources. It can be expensive, whether it’s needing to put in beans or new columns, but it is so so worth it!

Configure the cost of beams and rebuilding support in your budget.

Overcompensate in your budget until you know where the bearing walls run. Those cute rustic beams that Chip and Joanna love so much are actually extremely expensive. Yes, you can do decorative ones but they almost always open walls and use them. Let me tell you, they don’t come cheap.

Be ready to make it cohesive.

You don’t want to open walls only to have two or three very different aesthetics. This is just the designer in me cringing but you have to make it flow. Be ready to come up with whole new furniture layouts, and even furniture so that everything goes. This might seem obvious but it’s definitely something that could be overlooked in the budget.


A Glance at Our Renovation

Changing what was many separate rooms to one great room has altered the entire dynamic of what this house is. The old Victorian now exists as a modern home. Though the structure itself is vintage, the entire interior has stepped into the 21st century. So obviously the decor will be in with the times, along with the overall aesthetic and the way the home works. Stay tuned and follow along (if you aren’t already) on my Instagram and Instagram stories to see how we make the kitchen, living, dining, entertaining area, and (both) entrances all work together. From the interior finishes to the actual flow and placement of furniture, and all the trinkets in between here comes the fun part. Sneak a little peek at what we already know for sure below.

Check out this post I did last week on where we are at right now in our renovation!

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