Last week, we talked about the dangers of open floor plans and why homeowners should say “hasta la vista, baby!” to this dangerous trend.
But HGTV buzz isn’t the only reason this style has become popular. Homeowners gravitate to open concept floor plans because of- not surprising: the open feel.
After all, extra hosting space, natural lighting….these are all great things to look for in a home!
Do you want the benefits of an open concept home without the dangers?
Here’s the good news: there are other ways to get them without compromising your family’s safety.
Let me show you how:
Open Your Curtains and Let in the Sun!
Imagine: The first warm day of the year.
Beams of sunlight peeking in through your curtains. Stepping outside and feeling the warmth from the sun on your face.
I love shaking off winter and embracing the brighter (and longer) days of summer.
I think most Pennsylvania homeowners feel the same after shaking through those long Schuylkill County winters. And natural light? It’s one of the biggest selling points of a large, open floor plan.
Natural light does more than just lift spirits. Studies show great health benefits to homes with more light, including:
- Increased levels of mood-boosting Vitamin D (i.e. less cranky kids!)
- A natural immune system energizer (I’ll take fewer runny noses…thank you very much)
- And help in regulating a balanced sleep cycle for the whole family.
But you don’t have to knock down walls to bring light into your space.
Installing New (and Bigger) Windows
New windows can have the same affect as an open floor plan. And when done professionally, it won’t change the structural integrity of your home.
Side note: When it comes to windows, there are plenty of options to choose from. We recommend vinyl, and you can read more about it here.
If you’ve ever met me, you know I LOVE picture windows. These large windows open up your home and illuminate any room. Plus, you get the benefits of seeing your garden in all seasons, or, if you’re lucky, a beautiful view of our famous hills.
Oversized picture windows aren’t just for living rooms. Look at this kitchen example :
The best part? Picture windows are a more budget friendly window option. Less moving parts means they cost less to manufacture. That’s a savings we pass on to you.
Let’s not forget about garden-window inserts. This style of window, perfected by our supplier, Simonton, lets natural light in while giving you a space to showcase your favorite plants.
Interested in learning more about garden window inserts? Read more here!
Adding windows, combining windows, or enlarging windows is a great- and relatively inexpensive way- to add the natural light your space needs to feel large and spacious. Plus, replacing windows can actually cost less than tearing down walls to open up rooms.
All that light without the fire hazard? Sign me up!
The Dining Room Revival
Are you the kind of person to go all out when it comes to entertaining guests?
…A different table runner for every holiday..
…Mood lighting to compliment any gathering…
…A big dining room table for all of your homemade meals…
Don’t worry, I won’t tell. Just as long as you invite us over sometime.
Just kidding. I’m a Hobby Lobby Seasonal Shelf Sale Shopper, too. Now that the two youngest Martins are out of diapers, I look forward to decorating more.
Even better? Dining rooms are making a comeback. Part of this is pandemic-based. After spending 2020 inside, homeowners are looking for ways to separate space and maximize privacy.
Interior design site, ‘Modsy’ called 2020, “The year of the revival of the dining room.”
Dining rooms are now being used for multi-purposes- and homeowners are valuing the “compartmentalized” space as a place to
- Entertain formally
- Set up for study
- And keep projects in one place
I’m in love with this dining room turned breakfast nook:
And check out how these homeowners retrofitted their dining room to accommodate their office needs:
If you’re looking for more space to entertain, and extra room for spending time with family, the revived dining room is perfect for you!
The team here at Martin will work with you to retrofit your current home and design the dining room of your dreams without knocking down structural walls.
Believe it when I say most homeowners aren’t using their space as well as they could. Often, you don’t need more space. You need a better way to use it.
Which leads me to the kitchen.
Get Open-Concept Kitchen Flow
In the past, kitchens were a service space, a place for work and nothing more.
Now the kitchen is the gathering place for the family. Every morning, you start your day in the kitchen. You brew your coffee, fry your eggs, and send your kids off for the day- all from the kitchen.
As we spend more time in the kitchen, we want more functionality from the space. That’s led us to knocking out walls to create nooks, opening up rooms to have island cooktops, and turning to open concept floor plans for this high-traffic area.
But open floor plans are dangerous fire hazards.
How can you get the welcome feel of an open concept kitchen while putting safety first?
First, there are some low-budget DIYs to give your kitchen that feel- like:
- Painting your kitchen a light color
- Decluttering and cleaning counter space
- Installing open shelving
- Removing heavy curtains and letting in as much light as possible
But, some kitchens require more than a new coat of paint. One of the best renovations to increase your space is to replace your cabinets- and change your kitchen’s traffic flow.
Pro Tip: Build up, not out.
Tall cabinets make your space feel large, without taking up extra floor space.
Another great way to make your kitchen appear bigger is by adding more lighting. Check out this before and after photo. Adding can lighting makes a remarkable difference!:
These homeowners changed out the chandelier for pendant lights, and added recessed lighting to illuminate their kitchen. The space feels so much more open!
Adding new lighting doesn’t have to stop at the kitchen. Our team will take care of the installation throughout your house, illuminating your house and giving that open feel to kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and more.
Increase Your Kitchen’s Space
If your family’s outgrown your kitchen, or it just doesn’t ‘feel’ like you have enough space, maybe it’s time to adjust your kitchen’s layout.
I know what you’re thinking.
“That’s a huge project!”
And you’re right. However, you don’t have to do it alone.
Our team here at Martin specializes in remodels.
We’ll work with you to design the perfect kitchen and take care of your home every step along the way.
Get Open Concept Feel And Still Be Safe At Home.
We’re a family-focused company. That means safety is a huge priority for us. We want homeowners to have spaces that fit their lives- but we also want to make sure your family is protected.
Your home is an enormous asset. We also understand how important it is to protect your investment, to make quality renovations that not only improve your family’s day-to-day but your home’s value as a whole.
Stated plainly: We treat your family home with the same respect as we treat our own.
If you’re ready to retrofit your home to fit your family’s needs, we can help!
Call my husband Vern at 570-345-0406 and get started on your dream home today!
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