How to Make an Older Floor Plan Feel More Modern

Home layouts of the past often clash with today’s modern lifestyle. Traditional homes were designed with separate, defined living spaces to accommodate the formality of the time. These days, home buyers tend to see that separation as unnecessary.

Renovation by Jewel Box | Jeff Bennett

The trending floor plans of the moment are all about being open.

Open concept floor plans fit the informality of the modern lifestyle. They’re built for entertaining, convenience, and comfort. These layouts create connection between living spaces, offer flexibility and encourage family interaction.

If this type of layout is what you desire, but the home you own is an older model or doesn’t embrace an open design, there are many ways to adapt your space.

Renovation by Jewel Box | Jeff Bennett

Subtle changes make a big difference.

Allow entry of sunlight.

The more natural light the bigger and brighter your space will feel. Replace opaque curtains with sheer drapes and use mirrors or metallic accents to reflect light from the windows.

Remove doors.

This quick fix can create openness by eliminating a divider and connecting spaces.

Rearrange Furniture.

Get creative with the layout of your furniture. Make sure movement is not restricted and that you can easily transition from room to room.

Install Continuous Flooring.

Installing flooring of one material throughout your home creates a uniform feel and seamless flow between spaces.

Renovation by Jewel Box | Jeff Bennett

Go big or go home.

Before making any drastic moves, be sure to seek the advice of an experienced architect. Knocking down walls or adding an extension to physically open up your space can turn into quite the undertaking, not to mention it can get expensive. Before taking this route, it’s a good idea to explore other available options and truly think about what you want to get out of your space.

Are you looking for more flow between living spaces? To increase natural light? Maybe you simply want to be able to keep an eye on the kids in the living room while whipping up their favorite meal in the kitchen.

Get the opinion of an architect or structural engineer who can help you find solutions to these problems. It will most likely save money (and prevent a headache) in the end.

For example, they may suggest removing the plaster or drywall between support beams as an alternative to knocking down an entire wall. This will still create the feeling of more open space.

Renovation by Jewel Box | Jeff Bennett

If you’re still set on making a big change, try these:

Add windows.

As I mentioned before, the more natural light entering a space, the bigger it feels. If choosing thinner curtains doesn’t do it for you, you can try installing skylights, sliding glass doors or wider windows.

Knock down walls.

This one speaks for itself. When you remove a wall, you eliminate a division between rooms and truly combine spaces.

Raise Ceilings.

If you own an older house with a wooden frame and a structure of ceiling joists, you may be able to raise low ceilings by simply exposing or redesigning pre-existing beam support.

Renovation by Jewel Box | Jeff Bennett

Go for the Home Addition.

If you don’t think any of the previous options will add enough openness to your space, you may need to go for a major floor plan change. Physically expanding your home will bring a variety of possibilities and come with flexibility, but at a cost.

If more space is what you’re after, it may be more efficient and economical to relocate. Feel free to connect with me anytime to discuss different options and what might work best for you.


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