Residential Design Trends: Line of Sight & Flexibility

Two of the most popular residential design trends are open first floor plans and blended indoor/outdoor living space. Both are driven by the desire for unobstructed line of sight and flexibility of uses.

The open plan has become one of the most popular must-haves for buyers searching for that perfect home. Its popularity is due to the desire for more flexible space that can be used for private living space during the week and entertainment space on the weekends. The appeal comes mostly from the host’s wish to be a part of the gathering while preparing and serving food. The open plan gives the host in the kitchen the opportunity to interact with their guests that are socializing in the living room or dining room. The open plan feature also is desirable for parents who need to be preparing dinner or performing daily chores while their children play. Line of sight and human interaction are the driving features behind an open plan making it a staple for today’s multitasking modern family lifestyle.

More flexible space that many homeowners look for are spaces between the interior of their home and the exterior elements. Decks, patios and porches have become increasingly popular for entertainment. Simple overhangs of a roof or extensions of a floor plate can extend the living space into the odors even on a less than perfect day. The threshold between outdoors and indoors can be easily bridged by using full height panes of glass and sliding doors. This residential trend is also driven by the line of sight; by offering visual and spatial continuity with the outdoors you increase the size of the space.

Older homes built in the early and mid-1900s were meant to hide the kitchen and all the behind the scenes action from the guests. Lifestyles were much different then and it was custom for the women or servants to be in the kitchen preparing while the men socialized separately. Today society as a whole has become more open. When you first walk into a home built in the early or mid-1900s you do not have many direct lines of site into other rooms, houses were more formal each room was more separate and had a specific function. Today people are looking for open layouts that allow for flexibility and open lines of site. Rooms no longer have walls separating them; they are now defined by décor, flooring, paint, and furniture.

Contributed by Brittany Carey