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Is the Open Floor Plan Really Dead?

Early in the pandemic, as homes began to serve as headquarters for work and school, and families spent more time together than perhaps ever before, design professionals, psychologists, and anyone who’d had at least one Zoom mishap (which is all of us) wondered if the much-beloved open floor plan was officially over. Already, the market had seen a shift toward formality, with the reemergence of separate dining rooms and foyers. But as COVID-19 transformed the home into the official hub of just about everything, outlets for privacy and retreat within that space became essential.

But the presumed death of the open floor plan may not be quite so accurate. For one thing, the needs that gave way to their rise have not gone away. “The open floor plan was a response to prewar closed floor plans, and its many advantages still remain,” says Elisa Orlanski Ours, chief planning and design officer for Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. “Namely, improving traffic flow, increasing access to shared light, and allowing for multifunctionality and versatility.”

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