Vindication!! Open concepts aren’t that great. This has been a banner day for me. I mean, you all know how much I dislike open concepts. Until today I thought I was alone in feeling this way. But finally, other open-concept-naysayers are joining me to publicly say “No more open concepts!” or “Give me walls or give me death!” or my favorite “No Walls? No Way!”… With our new fearless leader, Brie Dyas, we have formed a new coalition to further our work: Walls Are Lovely & Likeable Space Separators (W.A.L.L.S.S.).
Today, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Young House Love Has A Podcast. It stars John and Sherry, the founders of the über successful blog, Young House Love. They talk about interior design, DIY and other random things. I find them incredibly charming and they give really good advice about home design and decorating. They are definitely worth listening to.
Today I was listening to their latest show, episode #44, where John and Sherry talk about a recent article in House Beautiful, “Can We Just Stop With Open Concept Floor Plans” written by Brie Dyas. I nearly screamed when I heard the title of the article and it only got better when, John and Sherry basically agreed with Brie’s points. (I’m counting John and Sherry as our newest comrades in W.A.L.L.S.S.)
Why Open Concepts Aren’t That Great…
- EVERYTHING is a focal point – TV, fireplace, far walls, windows, kitchen, dining, aaah…Too. Many. Places. To. Look…
- Painting is a pain – where do you stop? And how do you get up those 20ft tall walls?
- It’s so inefficient – this is about energy efficiency, which we all need to be doing our best to do.
- A surprising lack of flexibility – you often can only put your couch and other essential furniture in one place.
- Art issues — often there are only 4 walls and those have to house everything you can’t float in the middle of the room, which is usually everything.
- Lack of privacy – forget about trying to sneak into the kitchen and steal the last cookie; your cookie-monster-like husband/wife/child will immediately catch you
- The smell issue – obviously…
- The noise issue – Hell. To. The. Yes. It would drive me bananas if I had to hear everything going on in every part of our house at every minute.
Though John and Sherry generally agreed with Brie they definitely tried not to shame anyone into regretting their own open concept if they felt it worked for them. Despite my snarky comments above, and in the past, and to anyone who asks me, I agree. Do what you love and love what you do. If this means taking down every wall in your house so you’re left with just a box: Do it!
What I take issue with is how the open-concept-lovers try to shame us, wall-lovers, into feeling bad about liking walls. In my current house, we have a, big, a** wall separating our kitchen from our formal dining room. I love our formal dining room and I love that it’s a closed off space from the kitchen. I can’t tell you how many people have reacted negatively when I tell them that my plan is to keep the wall and, ergo, keep the rooms separated. The best people can do is nod and say “Oh. That’s interesting.” (BTW: can we all agree to stop using the word “interesting”?! It doesn’t convey anything definitive about whether you like or dislike what the other person just told you; plus most people assume what you really mean is “That’s stupid” because frankly, that’s what you mean. If you like something say “Oh. That’s great!”; if you don’t and it isn’t going to effect your life whatsoever say “That sounds great!”)
Anyway, this concludes today’s rant(s). I hope you head over to Young House Love Has A Podcast and give them a try. I’m also curious if I can sign any of you up for W.A.L.L.S.S.? Or if you’ve renewed your membership to O.P.E.N. (Open Plans Everywhere Now)?
Before I leave you, I also wanted see what you thought about the jab Brie made about the show Fixer Upper – you know the show starring Chip and Joanna Gaines and the people who’ve made “shiplap” a household must-have.
Something else I’m curious about: their branding. Everywhere you look these days Chip AND Joanna are everywhere — they have a magazine, stuff at Bed Bath and Beyond and a paint line. Except it isn’t THEY it’s only Joanna..dum dum dum…what do you think that’s about?
Is this some new, advanced, Jedi-mind trick, branding they’re doing or something else? The show is 10,000% Chip AND Joanna so Branding 101 would dictate that Chip AND Joanna be featured on all of their products, right? So what the hell is going on? My novice, branding brain needs answers.
Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest.
*W.A.L.L.S.S. is trademarked, patent-pending, intellectually protected property…or at least it will be once I figure out what those words means.