| Once a trend, open floor plans have become a staple of most modern homes. An open floor plan generally means the living room, kitchen, and dining room are combined into a large space or great room. Before taking a hammer to all interior walls, it’s important to know the structure of your home, as well as the benefits and ways you can accomplish an open concept. |
Benefits of an Open Floor Plan
Small, cluttered homes can be transformed into airy, more breathable spaces by knocking down a few dividing walls. A demolition project may seem daunting, but the average cost is just over $3,000. Just be sure to have a professional take a look before wielding a sledgehammer. Hiring a structural engineer will cost you about $500, but you’ll save yourself the headache of rebuilds, fines, or structural problems.
Without walls blocking the windows, natural light is able to stream in your home, making the open space seem even larger and more airy. Along with knocking down walls, you can bring natural light into your home by connecting the outdoors to your home’s interior with large patio doors. On average, you can install glass doors for about $1,600.
It’s right there in the title: an open floor plan means more openness and inclusivity in your home. When you’re preparing dinner in the kitchen, for example, you won’t be closed off from the rest of the house. This is great for both entertaining and every day. When you’re entertaining, you can still be a part of the party, even while preparing food and drinks. And as an everyday solution, you’re able to keep an eye on children, pets, or—let’s be honest—the TV, while still going about your daily tasks.
From Blandscape to Landscape
by Lisa LaPaso www.lisalapaso.com
If you are tired of your yard and unsure of where to begin with change, you aren’t alone. I provide hundreds of Landscape Consultations in and around Austin each year and here are some great tips I have shared along the way.
Choose a color that makes you happy and run with it. Create accents in the yard with spray-painted patio furniture, flower pots, and umbrellas. These are cheap ways to add color and interest.
Items you may already have like old mirrors, pots you can repurpose by spraying them all the same color, patio furniture that could use some new cushions or a fresh coat of exterior paint can all be used to redesign on a budget.
Planting color, texture or flowing (ornamental grass) in mass is a beautiful way to “spruce up” a boring landscape. Look for native and adapted plants that are low water and low maintenance like these (below). Make a list of plants you find online or from my blog here or Facebook page for our planting zone 8a/b, make a list of the size of the plants as well. It is very important not to over plant or place larger plants in front of smaller ones. Be sure to also select from evergreen perennials as well as deciduous ones for interest all year.