Now that our kitchens are more open and used as central areas of activity we have decided that the connecting spaces need to be part of that as well. It all started with the “Keeping Room” which was a part of the kitchen, usually with a fireplace. I’m sure some of us still have these and they are wonderful spaces for casual living, but at some point it was decided that we didn’t need two rooms that did the same thing!

The Family Room became the Great Room since the Living Room got doors and a new name: the Study. How many rooms do you need to “live” in anyway? So it was decided that the Great Room is here to stay and has taken over as the only living space in the common area of the home…and we want it to be connected to everything!

The Great Room has grown and lost its walls so we can see and hear from one room to another. Our visual line of sight into joining rooms keeps us involved with multiple activities; as Mom cooks she can keep an eye on the kids watching TV or Dad working on the computer, but the most important aspect of open concept is entertaining. By opening up multiple spaces to interact together, we can mingle from the Dining Room to the Great Room and into the Kitchen to get more hors douvres and never have to go through a door.

The Dining Room has lost a lot of its walls as a result of the interactive spaces. This has given the Dining Room a less formal feel, so look for it to become absorbed by the open concept, possibly dissappearing from some plans altogether.

And while the adults have taken over the Great Room and Dining, don’t feel bad for the children. They have their own space! Bedrooms are more interactive with their own living and activity spaces like the Bonus Room or Rec Room giving them a separate section of the house. This way the kids can make more noise and not disturb the party.