There are many reasons to love an older home. The unique craftsmanship creates a charm that is hard to replicate. But with age comes quirks. As the times and home trends have changed, so have constructional ideals. Old homes are often challenged by small areas for storage, guests, and of course, the kitchen.
Pre-1940, a separate dining room, living space, and kitchen where the preference. Now, a cohesive space is preferred, and walls have been replaced with breakfast bars and clear sight lines into the dining and living areas. Although open floor plans have many advantages, they’re not for everyone. They can be noisy – with wide open spaces and lots of hard surfaces, acoustics can be a real challenge. Open floor plans can be hard to consistently heat, too. These open spaces are typically very casual and can remove more intimate, elegant entertaining spaces from the home.
The Formal Dining Room
Formal dining rooms create an intimate, dedicated space for family meals and gatherings with friends. They don’t have to be “state dinners” on the good china, but meals in a formal dining room feel cozier and worth dressing up for. They encourage conversation and keep guests from seeing the dirty dishes and cooking mess in the kitchen.
The Open Floor Plan
In the past, kitchens were hidden from the more formal parts of the home. Families today want more open, casual home designs that enable communication and connection among family members. Open kitchens are a perfect way to integrate the kitchen into the rest of the home. An island makes entertaining in the kitchen easy, creating a gathering place for guests – especially if the island includes a bar and seating options.
The Best of Both Worlds
Most older homes have formal dining rooms. With a few tweaks, these homes can have the best of both worlds. A pass-through wall with a buffet between the kitchen and dining room can connect these spaces and add the sense of openness without breaking down the walls entirely. Expanding door openings between formal dining rooms and living rooms can also improve the flow of older homes and make them feel more connected to the home. We love blending the charms of an older home with the open and welcoming feel of a contemporary floor plan.