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The Historical Rise of the Open Plan Bedroom and Bathroom

Entry #3069, December 4, 2013

Modern interior design can, in many ways, be summed up in three words: clean, stylish, and open. From small apartments to large homes, open plan design is the standard for creating a comfortable, enjoyable living space.

Despite the massive popularity of open plan design today, the design world hasn’t always adored open living spaces. For many years, closed living spaces and rooms with rigid barriers were the norm. What changed? What made the design world gradually change, over the past 20 years, from an adoration of closed spaces and separate rooms to an incredible appreciation of all things open? With help from the experts at The Tile Depot, we looked at how open plan interior design evolved over the past century.

The Historical Rise of the Open Plan Bedroom and Bathroom

bedroom open floor plan

Open plan design in homes have come a long way

Image via: Nico van der Meulen Architects

Interestingly, open plan design is far from a modern phenomenon. Built in 1922 in Los Angeles, the Schindler Chace House is perhaps the ultimate example of interior design that favours open living spaces above interior walls. In an era known for its classical interior, the Schindler House stands out as an early open plan icon.

Another Los Angeles house, this time built in the 1960s – a decade remembered for its white picket fences – stands out as an early open plan icon. The Stahl House, one of the United States’ most photographed houses – is thought of by many as the first truly modern open plan home.

Stahl house architecture_LA

Stahl house was one of the first open floor plan homes that was photographed

Image via: Flickr

Open plan architecture in your home

Today, open plan architecture is making its way from the living room and kitchen into the bedroom and bathroom. Two rooms that were once rigidly separated are joining together, with results that please some designers and frustrate others. Like many other home interior design trends, the open plan bathroom is easily to trace back to the world of luxury hotels. Some designers love them, claiming that they’re the ultimate in modern design. Others, however, view them as a shocking interior design ‘horror’ that’s spread into the home.

open floor plan bedroom light

What are your favorite aspects of an open floor plan?

Image via: Griffin Enright Architects

Whichever view you take, it’s hard to deny that the open plan bathroom is striking and impressive. It’s also hard to deny that it opens up a space that, despite the rise of open plan living rooms, frequently fell victim to claustrophobic and dated design ideas. Obviously, the open plan bedroom and bathroom works better in some situations than in others. In a couple’s apartment or townhouse, it’s the ultimate example of modern, spacious design. In a family home where privacy is more important than aesthetics, it’s a potential annoyance.

Whether you love it or hate it, the open plan bedroom and bathroom is a natural development in the evolution of open plan interior design. Just like we look back and see separate kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms as outdated today, we could soon look back on separate bedrooms and bathrooms and shake our heads.

For more home interiors ideas on Stagetecture, click here.

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