My new-home clients sometimes talk about a home design with “good flow”; or more often, an “open” or “open concept” floor plan.
“Open concept” sounds like a new idea, but is it? What is an open floor plan, anyway?
The first American homes were built in the 18th century, when home design was restricted by technology and fashion. Fashion, because the only building traditions the colonists had were the ones they brought with them from Europe.
Technology, because 18th century homes didn’t have central heating (it wasn’t widespread in America until the early 20th century). Since each room in the house had to be heated individually, it made sense to keep rooms small, separated from each other with walls, and easy to heat.
|This all-brick early 19th-Century Georgian house plan is very formal - notice how the rooms are arranged around massive fireplaces in the center of each wing|