Seven reasons first home buyers love open-plan living

March 27, 2023

“The big win with open-plan living is that it’s social; it connects spaces for family togetherness; and it draws in more light, which can make a small space feel bigger,” says Porter Davis.

Aussies love open-plan living. The interior design concept makes perfect sense in Australia’s mainly temperate climate - most new builds are veering towards architectural styles that facilitate the flow of natural light and air through our properties. But it’s not just the physical health benefits of this way of living that make open-plan spaces so appealing to our younger generations. 

Research has proven the benefits of open-plan living on our mental health, an important component of our overall well-being that our young people feel passionate about. With the increase in the number of employees who work remotely since the pandemic, many first-home buyers are looking for properties that meet their working-from-home and their mental health requirements.  

What are the main ways open-plan living spaces improve our health?

  • They increase natural Light - Studies have shown that “The natural lighting conditions of housing significantly impact people's perceptions of happiness and sadness, with settings that have an increased amount of daylight entering the home leading to the greatest impacts.” They are also perfect for informal entertaining on a grand scale, something we Aussies love to do.
  • They improve airflow – “Ventilation increases oxygen levels and dilutes and displaces carbon dioxide and airborne pollutants,” and open-plan living encourages natural ventilation. A good flow of air helps eliminate mould and mildew, dust, mites, pollen, and airborne toxins and it also removes cooking odours and toxic gases from cooking and heating more quickly.
  • They encourage better “flow” in our homes.  According to CIH Design"To create a 'design flow' is to establish a visual link between the interior spaces or separate rooms in a home." The ease with which we navigate our space affects our mood and in our increasing desire to simplify and be more mindful about the way we live, good "flow" is key to that balance. “If a home flows smoothly, then it is a well-designed space that allows the occupants to move easily within the home, promoting and ensuring a comfortable lifestyle in every room,” says Gardiner & Larson. 
  • They maximise space - Open-plan spaces use every nook and cranny available in our homes. The square meterage of usable space may not be increased by much in real terms, but the extra light will make it feel bigger.
7 reasons first home buyers love open-plan living
"Flow" is not just about the movement of energy, it is about creating a calm, harmonious environment in which to live. Your property should “tell a story”, especially when you style it to sell.

Why do first-home buyers, in particular, love this design concept?

  1. They prioritise connection. They understand the benefits of open-plan living from a social and practical perspective. Open-plan living makes socialising and monitoring their kids’ screen time easier, and with the obvious exception of teenagers (!), most homeowners agree that a large open space is better for their relationships and health.
  2. They prioritise their health and understand the benefits of light and air through a property. This is why nature and natural materials are such massive influences in 2023’s interior design trends.
  3. They understand the importance of "flow”. They know "flow" is not just about the movement of energy, it is about creating a calm, harmonious environment in which to live. According to The Styling Consultant: “Whether your property’s style is dictated by its age or your personal taste, flow connects the different areas, creating a relaxing environment in which to live.” Your property should “tell a story”, especially when you style it to sell.
  4. They know it adds value for money. Space is a rare and expensive commodity - especially in our inner cities – and an interior design concept that utilises every nook and cranny is value for money.
  5. They like to play around with home decorating and open-plan spaces facilitate greater flexibility in terms of layout. There are fewer walls to navigate, but if they do need to section off an area for a work zone or play area, there are some great room divider ideas to choose from.
  6. They like entertaining their friends. This is probably the deal-breaker for young Aussies. As the cost of living increases and we spend more time at home, we are inviting friends over rather than meeting out. Our temperate climate means we can entertain pretty much all year around and open-plan living facilitates this important aspect of our culture. Even when it rains, an outdoor living room or covered balcony that extends from the kitchen is the perfect way to catch up with friends and family.
  7. More of them work remotely. There are more remote jobs since the pandemic and Millennials and Gen Z have made it clear that they want to continue to work from home some days per week. The home office is the new non-negotiable where first-home buyers are concerned.

Admittedly, those people who live in our more extreme climate zones may need to consider heating and cooling costs – especially since the global escalation of energy costs. And likewise, those employees who work from home may want to consider practical ways to divide up the space to accommodate their work zone. But overall, the benefits of open-plan living outweigh any negatives.

Overall, the benefits of open-plan living outweigh any negatives

For those of you thinking about selling your property off-market anytime soon - and why wouldn't you, given that off-market transactions make up 20% of Australia's total property market? - your primary concern should be what appeals to your buyer demographic. You may be fortunate to own a property that is already open-plan in design, but if not, take a look at our Seller Assist service. For a small fee, our team of experts offer the best advice about preparing your property for sale, so book a free consultation today. No one is suggesting you take a hammer and start knocking down walls, but you may be surprised by the difference a small investment can make. A few minor renovations could be all it takes to open up your space and broaden its appeal. 

With the growing popularity of open-plan living, it also makes sense if you are buying a property to consider the research. But if you're ready to find your dream home, sign up with us today to gain free access to the best open-plan properties in our portfolio of exciting off-market listings. 


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