We take it for granted; “Open-concept design” is a good thing. As an agent, I show it off at the top of the listings. Buyers get excited about it. It’s the way the world’s home design has gone. It’s newer, it’s better.
Now, just for full disclosure, I love open-concept. I like the spaciousness, openness, modernness and comfort of it. I think most buyers do too. But …
It’s not for everyone.
Why Do We Like Open Design?
Before we talk about who it’s right for, let’s talk about what it is we like. From my personal experience and talking to people, here’s what I see as the big points:
- It’s easier to move around. If you want to go from one end of your home to the other, you just go. No doors, no walking around walls, etc.
- It’s sociable. When you have guests and you’re making a coffee in the kitchen, you can keep going in the conversation. This is especially true in your home in Mexico where you’ll likely be out on the balcony/terrace; with the doors wide open, you’re not cutting yourself off from the group. This goes well with the indoor/outdoor living concept with fold-away glass exterior walls.
- It looks good. You can see the space in your home. It feels big and open. You don’t feel restricted.
Basically, the people who like the concept are people who like these points.
Maybe Open-Concept Is Not For You!
As I said, it’s not for everyone. Open-concept is ideal for Mexico because of the nice weather (opening windows, enjoying the sunshine, etc.) But so are several other designs. Different people enjoy different lifestyles. Those who opt out of open concept may do so for:
- increased privacy – Sometimes it’s nice to be able to close a door and keep the spaces in a home separate!
- more wall-space to decorate – People who love paintings, ornaments, collections, etc. may prefer close-room design
- room themes – If you have on open space, it has to follow one theme. With several different rooms, you can enjoy different “themes” in each room – for example, a Mexican-style room, or a nature theme with wicker chairs and lots of plants.
- traditional design/feel – Traditional houses are usually closed-room. Some people like their home to look more traditional.
Some Closed-Room Design Examples
First, here are some nice designs to be found in Mexico that are not open concept:
Traditional/Colonial – Like in the U.S., the traditional Mexican home is closed-room. The Mexican take on this can be elegant and appealing to people, with archway doors, windows between rooms with talavera tiles on the ledges, and more corners and walls to put beautiful Mexican artwork that reflects the richness of the culture. (See a nice example here.)
Mayan – A Mayan-style home, with a thatched roof, plain walls and large wooden lintels, could go either way, but open-concept is most certainly a modern/northern influence on the original Mayan style.
Hacienda – The traditional hacienda has closed rooms around an outside courtyard. So, in a way it is “open-concept” since the courtyard is open, but the livingroom, dining room, kitchen, etc. follow the closed-room concept. This design is actually a nice starting point for a combination.
Modern Closed-Room – There are nice, modern homes and condos that are closed-room or only partially open-concept, very much like many standard homes in the U.S. For some people, enjoying life in Mexico is easiest when they can “come home” to a house that feels like what they’re used to!
Regardless of which you prefer – open concept or closed room – you will find an excellent selection of nice designs in Playa del Carmen and other parts of Mexico!
Doug Morgan was born in Dayton, Ohio and went to college at Buckeye State. Moving to Louisiana after college, he became President of his New York Stock Exchange company at the age of 28. His later career shifted to Florida and the investment business, where he was a financial advisor and branch manager for over 30 years. He bought his first condominium in Mexico in 2008 (from Top Mexico Real Estate), initially as a vacation home, but a year later he retired and moved full time to Playa del Carmen. Contact Doug at (512) 879-6546.
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