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What are the pros and cons of open-concept design? Add to ...

The question

My husband and I disagree over whether to knock down the walls on our ground floor to make it open concept. What are the pros and cons?

The answer

An open-concept space creates a feeling of luxury and living large, and you can still define areas through furniture placement. One disadvantage, though, is the potential for unsightly views.

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Guests, for example, might be able to spot dirty dishes from the great room. (Solution: Get a deep sink.) Another disadvantage is noise. Insulating the floors can help keep the racket to a dull roar.

When I went to an open-concept school in the 1970s, teachers struggled to control the chaos and the walls slowly went back up. Before removing any walls, ask yourself: Where do I need peace and quiet? As for resolving your disagreement, I’m afraid that is beyond my jurisdiction. Just remember that healthy compromise is good for reno planning – not to mention a marriage.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace’s new e-book, Dee Dee’s Rules, is available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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