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

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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

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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.

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

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