One of my guilty pleasures is watching HGTV shows. If you’ve watched even 30 seconds of one of them, you know that the must-have design for a house is “open concept.” You’ve got to have that flow. Parents need to have sightlines so their kids don’t kill themselves during dinner prep. And hosts need to be able to talk to their guests while they prepare a culinary masterpiece.
You can imagine my surprise, then, when, on one of these shows, a couple, after being given the suggestion to knock out a dining room wall to create this coveted feature, didn’t want to do it. They wanted some space and separation in their house, if you can even imagine. I’m amazed they weren’t immediately tossed into the “Demo Day” dumpster. But I found it enormously refreshing. Because, you see, I, too, find “open concept” houses a little overrated.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t like any flow or openness. But so often the houses on HGTV end up having essentially wall-less main floors, and there are a few reasons why I think that would annoy me.
First of all, it seems like it would be loud. Chalk it up to having six siblings, but the idea of not having anywhere to go besides your bedroom to have a little space between other people terrifies me. Also, what if different people want to do different activities? If there’s not any kind of separation, the TV (in my experience) will automatically take over everything else.
Second, it sometimes means that your entire house is exposed to any person who comes to the front door. I personally am very glad that when people first come into my house, they can’t see my kitchen. Because let’s be honest, if there’s any room that is in use all throughout the day and may not be perfectly clean, it’s that one.
Third, and I understand that this is just one of my anxieties, but I actually really don’t like cooking in front of guests. I’m getting a lot better about it, but having just a little privacy while getting a meal ready has been a boon to my mental health.
Looking back at this list, it appears as though I like the slightly-more closed house because I’m an introverted, neurotic misanthrope. Well, maybe that’s true. But that’s why there’s a right buyer for every kind of house, not just the open-concept ones. If only HGTV would make a show about it.