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British vs American home design
House Plans
British vs American home design
By: NOVA Ben
On: 4/30/2011
Ok, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question or not, but here goes. I have a lot of interest in floor plans and real estate, and I find it fun to look at floor plans and peruse real estate listings from various places, including outside the U.S. Something that I've noticed while looking at these things is the vast difference between the typical British home layout and the typical American layout. Besides the general difference in size (British homes being smaller on average), there are some huge differences. In American homes (and I'm speaking in generalities here) the layout is often very open and flowing. For example, many American "center hall Colonials" will have a foyer that is open to the living and dining rooms, and sometimes to the kitchen and other rooms. Similarly, it's common for the family room to flow uninterrupted through the kitchen and breakfast area, with little to disrupt that flow. On the other hand, British home floor plans seem far more compartmentalized and isolated; you have to go through lots of doors to move from one room to another, and there seems to be a lot of separation throughout. Sometimes you even find the dining room on the other side of the house from the kitchen, and occasionally bedrooms that can only be accessed through another bedroom. Overall they just feel like a bunch of lone, freestanding rooms with little relation to the rooms around them. As an American, this always looks strange to me. What are the reasons (if any) that American floor plans differ so dramatically from British ones? Is it a cultural thing? Does it have to do with older design traditions that carry through to the present day?
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