A Realtor reminded me recently of one of the most dramatic evolutions in home design over the years from what is typically seen in older homes. She shared how popular open floor plans have become in new homes.

Open floor plans rather than several smaller rooms enhance opportunities for entertaining and involve everyone so no one feels left out.

Many want to define distinct living areas within a large open area. Without full walls sectioning off these areas, there are still some things you can do to create a sense of room definition. Columns, half walls, arches and changes in ceiling height can accomplish this.

More subtle ways to do this include varying floor products, finish materials and paint colors.