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People may use the phrase “open house plan” to refer to two different things. In the first sense, they may be talking about an open floor plan, a style of floor plan which involves the creation of large, multipurpose spaces, such as a living room/dining room/kitchen combination. In another sense, they may be talking about a plan for an open house, an event at which people are invited to drop in during set hours. The meaning is usually clear from the context.
In the case of an open floor plan, an open house plan is a floor plan design which involves a great deal of open space. This can make a home feel more roomy, especially if it is smaller, and may admit more light and air circulation as well by opening up rooms which would normally be closed off. This design also admits more flexibility. With an open house plan, people can configure a space in a variety of ways for entertaining and other uses. The plan may include sliding doors or other partitions which can be used to break up or reconfigure the space.
The open house plan is immensely appealing for many home owners. Many modern homes are designed with this type of floor plan, and home renovations of older structures may include such plans. Historic homes are often divided into a number of small rooms which can feel very oppressive and can limit the use of such rooms. By knocking down a few walls to open up the space, people have more options.
When referring to an open house, an open house plan is a plan to establish set hours for an open house. During an open house, people are often entertained with food, drink, and music. Open houses may be held on a regular basis by people who enjoy entertaining and want a regular time for people to drop by. They can also be held when people move, as a form of housewarming party which gives people a chance to see the new house.
Open house plans are also made by businesses which want to attract new customers. These give people a chance to tour a business and meet the staff without any pressure. For example, a doctor opening a new practice might hold an open house to give people a chance to see what the practice is like without feeling obligated to make an appointment. Open houses are also held by organizations such as churches to give curious people a chance to see what it's like to be a member while being able to ask questions and interact with active members.