Over the last 10 years it has become more and more popular to knock down walls within our current homes and to build new homes that include open plan living spaces.
Gone are the days where we longed for multiple individual rooms. Our taste has changed and we now want large, airy rooms that give a feeling of freedom, no matter how big our homes. For many of us, one way to achieve an open plan living space is to build an extension and redesign the ground floor of our homes. But how do we do this to best effect? What should we consider when designing an open plan layout?
Kitchen and Cooking
These days open plan living revolves or will involve to some extent, the kitchen area. One thing to consider here it that you won’t have dividing walls on which to mount cupboards and appliances so careful planning is needed to ensure you have the right amount of storage. Open plan living by its very nature encourages socialising and so do install an island that incorporates a breakfast bar to allow family and friends to sit and chat whilst the cooking is happening. Good ventilation is also important to ensure cooking smells don’t permeate the rest of the room and home, and think about incorporating a separate utility room to house the dishwasher and washing machine to ensure noise is contained.
Image Courtesy of Magnet Trade
Sitting and Lounging
Families love open plan living and it lends itself very well to family life. Whilst mom is cooking the children can be sitting, watching tv, playing games, crafting or drawing. Having the family all in one space is great for bonding and building communication skills so do plan in some seating or sofas where the children, or friends can lounge. Ideally, create fabulous views out onto the garden and install bifold or patio doors to enhance the feeling of space and light. Keep these views clear so they can be enjoyed from the seating areas.
Eating and Dining
Another element that has to be included in the open plan layout is the space for dining. If space allows then do have the largest table you can to ensure spending time in this space is both pleasurable and practical. Again, the children will enjoy doing their homework there or playing together as well as it being great for family dinners and more grown up dinner parties.
A Quiet Space
Are there any downsides to an open layout you may wonder? Well at times it might be necessary for some to have time away from others and that’s where an extra room or quiet space comes in handy. Whether it’s to work on the computer or to read a book, many of us do like to get away from it all after a busy day so, if possible, think about you can create a space that will facilitate this, even if it’s just a more peaceful living room at the front of the house.