open plan interior design

The Upsides and Downsides of Open Plan Living Areas

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One of the decisions that come with major home revamping is opting for an open plan or not when it comes to the living space. Planning a living space requires much time and, of course, money. Hence, you must take your time to make the right decision before proceeding.

We hope the information provided in this guide will help you make the right decision.

What is an open plan?

In an open plan living space, the rooms are not separated by walls. It is more like having a huge space where you have the dining area, kitchen, and even the lounge area. The open plan is great for shared living spaces, as well as a spacious master bedroom suite that incorporates a vital dressing area. If you are reverting to an open plan, you will remove some of the dividing walls and put beams and similar structural works in their places.

Why should you consider an open plan?

The biggest advantage of open plan is that it allows you to merge multiple rooms into a large room. In the end, your living space feels much bigger and airier.  This ease comes with the absence of walls and barriers between different parts of your home. You can easily move from your dining area to the kitchen and to the serving room; traffic flow is smoother. Also, your space is better exposed to natural light, with windows on the two sides of your space. Lastly, conversation and shared time become more interesting – you can chat directly with someone in the kitchen while you are at the dining table.

interior design openplan room

How do you decorate an open space?

You ultimately have tons of options when it comes to decorating your new living area. You can conveniently differentiate your spaces with different flooring, for example, the dining area and the kitchen. Likewise, a table, bank of cabinets, or similar furniture can serve as dividers. On the other hand, adopting the same flooring pattern and color scheme will integrate all the elements together and give you the impression of space. It is important to make everything blend, considering that all of your living areas will be visible at once. You will also need to add sizeable closed storage options to ensure that everywhere is tidy and well arranged.

You can adopt the use of focal points like fireplaces and screens as room dividers – they help in breaking the room visually. Also, the absence of wall spaces means you will need to make provisions for ample space where you can keep big pictures, sofas, and similar large furniture pieces. Lastly, the process of adopting an open plan can be tricky most times. However, you can save yourself all the stress by hiring a good interior designer, with the right expertise and experience to handle the project for you.

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Why should you not consider open plan?

The biggest threat to an open plan is the heating bill. Open plan means you are now heating a vast space rather than multiple smaller spaces. The only way to avoid this is to adopt a cost-effective heating method during the construction process. Underfloor heating is a good option.

Another con of the open plan is noise. The absence of walls and similar barriers means that noise can travel throughout your living space. So, the radio in the sitting area can disturb you in the kitchen. It also removes privacy and encourages distractions. For example, if you have your study area in the living space, the aroma from your kitchen can definitely affect your concentration. Hence, study or work areas shouldn’t be integrated into living areas in an open plan. Also, integrate proper ventilation and strategic extractor fans for your kitchen as part of your project.

 

 

 


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