Blog - Open-plan or broken-plan spaces?

Houses were once split into much smaller rooms, generally down to the fact that they could only be heated by an open fire.

With advances in technology and lifestyle changes, open-plan living has become increasingly popular.

Then came a global pandemic where we were all forced to share the same space with our partners, spouses, kids and pets 24/7, combined with an energy crisis and it’s got us weighing up our spaces and how we use them once more.

So is open-plan, broken-plan or closed-plan the way forward?

I personally believe a mixture of all three works best but I also feel it’s a personal choice.

Photo of a room with open fire

If you are setting off on a full home renovation, reflecting on how you and your significant others are likely to use the space now, and in the future, is hugely important.

Having lived in and renovated a variety of houses at different times in my life, I can definitely reflect on the changes to how I and my family have used the spaces in which we live.

In my 20s, a big kitchen wasn’t a necessity but a large space to hang out with friends was great.

In my 30s with young children, having a larger kitchen was brilliant and a space the children could play in, (and one we could also have eyes on them at all times) was useful if not essential.

photo of kitchen with seating and dining area

As the children have gotten older the doors have gone back on and we even built the wall back up on the open-plan playroom which has become the teenagers TV/ Gaming Snug.

Photo of pocket doors into a lounge area
Photo of pocket doors into a lounge area
Photo of barn doors

There are lots of options on the market that can give you the best of both worlds. Double pocket doors between rooms will give you an open-plan feel with the versatility of closing the doors to give you two distinct spaces. Bi-fold, concertina or barn doors can work well too.

Another clever way of dividing spaces without losing light is to use glazed panels. The Crittall style is effective here and is both stylish and easy to achieve, with the option of using clear or opaque glass depending on the room’s use. You can even use Privacy or Intelligent glass which provides you with the best of both worlds.

Photo of glass crittall doors

Overall, before knocking those walls down you need to think about how you and your family will live and use the space now and in future years.

Future-proofing the space to avoid costly structural changes in the years ahead could be very savvy.

If you’d like help redesigning your home, please get in touch and I’d be happy to help you.