They say break the rules, we say break the walls - but wait! Yes, we are talking about open plan living where you can have your living room, your kitchen, your dining room all in a single room without any walls. Open plan doesn't have to mean that you knock out every wall in your home. It can actually refer to a wonderful new extension that allows you to take advantage of a more spacious and laid back décor style. No wonder open plan is a modern way of living as it's cosy, fun, and yet roomy too.
Though if you are thinking and considering open plan living, one thing you keep in your mind is that in the UK and Ireland it’s not that common.
It is easy to build an open plan model for new, self build houses or an extension, rather than remodelling the house you have. You need to ensure to have at least one other room aside from the open plan area - it could be anything like a playroom, or a study area or your bedroom - where you can just shut the door and relax yourself and your mind from the main room hustle & bustle.
Now the hard part is making the open plan work for you and we are here to do that, as open plan living requires a lot of planning. The first thing you have to decide is how many of the rooms you're planning to combine to the one individual room. Is it going to be the usual planning with living room, kitchen & dining area, or you are planning to include some other room such as a playroom etc. Once you've decided, we need to look after certain things like how big the kitchen area is going to be or is it ventilated enough so that your furniture doesn't smell of your cooking.
We all dream of a spacious kitchen with high ceilings and tonnes of natural light pouring through windows but in reality most of us live with small, oddly shaped ones. Trust me it doesn't have to be so bad! In fact, with the right idea we can achieve your plan, all you need to do is be realistic about your space.
If it's a new self build, think how others may feel if you sell the house later. What if they want a closed plan? Is it possible with your plan? Keep that in mind when you start out.
Think about lighting as it is a game changer. It means, one minute your living room is host to cosy movie marathons and the next transformed into a place for reading, homework and intensely competitive board games. So it is a factor to be considered. There are some really great types of lighting ideas.
Think of connecting your living room to your garden, think about making your house look beautiful inside as well as outside. This plan may involve new windows or doors or some glass work if it's done well, it enhances the beauty much more.
These open plan layouts are great for family homes, because they keep everyone closer to each other even if they are in different “rooms”. One tricky aspect of having an open floor plan is that it can be hard to determine what kind of flooring is the best fit. Should you use one consistent flooring type throughout the whole space? The answer to these questions differs on a home-by-home basis, and according to your personal style preferences. There are certain flooring options such as wooden floor, tiles, marble, stone that could all work in an open plan area. If it's an open plan living, kitchen and dining room, then consider wooden floors as a better option.
Everything comes with its own downside and open plan living also has some. For example, there is less privacy as you all have to live in one large space together. Another disadvantage is cooking aromas linger if the proper ventilation is not there and, yes, if the kitchen is messy your whole living room will look messy. Last but not least, lack of privacy - if you are a person who likes having your own personal time or want to read or study something it is impossible to find a quiet place in an open living plan.
So before adding open plan living into your lifestyle think about it long and hard and discuss the same with your family.
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