Advice On How To Have Open Plan Living
Open Plan Advice
Open plan living brings many benefits to your home and life style but there are some practical issues to consider when you are planning to change the layout of your home.
No longer do we desire the need to have lots of separate rooms with their own purpose, instead the need for a large open plan room which allows us to socialise, cook, relax and watch the children all in the same location is high on peoples wish lists. But before we embark on converting or adding an extension like an orangery or conservatory to our properties there are some practicalities we need to consider.
Create Rooms Within a Room.
Dividing the room into separate zones should be one of your first considerations, and there are many ways to achieve this. These options should be addressed at the design stage of your build.
- Use movable storage furniture to separate areas; this will also serve as additional storage as well as creating a partition. They can be moved and re positioned as and when you need allowing you to change the flow of a room at any time.
- Construct small partial walls as high or as wide as you desire, the wall can also be used to display accessories or can have storage units built into either side.
- Breakfast bars and islands are often used to separate areas and serve the purpose of entertaining, food preparation, storage and dining.
- A central fire place using a wood burning stove is becoming a popular choice, this also creates a warm and cosy feel to the room that sometimes can be lacking in large open plan areas.
- Glass sliding doors; may be appropriate if you feel that you would need to sometimes shut the kitchen area off completely. Once opened however the doors slide back and sit against the wall becoming invisible when not in use.
Contain Cooking Smells
This maybe a hard task to fulfill due to the open plan nature of the room, however a few simple steps can help with this.
When planning the room place the kitchen area as far away as possible from the lounge area.
Ensure that there is adequate extraction for the cooking smells to escape, place your cooker or stove near a window.
As mentioned above; consider sliding glass doors.
Floors and Ceilings
Having different flooring and floor levels helps separate the different areas of the room. A few small steps that lead either up or down into the next area clearly mark’s out the new zone. As does covering the floor in different materials, kitchen areas do well with coverings such as stone flags, ceramic tiles or wood and dining areas and lounges benefit from carpets or rugs which are softer and warmer.
Use different materials when constructing the ceilings; like simple plaster, timber tongue and groove or textured plaster. Sky lights work well over the kitchen area providing lots of natural day light. High pitched ceiling work well in the kitchen and lounge areas where as low ceilings in the dining area can create a more intimate feel to this part of the room.
Lights play a key role in any room to create ambiance but they also can help divide an open plan room into areas. Use statement pendant lights hung in a group of three over either a dining table or island this sets these area apart from the rest of the room. In the relaxing areas of the room, use intimate lamps or uplighters to create a peaceful area.