Kitchen Island

By Peter

The Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan Living

Open-plan living technically refers to any space where two or more rooms have been merged into one. The most popular combinations are, of course, kitchen diners and kitchen living areas. While many homeowners opt to extend their properties, you can also achieve an open-plan layout by removing internal walls. Open-plan living certainly has its benefits, hence why, these days, it’s considered one of the most desirable floorplans. However, there are a few potential downsides you might want to weigh up. Here’s our expert guide to the pros and cons of open-plan living…

Open Plan Kitchen

The Pros Of Open-Plan Living

Ideal For Family Time

From helping the kids with their homework while keeping an eye on the dinner to catching up on your partner’s day while dipping in and out of your favourite TV show, open-plan layouts can make spending time with your family easier. An open-plan layout allows more than one activity to take place in the same space, so you can spend time together without committing to doing the same thing.

Great For Entertaining

Open-plan kitchen diners and living spaces offer plenty of room for gathering all your favourite people. And you know what that means — no more shepherding visitors from the kitchen into the dining room before trying to entice them into the lounge! Establishing space for entertaining must-haves like a fabulous island and generous dining table, open-plan layouts provide the ideal place for guests to mingle and make merry.

Pink and Blue Contrasting Open Plan Kitchen

Creates A Wow Factor

The sense of space created by knocking several rooms into one can bring an impressive element of drama and sophistication to your home. Fewer walls often mean more light, which, in turn, means a brighter, more open and airy-looking room. Pair your spacious new living area with a stylish, cohesive interior design scheme to create a real wow factor.

Could Add Value To Your Home

A stunning and deceptively large open-plan kitchen or living area will make a brilliant first impression on prospective buyers. It could help increase the value of your property and help it sell more quickly. As well as enhancing your daily life, opting for an open-plan layout could make a savvy financial investment.

Classic Kitchen Island

The Cons Of Open-Plan Living

Can Be Noisy

Trying to hear the TV or chat with guests with the dishwasher, cooker hood, or kettle whirring away in the background can be frustrating. Even with soft furnishings or acoustic panelling, open-plan living spaces offer little in the way of sound control, meaning they can get quite noisy.

Cooking Smells Can Linger

No matter how delicious last night’s dinner was, you probably don’t want to smell it while you’re trying to watch the news and enjoy a cup of coffee the next day. Without doors and walls to prevent odours from travelling from room to room, your living space can end up smelling somewhat less fresh.

Handleless Blue Kitchen

Can Look Messy

With an open-plan living space, there’s no closing the door and forgetting about the mess for a few hours. Whether you’ve got a pile of washing up left from cooking dinner or a sea of Legos flooding the living room rug, there’s no escaping it. If you can’t stand clutter, this could be an issue.  

Lack Of Privacy

While spending time chatting, cooking, doing chores and relaxing in the company of your family and friends can be great, sometimes we all need a little downtime. And when it comes to putting your feet up and watching your favourite show, you might face disappointment if you only have one TV area.

A lot of the above issues can be solved by opting for a smaller kitchen diner instead of going completely open-plan. Consider leaving room for a separate snug. A cosy additional living space could make a great play area or TV room for grown-ups.

White Open Plan Handleless Kitchen

Costly To Heat

Unfortunately, large open spaces require a lot more effort to heat effectively. Due to a lack of walls, it might be more practical to install underfloor heating rather than traditional radiators. If you don’t want your energy bills to rocket, it’s worth researching the most efficient solutions. There are some excellent options out there. Conversely, south-facing rooms can get very warm in the summer. If you knock through from a south-facing room, the heat will inevitably permeate the whole space.

You May Need To Plan Around Remaining Structural Features

Removing load-bearing walls often means leaving structural nibs and beams in their place. You may want to take this into consideration when planning your interior design.  

Open Plan Modern Kitchen Cashmere Finish

While open-plan living offers lots of fantastic benefits, you’ll need to think carefully about whether it really suits your lifestyle. If you have friends or family that have open-plan homes, you might find it helpful to get their opinion. These days, broken-plan living is getting a lot of attention. Separating your space using clever screens or partial walls is a great way to achieve that beautiful open-plan flow without sacrificing privacy. Alternatively, lots of our clients find that a kitchen diner offers the perfect amount of space. If you would like to discuss your project with our professional design team, we’d be more than happy to share our expert advice. Please call us on 01634 799 909 or email [email protected].

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