Tue 31 May 2016
Open-plan living has been one of the biggest trends in our homes in recent decades – and indeed, knocking down walls can create a sense of space, light, sociability and fluidity that many of us love. On the flip side it can reduce privacy and quiet spots, as well as useful walls against which to place furniture and you may struggle to ignore the pile of washing-up you can see out the corner of your eye whilst enjoying the TV!
Maybe it’s time to consider a compromise; maybe it’s time to consider ‘Broken Plan Living’.
So, before you rush off to knock down all of your internal walls, put down your sledge hammer and take time to consider the pros and cons of how it will affect your lifestyle and the value of your home.
What is broken-plan living?
Broken-plan means keeping the things you love about open-plan, but also letting your rooms retain an element of privacy and specific use.
By dividing your overall space more subtly – using half walls, smart shelving, split levels, mezzanines, internal windows and other clever tricks – and creating break-out zones for privacy and relaxing, it’s perfectly possible to hold onto an appealing sense of light and space, but also to escape distraction from the loved ones you live with (and the undone washing-up) when the mood takes you.
Use a half-wall – a perfect solution for a kitchen dining area. You can still interact with your guests whilst cooking yet it keeps a visual block from the chaos of the kitchen.
Use a fire as a room divide – Break up large open spaces and make smaller, cosier lounge areas by introducing a double sided fireplace.
Use levels to distinguish between areas – Raise an area by using a few steps and different textures of flooring or wall coverings to create a sense of separate rooms.
Screen off a large bedroom – If you’re lucky enough to have space for a seating area in your bedroom then a half wall works well. This could also work perfectly for a studio apartment to create separate spaces.
Remember; before making any major alterations to your home, speak to your Local Authority as you may need planning permission. A reputable builder or chartered surveyor can check if the wall is load bearing and a suitable professional interior designer or Kitchen Company could assist you with the layout of your new ‘broken-plan’ room.
For more advice or if you are thinking of selling a house don’t hesitate to contact your local John German office, we would love to help you.
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