The Pro’s & Con’s Of Open Plan Living

Open plan living is something we as a family are a huge fan of. We’ve recently made our home even more open plan than it was before with an extension (which you can read about here) which makes our lounge, kitchen & dining room one large flowing space & couldn’t be happier with the results.

Perhaps you’re thinking of knocking a wall through to create a more open feel or even wanting to buy a new house which has this layout already. Alternatively maybe it isn’t for you & perhaps you’d like your home to have a more defined space than it’s current open plan layout.

In this blog post I’m going to go through the positives & negatives of open plan living.

Pros –

·         Easy living – probably the best part of having an open plan living area is the fact that it’s so versatile & easy to live with. From family life to entertaining, it means you can be in the kitchen cooking whilst keeping an eye on other areas or even catching up on your favourite TV shows. It gives you the ability to be social in a relaxed & laid back way.


·         Togetherness – in today’s society, it’s so easy to become disconnected & with busy lifestyles it’s all too easy to be sat in different rooms doing different activities. The beauty of open plan is that in brings the family together to share in these things & ultimately bring us all closer.


·         Light – think large Velux windows, bi-fold doors & areas flooded with light. This allows easy access to your outdoor area which ultimately leads to a better flow from the outside in. In our new extension we’ve got french doors that lead out to the garden as well as 2 large roof lanterns.


·         Design – open plan spaces are every interior designers dream layout as it allows such freedom when it comes to design. From well thought out defined spaces (so designated areas within the layout such as dining, living room & kitchen) to areas that are combined to give a seamless flow.
Cons –
·         Odours – this is probably the top thing that puts homebuyers off if they haven’t experienced open plan living before. If you have an open plan kitchen & living area, it’s unavoidable that food smells drift into the other areas & can become absorbed in to soft furnishings. What could you do to minimise this issue? Invest in a good extractor fan as well as installing openable windows to let the odours out as well as using fragrance diffusers or candles to mask the smell.


·         Noise levels – another pretty unavoidable issue is noise when multiple people are in a space with various functions. Noise from the kitchen such as cooking or the dishwasher can interfere with somebody watching TV in the lounge & so on.


·         Clutter – open plan living is usually a lot more minimalist in design than separate rooms so can pose an issue for any hoarders. Using clever hidden cupboards or built in storage are the perfect way to address this issue to keep the space tidy however regular decluttering is also essential.


·         Privacy – if you love your peace & quiet then open plan may not be for you. It’s hard to achieve privacy if you live with multiple people who are all trying to share the same space. Sometimes I find myself going upstairs for 5 minutes peace when all I’ve heard is ‘mum mum mum mum’ 24/7.


If you don’t fancy bashing down walls just yet, one solution would be to install large bi-fold glass doors between areas to give the option of open plan without the commitment. This would make it easy to close the doors when needed, such as when cooking, then open for occasions such as when entertaining.
How do you feel about open plan living?
Love, Charlotte x