We’ve seen a lot of interior design trends come and go in the last 55 years. However, one trend that we have seen a lot and seems here to stay is open plan living. We get it, there’s a lot of appeal in knocking down walls and embracing larger rooms and a free-flowing space.
However, despite its aesthetic allure, there’s a downside that many homeowners are beginning to realise; open plan might look great (when done well) but can create more problems with the design than you may realise.
Aesthetic appeal vs. Practical challenges
So, you decide to knock down a main wall to create an open space, and suddenly, your kitchen and living room meld into one harmonious room. It sounds dreamy, right? However, the reality often doesn’t match the fantasy.
One of the major pitfalls of open plan living becomes glaringly obvious in the heart of the home – we’re of course talking about the kitchen. While the idea of a wide, open kitchen might seem appealing, it often leads to compromises that massively impacts its functuality. One of the main concerns is the loss of essential walls that provide the structural support for kitchen appliances, like ovens, and much-needed worktops.
Without these walls, designing a functional kitchen can become a daunting task, often resulting in compromised workspaces and storage solutions. Ever tried cooking without a proper worktop or struggling to find a suitable spot for your oven? Suddenly open plan living is not quite as convenient as it sounds!
Style vs Functionality
The allure of open plan living is undeniable – it creates an illusion of space, enhances natural light, and promotes a sense of togetherness among family and friends. But it’s crucial to strike a balance between style and functionality. Clever design solutions (that’s where we come in!) can turn the challenges of open plan living into opportunities.
Consider incorporating kitchen islands into your design. These versatile additions not only compensate for lost worktop space but also provide a focal point for socialising and meal preparation. Smart storage solutions are another game-changer. From pull-out shelves to hidden cabinets, they can help you to keep clutter at bay and maintain the sleek, open look you desire.
Open plan living: It’s not always a bad thing
Whilst open plan living can present some challenges and you need to keep some extra considerations in mind, it’s not always a bad thing. Some of the benefits to open plan living include:
Easier to socialise: Open plan living turns your space into a social haven! Without walls to separate you from your loved ones or guests, it’s like an invitation for conversations to flow, creating that warm, togetherness vibe that’s perfect for family bonding.
Improved lighting: With fewer walls, natural light can flow throughout the space, making the area feel brighter and more spacious – great for small spaces! This can enhance the overall ambiance of your home and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day, helping you to save on electricity bills.
Flexibility in furniture arrangement: Without fixed walls, homeowners do have more freedom to play around with furniture and décor placement. This not only lets you arrange things to suit your needs, but it can be really useful for smaller homes where making use of every nook and cranny is very important.
Improved ventilation: Without walls obstructing airflow, open plan living spaces can be better ventilated, leading to improved air circulation throughout the home. Do keep in mind that this can also make your space a bit trickier to heat.
A sense of spaciousness: Open plan living can create an illusion of a larger space, especially in smaller homes, making them feel more expansive and a bit less cramped.
Need some help creating that home you’ve been dreaming about? Contact us today, we’d love to help make your dream home a reality!