I met with an architect friend for lunch last week and asked how to create an open plan home. Her answer was:
To get open plan living right isn’t as easy as knocking down all the walls. To avoid being left with a cavernous, noisy space, plan your open plan living so there are breakaway spaces – perhaps a nook for reading or a window seat. Lots of soft furnishings can also help to reduce noise. And don’t forget lots of storage, because even with open plan living, you don’t want everything out in the open!
Here are our top tips:
Define your zones
People often think that you either have separate rooms or open plan. The reality is not so black and white, as the relationship between different zones can be manipulated by varying degrees, to emphasise their separation or integration. Changes in floor level, floor finish, ceiling condition, furniture arrangement and many other devices can all contribute to this fine tuning.
Create layered views
When thinking through ideas for opening up your interior, look for opportunities to set up views with ‘layers’. The home in this image illustrates the ‘layer’ idea well, as you can see across a dining area (layer one), through a kitchen area (layer two) to a garden beyond (layer three). These ‘layers’ gives an illusion of much greater space and depth than would otherwise be felt.
Use daylight as a highlighter
Daylight is the most wonderful magnifier of interior space. If you can bring more natural light into your home it will have a great effect in maximising the sense of space – and even in an already opened-up area, this is generally a benefit.
Chestnut House in Lapworth is the perfect example of a modern, open-plan home that has the balance of sociable and intimate.