Open-plan living is on most people’s list when it comes to renovating and extending their homes;
with good reason. In previous generations, sources of heat and poor insulation meant the idea of a
large open room with large expanses of glass wasn’t an option.

A key factor in good open-plan design is delineating or zoning the different spaces. The geometry
and layout of the room will sometimes do it. No-one wants their large new (costly) extension to feel
like a dance hall or warehouse. We want the space to be airy, bright, voluminous, and able to cater
for parties as well as more intimate gatherings or being on your own.

Open-plan spaces allow families to be together. Someone can be working in the kitchen and part of
the conversation while others relax. Open-plan rooms give a greater sense of space and light. A
kitchen, dining and living area can be accommodated in less space than when the three are in
separate rooms; think of doors, halls and walls if you’re not convinced.

The most common open-plan space we are asked to create is kitchen/dining area ideally with some
living area – so three functions within one space. Rather than going into great detail on the options,
we thought it might be most helpful to give a list of the main ways the spaces are divided:

Kitchen island or peninsula
Partial wall
Fireplace
Design feature
Shelving
Sofas
Panelling & wall colour
Glass

Broken plan can sound a bit faddish but it is a good way of describing how best to get the benefits of
open plan and avoiding the pitfall of one oversized space.