If you’re looking to utilise the space you currently have in your home and make a bold change to your interiors, then open plan design is ideal for you. Opting for an open plan style within your home is a really strong way of updating your interiors and adding substantial value to your property. Whilst you may not be planning on extending your house, there are still many factors to consider when choosing to go open plan, to ensure you have the best experience and get the most out of this contemporary interior style.
When you plan to transform two separate rooms into one larger room, it’s usually required to remove a wall to open the rooms up completely. Dependant on the style and age of your property, you may find that the wall you wish to remove needs a steel beam to help carry the weight that the original wall once took care of. This is a fairly simple process, but it’s really important to check this before making any planning decisions, as it could cause issues further down the line if not addressed at the beginning.
Utilising the Space
Initially, seeing your new open plan room can be a little overwhelming and often seem difficult to decorate and fill. With this in mind, its often a good idea to plan the rooms layout and design before the building work is finished, to ensure you know exactly what you want and how you’re going to make the decor work for that area. Dependant on the rooms you’re combining, you can figure out exactly what you want to get from the room, to ensure you design it in the best way possible to achieve this.
The moment you knock down a wall and create an open plan room, you are faced with the challenge of splitting the room into sections without using walls. This is actually a really easy and fun way to decorate the room, as you can play around with different layouts to see which suits you best. If the room divides the kitchen with a dining area, you can focus on having your kitchen units positioned in one area of the room, with a bold island or worktop area in the centre of the room, finished with a stylish dining table and chairs in the other half. This will instantly show the two zones, one for cooking and the other for dining and socialising. Similarly, if your open plan room is combining living with dining, you may want to invest in a chic ‘L’ shaped sofa to corner off the living area, with the dining area positioned in the other half of the room. Having people facing away from the second section of the room will help to create the zones and introduce a delicate divide when needed.
Consider the Lighting
Lighting is essential in any room, but the moment you merge two rooms together it becomes even more important. Taking both natural and artificial lighting into consideration, figure out which areas of the room will require more lighting than others, ensuring the room is lit and bright at all times. You can focus on warmer lighting when you have your balance right, but it’s important to ensure your lighting is in the right places and that you’ve utilised as much natural light as possible. The lighting within a room can transform it from dull and dreary, to bright and bold in an instant, and open plan living spaces require bold, bright lighting to emphasise the spacious, airy feel you want to achieve.
A Place for Everything
Trying to fit everything into the desired room can be a challenge, but once you combine two rooms together you have a much larger storage element to consider. In order to keep your interiors looking bold and bright whilst also having everything you need in one place, you need to consider some smart storage. Figure out exactly what you need in your open plan living area and then you can work around this to make the room look and feel stylish and spacious.
Keep it Warm
Once a room is opened up and the square foot is increased, you suddenly have a larger area to heat. Whilst the current radiators in the two separate rooms may be fine for the area they currently heat, once you open up the two rooms you’ll notice some heat loss, which is not ideal. For living and dining areas, you may want to consider adding an extra radiator to the room. When you combine kitchens with dining or living areas, you have a few additional options to choose from. One very popular heating option is underfloor heating, as this can help you keep the whole room warm and toasty. Similarly, investing in a classic Aga will really heat the room well, whilst also helping you cook up some delicious meals.