Open-plan living can be tricky to get right, from noise to clutter there are many ways that this popular way of living can become a headache pretty fast.
In the first video from my 3 part video series, I share my experience and ideas that I implemented in my own home to create an open-plan space that makes family living a breeze.
Watch it here
Our homes are the places we spend our most important hours of the day with the people that matter most. So investing in how our home is designed should really be a priority. The starting point can be a stumbling block for many, and this is because the focus tends to be on aesthetics or adding square footage when really, people should be focusing on themselves and their families and how they want to live – what things aren’t working and what would make the most significant difference to the enjoyment of their homes. This is where the focus and investment should be.
The starting point for the renovation of my home was the need for a bigger fridge and having space to cook and entertain.
The original kitchen and dining area could only be described as compact. Our family loves to cook, but we never tended to cook together because there wasn’t enough counter space and it was difficult for two people to be in the kitchen at the same time.
Similarly, trying to eat together as a family was tricky because we didn’t have space. The dining area could only comfortably accommodate six so not ideal for entertaining.
In the evening time, we tended to split up. Now with the new kitchen cooking can be a family affair, even the kids can get involved.
Extending this area of the home has created a whole new way of living for us all. We decided to keep the dining close to the garden because you naturally then have a lovely connection between inside and outside, which is ideal in the summertime when entertaining.
The lovely thing now is, if it’s a nice morning, the kids will open the doors and sit outside to have their breakfast.
We put the seating area in the cosier part of the space. What was important to me was to lay the space out in such a way that the TV was not the sole focus. One of my favourite places to sit now is on the sofa looking out onto the garden. Too often rooms are laid out with all of the furniture facing a wall. I love my garden, so I wanted to maximise the connection between inside and outside, the furniture layout was critical to this.
We went with underfloor heating which freed up all the wall space, allowing us to put in lots of storage. Planning the room was critical to the success of the space, even though it’s open plan it’s incredibly easy to keep tidy.
We chose drawers over cupboards in the kitchen as with drawers it’s much easier to find everything and much easier for the kids to access stuff and more importantly, put things away.
A great tip to minimise clutter in the kitchen is to go with a hot water tap instead of a kettle. I designed a cupboard to take all of the countertop appliances, like the toaster, coffee machine and all the other bits and pieces like the bread bin, cereal boxes etc. It’s worked brilliantly and means the countertop is always stuff-free.
I love how everyone feels at home here now and how livable it is. We have two young boys and we’re in the phase of our lives where all our friends have kids. So having a house that is kid-friendly is essential. The house has a calming effect too, it’s the first thing everyone says when they visit.
Since completing the project, family gatherings happen at our house. The most surprising revelation is that I have an unlimited supply of babysitters as everyone is fighting over the chance to stay over.
Are you considering going open plan, or do you already have an open-plan layout?
Share what works for you in the Comments below.