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What are the Pros and Cons of an Open-Plan Living Space

open plan

Open-plan home designs have enjoyed a boom in popularity over the recent years. This type of property merges kitchen, dining and relaxation spaces into one large, airy room. Many people prefer this home layout. 

Contemplating the possibilities of transforming your home into an open-plan design? Always consult a certified builder first. They can tell you if they think it’s viable to knock down some walls and then perhaps use plywood to reinforce some of the structure. 

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide. 

The pros

  • Brighter and lighter: without walls to divide the public space, you benefit from more windows. Research shows that exposure to natural light is fundamental for well-being. It synchronises us to the daily and seasonal cycles, which can then impact mood, hormones, sleep and cognitive ability. 
  • Easy and breezy: when you’ve got more space to play with, your home can feel much less chaotic. This may reduce stress levels somewhat without you even being aware of it. It’s easier to zoom a vacuum cleaner around the whole communal space in one go. 
  • Makes supervising children easier: if you’ve got young children, you probably know that they can be little mischief-makers. Well, with an open plan, supervision becomes much more manageable. 
  • More sociable: like to entertain house guests? Now you’ll be able to finish meal prep in the kitchen while your guests relax at the dining table or on a comfy sofa. The conversation will flow more seamlessly. 

The cons

  • Messy kitchens have nowhere to hide: when you’ve just cooked a meal and there are things all over your kitchen, you can’t just forget about the mess for a bit. As you dine or lounge, those pots and pans will still be there, waiting. However, this could be the excuse you need to give someone else a push towards the housework!
  • May be noisy: Boiling the kettle, running the washing machine and watching TV. These are all sounds that will take place in the same room now. Some ways to combat this include glass sliding doors and partial walls to create an “almost-open-plan” feel.
  • Heating costs may increase: You’ll no longer have the option to run heating in the living room but not the kitchen, or vice versa. And with a larger space, the room may take longer to heat. Sometimes this isn’t such an issue in modern homes that have been optimised for energy efficiency from the get-go, though. If your property is older, chances were it was originally built with open fires in mind, so this might not make it quite so amenable to open-plan living.

Some people love open-plan, while others are happy to stick with traditional wall divisions. It all depends on you and your family!

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