Risks of open plan living

"Open plan living" is a phrase you hear on every reality television show and see on the front of every living magazine, but is it really all that it's made out to be?

open plan living room

“Open plan living” is a phrase you hear on every reality television show and see on the front of every living magazine, but is it really all that it’s made out to be? Will it really add value to your home and lifestyle?
Many new homes are being designed with open plan spaces to accommodate today’s typical family and entertainment-focused lifestyles. Traditionally, homes were designed with lots of separate rooms but today that is no longer the case.
The idea of an open plan living space is popular with people looking to renovate their homes, whether it’s to create more social time, keep an eye on kids or to make a small area seem larger. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the disadvantages associated with open plan living, when deciding to renovate, and to evaluate whether it’s really right for your family home. It’s important to establish what your privacy needs are, think about the personality of your family and whether everyone involved would appreciate an open plan living space. Do you have another living room in your home that you can retreat to when your teenager is having friends over? Do you often entertain large groups or is it a once a year occasion? Yes, an open-plan room is great for parents of young children who can keep an eye on the kids while cooking dinner, but as they grow up there will be a time when you don’t want to watch every move they make.

Noise can also be a major issue in an open-plan space, since there is usually a lot of activity going on at once, making it harder to work, relax and socialise. Therefore, smaller enclosed spaces can sometimes be more beneficial, especially for larger families.
While an open plan design does have advantages, it’s not always the appropriate solution for every home and family situation. An alternative to a large open space could be to design a series of partially enclosed spaces that slowly unfold as you take the journey through your home, adding a bit of mystery and leaving something for the imagination.


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Danielle Hrstich is a designer at Leko Architects. The practise has a focus on residential design and build. If you have any questions on house renovations you would like to address in Vibrant Hutt, get in touch today.

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