Monday, 16 September 2013

Open Plan Living Space - The Clear Winner?

So we as a family are starting to think about moving house. We currently live in a three-bedroomed property, and with having the three girls, we're looking at hopefully getting something a bit bigger, finances permitting of course. The one thing that I would look for in our next home is a large open plan area downstairs. I would love to have a large front room and large back room as well as the kitchen and dining area.

Our downstairs at the minute is open plan, but it is just a little bit smaller than I would like. To be perfectly honest, the size of the downstairs area was fine until we had more children! It tends to get cluttered with toys - so extra space would be well-received!

Every corner, every space in our house is taken up by toys like this!

We have a living room area that leads directly out to the dining area, this is this attached to the kitchen. The area is a large square shape but in between the living room and the dining area we do have sliding doors, so we do have the option of closing them off.

Looking at houses in estate agents - a lot of the newer houses in our area also seem to be open plan, they either have sliding doors or bi fold patio doors. Open plan is great - it's easier to keep an eye on the kids as they play, and more light is let in from the back doors. Cooking smells tend to fill the whole house, making it homely and welcoming. When I am cooking and the doors are open I can always pop my head round the corner and shout at the kids talk to the children about whatever it is they are doing at the time.

I sometimes leave a spy-gap!
At the same time as enjoying open plan,  I do appreciate the value of having the doors in the middle to close off. Sometimes when I am cooking I just want some time to get the job done - closing the doors off to the kids is safer and makes my job a lot easier. It's sometimes better to whip up a curry without a toddler hanging off your leg! Me and Warren often like to close the doors at night if we are sitting watching TV - it just makes it a bit warmer and cosier. In the winter we definitely close the doors more often - it keeps the warmth in the rooms and makes for much better lounging-on-the-couch-times.

We also have patio doors past the dining table directly opposite the ones pictured above - so the patio doors open straight out to our back garden. It really is a great open spaced living area - I would definitely look for this aspect in any house that we considered moving to in the future.

I can understand why some people would not want open plan. There is definitely more privacy with closed rooms. My last house was separate rooms, and I always found it easier to contain the mess! It seemed easier to tidy and clean one room at a time, whereas now sometimes it does seem like I am cleaning a whole downstairs area all at once. Also, I remember it being less noisy with doors between rooms - but that could also just be due to the increase in size of our family!

All things considered, I do think that open plan is the right one for us - as long as we have the option of sliding or folding doors in between. The flexibility of having the floors truly open or closed is just great. We are a close family, noise and togetherness is what we are all about, so I will be looking for open plan when we consider our next move - which hopefully won't be too far in the future.

What do you think? Do you prefer open plan, or do you like closed rooms? It is very much a personal preference, but we'll definitely be sticking with open plan - with our doors very much open, or very much closed depending on our mood!

1 comment:

  1. I definitely think open plan is better. We knocked through our lounge/dining room as i knew we would never use the dining room if not - now it's a play area. The only disadvantage with that is that there are toys everywhere all the time :)


What do you think?

Disqus for Wife, Mum, Student Bum