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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Smith


Updated: Jun 13, 2022

Open-plan living is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. It can add a real wow factor to any home and create much needed extra space. Whether your open-plan dream is an ample, multi-use family space, a stylish studio apartment or a dining and entertainment hub, careful planning and execution are vital.

When thinking about your open-plan interior, it’s essential to consider how you’ll use it daily. The space needs to work for you, your lifestyle, and all the people using it regularly. Think about what you want the area to feel like, then translate it into aesthetics. For example, do you want to be able to relax and enjoy cosy evenings in it? If so, you’ll need to create a zone where this is possible.

Open-plan home renovation

If your open-plan space requires knocking down interior walls, you’ll definitely need to call in an expert. This will ensure that the work is completed to a high standard and that load-bearing walls are retained or that reinforced steel joists are installed to support the upper floors. Hiring a professional will guarantee that your open-plan space is stunning and safe.

Open-plan living isn’t limited to modern homes, in fact, opening up a period property can create a seriously stunning home. Often rooms in older properties can feel cramped or restricted, so knocking through to open up your rooms can make your spaces much more practical as well as light and airy. You could even simply open up doorways to create a better flow without having to knock down any walls. Always seek advice from a professional builder before removing walls.

Creating zones in an open-place home

Once you’ve determined the layout that works for you, you’ll want to plan any zones and how you’ll furnish them. Although we’re thinking about open-plan living, you’ll still need to visualise the space as individual rooms. To do this, it helps to imagine where walls would be if they were in place. By creating these “rooms”, you’ll be able to assign each zone a purpose and maximise every inch of your interior.

When it comes to furniture placement, it can be helpful to plan this in advance. You could do this by sketching out your layouts and marking where your furniture will go. Another way is to use masking tape lightly on the floor to replicate the size of the furniture. This will help you visualise how each item will fit and work with your open-plan space. Think about using your furniture to help create your zones; for example, a large corner or L-shaped sofa is a great way to zone off your lounge in an airy open-plan space.

Open-plan living space is fantastic. However, when removing walls, noise can be amplified. You can lessen this by choosing softer flooring, including carpets and rugs and lots of soft furnishings such as curtains and cushions, which will help to absorb the sound. Your builder may also be able to incorporate some other soundproofing options.

Open-plan home extension

If you love the idea of open-plan living but can’t remove existing walls, an extension may be your answer. By building an extension, you can discuss with your builder that you want the space to be open-plan in the initial planning stages. They will then be able to plan your extension with this in mind and ensure there won’t be any load-bearing walls.

Another way to make your space feel much more open is glazing. This isn't just useful for drawing natural light indoors; you will open your living spaces up to the garden by introducing floor-to-ceiling glass doors, creating a seamless flow. Your outdoor space will also immediately become an extension of your interior, improving the sense of space, and adding usable space to your home.

You’ll need to consider how you’ll light your open-plan space. Lighting can be a great way to set apart different zones and create an ambience. A super stylish pendant light over your dining table, for example, could make a real feature, whereas practical lighting such as spotlights will provide ample lighting for cooking.

Using character features in an open-plan living space

If your open-plan space has character features such as exposed beams or support columns, don't try to disguise them. Instead, let these architectural attributes enhance your scheme to create a completely unique interior. Buildings such as barn conversions usually have characterful woodwork giving you the perfect canvas for a charming country-style living space.

If your kitchen is part of a larger living space, it's probably on show to your visitors. It's not ideal if guests can see your socks spinning around in your washing machine, and you absolutely don't want your white goods to make such a racket that you can't hear the TV or hold a conversation either. Opt for integrated machines hidden behind cupboard doors and try to buy the quietest possible models. Integrated fridges, freezers and dishwashers will also make your kitchen look sleeker.

If you want to zone off your kitchen area while keeping everything open plan, a peninsular unit that juts out at a right angle from a wall or kitchen island can help you create a natural barrier between your kitchen and the rest of the space. It can also provide helpful additional countertop and storage space while doubling up as a breakfast bar.

While an open-plan space allows you to cook and entertain simultaneously with ease, what you don't want is for the whole room to smell of whatever it is you're cooking; therefore, it's essential to equip your kitchen with a high-powered extractor to whisk any odours away, and quickly.

A well-thought-out open-plan living space can boast the most clever and stylish of designs. As a multifunctional space, your home takes on a number of different roles, depending on your household and your lifestyle. We can advise you on all aspects of creating your dream open-plan home, from planning to execution.

Contact us today for advice or a free, fully transparent quote if you’re considering any home renovation in North London or the surrounding area. Either get in touch online, give us a call +44 (0)203 488 0172 or drop us an email at

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