Open plan living has increased greatly in popularity over recent years, enabling homeowners to create more social, integrated spaces and design a home that feels both bright and airy. Of course, it’s not always easy when you start knocking down walls, and it can feel a little overwhelming when you’re confronted with a large, empty space that feels less than homely. With pre-planning and interior design tips, you can soon turn your open living space into a cosy and connected room rather than a cold and empty space.
Here are our top tips for getting open plan living right!
Be aware of structural issues
Before we delve into our tips for interior design and layout, the first and foremost consideration is any structural barriers. Unfortunately, you can’t just go knocking down any wall you fancy as it could be a load-bearing wall. This isn’t necessarily the end of the world though, you may still be able to knock it down, you just need to be mindful that if it’s a supporting wall you may need a builder to fit an RSJ (rolled steel joist). It’s worth contacting and receiving the opinion of a qualified architect or structural engineer before you start making any final decisions.
Think about natural light
One big benefit of going open plan is often the increased natural light in the home which in turn creates that bright and breezy living space that we all yearn for. When knocking down a wall, you may find that you drastically increase the light in a certain part of your newly sized-up space, but be mindful that you may end up with one end that isn’t as well lit up. Think about how the light will fall and how you may overcome any obstacles. If one end of the room isn’t as light, you could consider installing fixed glazing, or even French or sliding doors! Your glazing choices can really help to tackle any light issues here, and don’t forget, we offer made-to-measure sizes even for those more obscure spaces.
Choose your interior scheme
When it comes to open plan living, it can easily look messy and confused if you’re constantly mixing up your interior design style. If one end of your living room is bright and wacky, and one end is neutral it may look a little unbalanced. For a cohesive feel to your home, try and stick to a style throughout. Starting with a blank canvas and neutral walls can be the easiest option, using accessories to show off your personality and style! Plus, accessories aren’t permanent and can be easily changed in the future if your interior design tastes change.
Consider internal bifold doors
If you want to enjoy all of the benefits of open plan living but without committing completely to a big open space, then you could consider installing internal bifold doors into your home. This will essentially give you the best of both worlds! Allowing you to fold back the doors and enjoy open plan living but with the ability to partition your room too. Super handy for a home office space, or perhaps for creating an extra room when you have guests come over to stay! Our InterFold internal bifold doors can also be used between the home and conservatory thanks to our specific conservatory threshold that’s compliant with UK regs!
Plan your interior layout wisely
It’s easy to end up with a room that reflects a corridor when you opt for open plan living, with sofas, chairs and tables all pushed up against a wall. Don’t be afraid to use your space! You want to create a cosy, homely feel, and having a big empty middle space won’t help (unless you’re a real minimalist!). This is where pre-planning your layout will really help. Create zones within your room – work with invisible walls. Rugs can really help to define sections and consider how your furniture will make an impact too. L-shaped sofas are great for open-plan living as they work to shape the space and add a cosy, intimate feel to your home.
Watch the clouds float by
We’ve already mentioned how natural light is a bonus of open plan living, and if you’re restricted to the glazing you can install on a ground level, or you just want to increase the existing light further, then why not think about introducing rooflights? Bring in light from above as well as creating a stylish feature that will look fantastic in your open space. There are two main options when it comes to rooflights and that’s pitched rooflights and flat rooflights. Pitched rooflights are great for adding height (and that natural light) to a room, and whilst flat rooflights won’t add height, they are a bit more sleek and stylish and look particularly great in minimalist open-plan homes. If you want to find out more about our made-to-measure rooflights then check out our handy guide.
Vary floor levels
If you like the idea of open plan living but want to create a space that’s interesting and unique, you could consider varying the floor level. For example, you could create a slight step up to a kitchen area or living area which will also help to give the room more definition. A split-level layout will allow you to create standout areas if you’re willing to do the work!
Make the connection
Extend your living space by making a connection between your interior and exterior! For that seamless flow between both, consider bifold or sliding doors. Not only will they connect the inside and outside of your home, but they’ll also let the light flood in and allow you to create the perfect transition. Follow through with your interiors, if your home style is Scandinavian-inspired then bring elements of this into your outdoor space through your furniture and accessories. If you really want to create a cohesive feel then consider how you can use your flooring to blur the lines between home and garden just like this customer of ours who has used the same tiles inside and out, extending their living room and creating an additional seating area that flows with the existing home decor.
For more inspiration when it comes to your home design and glazing, check out our other blogs including:
- Bifold door blogs
- French door blogs
- Sliding door blogs
- Windows blogs
- Windows and door materials blogs
If you have any further questions regarding the glazing possibilities with Kloeber, why not contact our team by calling 01487 740044 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.