Open Plan vs. Conventional Living


When planning to renovate and extend your home deciding whether to design a modern open plan layout or stick to the more conventional separate room layout can be a difficult decision for many homeowners. Open plan living has come under some scrutiny in recent years and although it is still a desirable way to live for many, some property owners looking to make home improvements are skeptical whether they can live with the so called ‘cons’ of open plan living.

Of course this is a totally personal choice and if you are totally against the open plan concept then when renovating you need to keep in mind your conventional living layout and choose products, colours and designs that work for conventional property layout. However for those who are intrigued by open plan living and like the sound of the benefits of having a more spacious, light filled house. Perhaps it might be worth exploring ways in which to overcome the so called ‘cons’ of having a open plan home and whether there might be a half way house for homeowners who perhaps want to err on the side of caution.

So first of all lets look at what some of the negative points of open plan living might be and how you could try and overcome them, if you wanted to.

One of the most obvious cons of open plan living is the noise levels when multiple people are in a space with various functions. Noise from equipment such as a dishwasher or washing machine could interfere with somebody trying to watch TV in the lounge area. In this instance building a separate utility room to house noisy kitchen appliances might be a good way to minimise noise and make it less of a negative connotation of open plan living. The utility room could be within easy reach of the kitchen area however it could have a door which can be closed over to eliminate as much noise as possible.

Another relatively common issue that is associated with open plan living is the dissemination of unwanted odours from cooking. When putting together renovation and design plans it is important in this case to ensure that the room has good ventilation, installing a good extractor fan and plenty of windows can help to minimise the unwanted smells if used correctly, as and when cooking. In addition modern air fresheners and air purifiers can help to maintain a healthy, ambient and comfortable atmosphere for the whole family.

And lastly perhaps a not so obvious drawback of open plan living is the fact that clutter is said to be more visible. With such busy lifestyles it is common for most modern families to accumulate a small amount of clutter every now and again and quite often there is some hesitance over switching to open plan living due to the exposure of that clutter, some homeowners fear it will be harder to hide. However with so many clever space saving storage ideas and designs this doesn’t have to be something to put you off of open plan living any longer, however is important that you discuss your storage requirements with your architect and interior designer at the planning stage of renovation to enable them to incorporate effective storage into the plans.

Whether you are a Millennial renovating your first home or an established homeowner looking to renovate and refresh your property, there are many different options to consider and choosing between open plan living and conventional is just one of the considerations.

Byoot provides a full turnkey solution to our clients, from planning, architects, structural engineers, building control and the build, leaving our clients to focus on their day jobs while we do ours. If you are thinking of extending, renovating or improving your home speak to one of the team on 0208 4509185 or send us an email at

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