Intelligent ways to design your open plan space

Positioning and moulding space for functional use is vital when proposing an open plan design. Find out how to make the best of your space with these clever tips!

We have embraced open plan living into our homes with gusto, enjoying the benefits of having combined kitchen, dining and living space at the heart of the home. But most houses also include a separate living room, somewhere to escape the rough and tumble of family living. This is typically not the case in a new-build or modern flat. Here, you're likely to have just one room in which to cook, dine and relax.

 This can be challenging, with a feeling of your whole life being compressed into a single space. The trick to making it work? Smart zoning, so that each functional area has its own sense of place within the open-plan room. 


Home in on zones

Think of each of the three zones in a classic open-plan room - kitchen, dining and living - as occupying its own distinct space and having a definite character. This doesn't have to mean different styles , simply that each finds its expression within a harmonious whole. 

You'll want each of them to be the 'happiest' possible, with none of the three appearing to suffer at the expense of any other. For example, a full-height bookcase at the end of a kitchen, as seen here, can create a subtle marker  between the food preparation and living/dining zones. A piece of art ont he wall can give defintion to a dining spot, while a large rug is always a winner you're aiming to emphasise a seating area. 


Allocate an alcove

You may prefer to have some visual separation between the kitchen and other areas. Given that the kitchen is usually positioned at the dark end of the space, a partition wall with openings can work well here. This allows you to maintain a visual connection with the social areas and enjoy a measure of natural light while you cook. 


Straighten the kitchen 

Kitchens love a straight wall, so if your flat's wide enough, run the units in a single line along one side of the room. A width of 3.6m, for example, will house a tall fridge and a decent run of worktop. 

Placing a dining table paralell to the units to create a pleasing double-act, with the table acting as a buffer between the kitchen and the living space. The table will perform the same function as an island, providing and extra surface for preparing food. 


Slot in a bench 

Where space is restricted, a bench placed against a wall can reduce the footprint needed to accomodate a dining area. It can also house useful hidden storage underneath. Think carefully about the most practical way to access the storage - front or top, drawers or cupboards. 

Carefully placed artworks combined with a sculptural pendant light can bring a distinct character to your cosy dining nook. 


Blog credited to houzzUK & Image credited to Title Devil


Previous Next

Latest News & Blogs

£25M Fund Opens: Bid to Unlock Self & Custom Housing Plots

One Public Estate is urgently calling eligible English local authorities to bid for a share of the £75M Brownfield...

Hester McQueen ACIM


Read more

Custom Build Housing explained

How to create your own home.

Hester McQueen ACIM


Read more

Scotland’s first long-term housing strategy

Custom Build Homes welcomes the Scottish Government's vision for housing in Scotland to 2040.

Hester McQueen ACIM


Read more

Large scale custom build housing site to be determined by Essex planning authority

The emergence of custom build housing on smaller sites has been well documented following legislation passed in 2016...

Tom Connor


Read more