Daily Mail Aug 2019

Is it time to ditch open plan for…broken plan?

by Mary Wilson

The?open-plan kitchen-living room has been a feature of modern British homes for several decades.

Indeed, back in the Eighties, knocking down walls to create a decent-sized living space was regarded as somewhat essential for the growing modern family.

But is it now the case that more and more of us are keen to reintroduce a greater sense of privacy and cosiness?

Or, at least, that one big room does not necessarily work when some members of the family want to watch TV, while others are happy to engage with their laptops, and the rest prefer peace and quiet to read their books or Kindles?

So how do you achieve the look? Partitions can be created using statement furniture, such as high-backed sofas and chairs, cupboard units, a bookcase or half-wall, allowing the space to be both free-flowing and divided.

Colour and texture can also be implemented. Different coloured walls and different flooring (using carpet in the living space and tiles in the kitchen, for example) can create a sense of division and give each space its own identity.

Shanti and Tom Sundaram, 61 and 58 respectively, have lived in their five-bedroom house in South East London for 20 years.

Their ground-floor layout once comprised a dining room, kitchen, living room and utility room, but, three years ago, they approached Plus Rooms, having decided they wanted more space for socialising with friends after two of their three children had moved out.

?We gained more space by building a rear L-shaped extension. We didn?t want open-plan, although it was quite trendy, preferring a bit of sectionalisation,? says Shanti.

Instead, they created different spaces linked by open doorways and partial walls.

Division between an informal area, where they have a table and chairs, and the sitting room was created by a corner, L-shaped half-wall. Contrasting bold primary colours on either side of the walls compartmentalised the space.

Shanti adds: ?We knocked down one of the kitchen walls into the hallway to create a larger kitchen/dining room.

?There is now a much better flow of light and space. We can use the rooms separately, because of the divisions, but still interact with people in different rooms. It?s fun and easy to live in.?

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