You know how the old saying goes: ‘open plan, open heart’. Nope? Us neither. But, the little made up mantra does have a certain ring to it. After all, open plan living spaces are becoming ever more popular, for the sociable, warm and, erm, open atmosphere that they encourage. Indeed, a study carried out by the National Association of Estate Agents revealed that opening up space and kitchen makeovers are among the top four home improvements that will add value to a property.

What’s more, In last year’s UK Houzz Report, which is based on survey results from the Houzz community, 54% of homeowners were making their kitchens more open to other rooms, with 35% knocking down walls and opening up space completely. Moreover, in a recent Houzz poll, which asked, “Yay or Nay to Open-plan Kitchens?”, the result was overwhelmingly in favour of the idea, with 840 responding in the affirmative compared to 230 voting in the negative. With all this is mind, we’ve teamed up with Harvey Jones, contemporary kitchens specialists, to bring you 5 IDEAL benefits of open plan living.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

In a home, open-plan living is one way to bind a kitchen, typically at the back of the house, with other rooms and the garden to create one large multi-functional and light-filled space. The nature of the design traditionally allows for light to travel all the way through the ground floor of a property, with no pesky walls getting in the way and blocking its natural flow; great for mood and saving on electricity costs, too!

A MULTI-FUNCTIONAL AFFAIR

Another big tick in the open plan box is the multi functional nature of such a space. Of course, it’s a kitchen first and foremost, primed for cooking up a storm and cleaning down afterwards with efficiency. But, it can be so much more than that; a place where friends or family can convene and converse (and keep you company while cooking); it’s also somewhere to actually eat – dining rooms are so last century – as well as serving as a living room, where the kids can play and the family can watch T.V together. Lovely stuff!

THE SOCIABLE ASPECT

As we’ve already said, having an open-plan home provides homeowners with a social space – an area that can be used for more than just preparing and cooking daily meals. Indeed, it seems that knocking down walls to combine kitchen and dining spaces also knocks down barriers between people. This open plan space quickly becomes the focal point in the home, creating a fluid space that binds rooms together, and is the key area of the house that people are drawn to. If you are a host (or an entertainer) an open-plan kitchen is the dream – providing a space that you can use to socialise with guests whilst cooking as opposed to feeling isolated when cooking in one room whilst trying to juggle hosting skills and whipping up dishes simultaneously.

COMPARTMENTALISE

An open space, as well as looking bigger, provides opportunities for you to identify different zones, delegating space, whilst remaining open. From zone lighting to kitchen islands, breakfast bars and dining booths, just because you design an open-space area, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t identify sections of the room to maintain a structure. Bi-folding doors helps to enhance the natural light even more, for instance, while at the same time bringing the nature of the garden into the room.

Such an arrangement is ideal for larger families, allowing parents to keep an eye on children playing whilst they stay busy in the kitchen. Open-plan takes away the need for parents to be in ‘two places at once’, as it were.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.