Pros and Cons of open-plan living

Open plan living has become increasingly popular in recent years, but is it here to stay? The term ‘open plan living’ tends to refer to the main living areas of a home – i.e. the kitchen, living room and dining room – which are combined to create an open, flowing layout with few internal walls or rooms, in order to create a communal living space.

With house prices in the UK increasing and space often at a premium, joining rooms together to create a light and airy space is often the key to a more sociable living experience. Visually, having no walls divide your kitchen and dining area means that kitchen will look much bigger than it actually is. It also gives you a direct view of the adjoining areas and what’s happening there, allowing for effortless communication. 

There are many pros to open plan living, however there’s still a valid counter-argument and some people are worried it is a trend that will pass. It can be costly to knock down interior walls in older properties, particularly load-bearing walls. Also, knocking down walls to create larger spaces can prove more expensive to heat as you are heating all of the space at one time. It is worth asking an architect to help with the planning stages as, if not designed correctly, open plan areas can be very noisy. There is also of course the lack of privacy, so it is important to think of what you will be using the new space for. For example, having a large open plan living dining area can prove tricky if there is the noise of the kitchen and TV and someone is looking for some quiet time to study. One of the key disadvantages many people feel is that, with an open-plan kitchen living space, you cannot escape from dirty dishes and smells of cooking! However all of these points in consideration can be avoided with good planning and clever design features.

Young families tend to like to have a noisy, busy environment where social interaction is key. Older couples on the other hand may not take to this type of property. Lifestyle is key and if you are considering making your property open plan prior to selling, it is important you think of your potential audience.

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