Our home has a majority open-plan layout downstairs...
Before we bought our house, I dreamed of open-plan living; I dreamed of light and airy rooms, of not being stuck cooking in the kitchen while friends socialised in the living room, and of an easy space that flowed. All about free flowing spaces, open-plan layouts are becoming more and more popular; many new builds are being created with open-plan living in mind, but an increasing number of homeowners are knocking around older homes, or adding extensions, to create their own open-plan layout.
I know not everyone is a fan of open-plan living, so today I thought I'd share with you my top three pros and cons of open-plan living based on my own experience over the last nine months...
1 | Light & Bright - thanks to a large bay window at one end, French doors at the other and a small window in the middle, our open-plan home is light and bright and I love it! Bay windows let in so much light, and I think bi-fold doors onto the garden would let in even more light than French doors, not to mention easy access to your outdoor space.
2 | Easy Living - as we have a large living, dining and kitchen area, it's easy to accommodate everyone when we have visitors; while we've yet to have an official house warming party, we've had a number of small gatherings and it was so easy and so fun to have everyone in the same space.
3 | Togetherness - following on from point #2, open-plan living enables everyone to be in the same space while still in different areas doing different things. Just last night, Tom was on the laptop at the dining table, while I was on the sofa watching TV and we were still able to chat easily :)
1 | Noise - the biggest downfall so far is that noise travels more easily in an open-plan layout. When we first moved in, and before we got our quiet boil kettle, I would regularly have to pause whatever I was watching while the kettle boiled - this is less of a concern now, but I did find myself pausing the TV the other day while Tom washed his hands at the kitchen sink. We're lucky that we have a separate utility room, as I can imagine having the washing machine or tumble dryer within the kitchen space could be super annoying!
2 | Smells - since there is only one half wall separating the kitchen from the living space, cooking smells often spread... my solution is to have a nice smelling, long-lasting candle to hand (I'm still loving my Lime & Bay candle from The White Company).
3 | Mess - a tiny bit of mess in one corner of the open-plan space can make the entire room look messy, so open-plan rooms do require a little more tidying and a lot of clever storage (I'm thinking of doing a blog post on this soon), but it's not impossible to make it work; plus I love my house so much I don't really find it a chore to keep clean!