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Open Plan Living: A Guide to Deciding if it's for you

When installing a new kitchen, it may have crossed your mind to open your home up and create an open plan living space. Some interior design trends at the moment are leaning towards open plan living, and it certainly does have its advantages, but it's not for everyone; from noise to tidiness issues, there is certainly as much opposition to open plan living as there is praise for it.

Before you even think about choosing your kitchen units, let alone knocking down walls, here's some help to decide whether installing a new open plan kitchen / dining / living space is for you.

You know open plan living is for you if...

...If you love that light, airy, contemporary feel so often favoured in interior design magazines. Open plan living is also excellent for entertaining, as the host does not have to be separated from their guests, and similarly, parents of small children often find it easier to keep an eye on little ones when the space is open, as doors and walls are not blocking the view of what their children are up to.

What's more, open plan living is great for making a room look bigger, and for encouraging the flow of natural light. This feeling of light and space can be further enhanced by modern high gloss kitchens, as the sheen of the kitchen units reflects light around the room. Team gloss kitchens, or a German kitchen, with sleek furniture in neutral shades, such as an unfussy sofa, to create a minimalist look.

Open Plan Living

You know open plan living isn't for you if...

...You value privacy and aren't so interested in keeping your home in pristine condition. As much as open plan living facilitates interaction between host and guests, if you're the type of host who despairs at the thought of their guests having to dine with dirty dishes on show in the kitchen-diner, then open plan living isn't for you.

Furthermore, there's very little privacy in an open plan house, so if you want to be able to sit and quietly read a book without a television blaring, or children creating havoc, then think carefully before knocking down your walls; toys will end up everywhere, noise travels throughout, and if you redecorate, you have to do all rooms in one go – as you'll only have one room!

A compromise on open plan living is to strategically place your fitted kitchen units or free standing kitchen units to create a small barrier, or separation between rooms: for example, you can either create an island as part of a bespoke built-in kitchen, or bring fitted kitchen units partially round a room, leaving a larger gap than would be necessary for a door, but still leaving small portions of wall on either side; this way, you're not completely separating the rooms, but you do still have some privacy and distinct living areas. Folding doors are a great way of separating dining and living spaces, too.

Whether open plan or traditional, find your new kitchen units at Park Street Interiors!

Whether you decide to go contemporary and open up your home, or stick with a traditional layout, you'll find beautiful kitchen units at Park Street Interiors. Part of the Art of Living group, we'll be happy to advise you on the pros and cons of open plan living, and we may even be able to help you find a compromise between the two styles with our bespoke fitted kitchens.

And once you've decided on your layout, why not visit our colleagues at the Ceramic Tile Warehouse and the Stone Gallery for beautiful tiles, too? Whether you're open to open plan living or not, the Art of Living will help you realise your perfect new kitchen.

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