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A better definition for ‘open plan’ is ‘broken plan’


An alternative to the popular trend of open-plan living that provides connected spaces that are more private and distinct is – ‘Broken-Plan Living’.

Over the past few decades, it’s been rare to see a modern-day home that doesn’t use open-plan living to create a sense of space, sociability, functionality and versatility for cooking, dinning, entertainment and the likes. This type of living still serves its purpose but has its downfalls, from heating the space, lacking privacy, looking messy to cooking smells and high noise levels and as a whole offer poor design arrangements.

The solution is Broken-Plan Living. It is all about clever use of space to still offer versatility and connectivity, but at the same time privacy. This concept is about achieving distinct zones that are linked, but that suit different purposes.

This works by creating separate zones within the living space by utilising various floor finishes, split-levels, low level walls, free standing furniture such as bookcases or screens. These clever divides still achieve connectivity and the spacious feel of the open-plan arrangement, but provides a greater sense of separation, for those people still desiring their own space. Choosing broken plan living is really down really to our current lifestyles. There is a need for more private but shared spaces and an increase in technology usage within the home, resulting in a need for quiet spaces.

Here are three main factors in Broken-Plan Living

Light – whilst it seeks to solve the noise dilemma, it is possible to achieve natural light in a broken plan arrangement to all spaces via sky lights or similar and even through the use of internal glazed screens and doors.

Levels – Mezzanines are a beneficial way of creating extra room in homes, but they can also act as a visual distinction between zones that serve different purposes; working particularly well for kitchen and living areas. Glass balustrades can also keep the spaces linked and allow light to reach the upper floor. Structural elements such as low partition walls, columns, steps are a low cost way to divide space without losing the link.

Look – If making permanent, structural changes is not an option, décor and furniture can help achieve a broken-plan layout. They can play a key part in how the spaces in your home are used, and are less invasive ways of balancing unity with privacy.

We’ve just created a broken plan space that uses a mezzanine level to house the living space and looks over the dining space with the kitchen adjacent. To bring the outdoors in and the indoors out, we also create sheltered verandah’s off the dining for summers.

If Broken- plan is something you’d like to explore for your living space, please give John Scanlon a call on 087-2037237

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