Open Plan: How to Get It right

30th March 2018

Open plan layouts bring many benefits, but there are a number of practical considerations to be made to ensure a successful scheme.

We have all embraced the new style of open plan living and somewhat left the idea of having many separate rooms in a house behind. Where this new style is being embraced so much, it’s easy to get open plan living wrong due to bad planning or confirming how space will work on a day to day basis.


It’s useful to design the space while imagining the walls in place. This ensures circulation space is properly considered and allows each space to have its own sense of importance. You’ll need to think about both the areas where things are – the dining table, sofa, storage pieces and so on – and spaces that you will use to move through the room.

Don’t forget to leave space for things such as drawers, standing lights, chairs and tables. It may be of help to cut up some paper and treat that as though its furniture (just a thought!).


Planning An Open Plan Room

  • Think about your view: what do you want to see from the sofa? Perhaps you want to have the dining table overlooking the garden. Decide early in your planning which area gets the window position.
  • Allow sufficient circulation space through the room. How will you move from area to area without tripping or being blocked?
  • Consider how far you want to walk from the kitchen space to the dining table. Walking any distance with hot food isn’t going to be convenient.
  • Think about noise. Is the television going to be struggling to be heard above the clatter of pans in the kitchen area?
  • Think about replicating a series of rooms rather than working with one giant room – an open-plan space won’t work if everything is against the walls.

To get some design tips, we have albums dedicated to different rooms and styles on our Houzz profile, check it out!

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