News Article

Five Design Ideas for Open Plan Living Spaces

27.10.14

It’s all very well and good opting for open plan living, but what happens when you’re faced with this brand, spanking new, huge living space and not a clue how to decorate it accordingly? Because, as anyone who watches Sarah Beeney’s Double Your House for Half the Money knows, open plan living takes a certain something to pull it off. 

But where to begin if you’ve got a blank canvas to fill? Here are some of the newest house extension ideas for open plan living: 

Room with a View 

Before you even think about decorating your new space, think about the area surrounding it. For example, if your new house extension will naturally look out over a view, then use this to your advantage. Incorporate floor to ceiling windows, or bifold doors, to frame the view. Natural decorating, before you’ve even picked up a paintbrush! 

Go Double Storey 

If you’re having an extension built and you’re going open plan, why not go double storey while you’re at it? Double storey extensions can give you great ceiling height, so use it. Think mezzanine levels and galleried upper floors. And if you have a staircase in the middle of your design, be sure to make a feature of it. 

Feature Fireplaces 

 Fireplaces have always been a focal point of a room, but nowadays they’ve really gone up in the world. Quite literally in some cases, with extremely contemporary wood- burning stoves suspended from ceilings to create a focal point in the middle of a room. 

If this is a bit too much for your liking, there are other ways of incorporating a fireplace into your design, such as within a supporting pillar or a partial wall. In a large, open plan space, a fireplace helps to zone a room and creates a focal point, which may be much needed if you’ve got space to fill. 

 Dining Room Dens 

 If you’ve added a large open plan kitchen diner on the back of your house, you may find that the space that was your dining room is suddenly redundant.  

 Many people are opting to add sliding or folding doors to the join between their old dining room and new house extension, and create a cosy den or cinema room in the free space. The doors give you the best of both worlds too, leaving the room open when you need it, and closing the space down when necessary. 

 Up and Over 

 Sometimes you may need to extend in slightly more unusual ways, for example, over a garage or into the eaves of your house. This is often particularly the case if you’re creating a self contained granny annexe or studio flat. If so, open plan works particularly well. 

 Remember that the whole idea of ‘self contained’ is to have everything on site, so use your space wisely. A granny annexe over a garage gives you a good area to use, but by keeping it open plan, you can comfortably fit in a kitchenette and living area, as well as a separate bedroom and shower room. 

 However you decide to use your open plan space, remember that there are plenty of design ideas to choose from. That’s the great thing about open plan house extension ideas: you’ve got a whole blank canvas to play with!

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