Home Improvement Remodeling - Open Plan Living

Planning your Design and Layout

Home improvement remodeling

Home improvement remodeling is all about exercising choice over where you live, making your space work for you. So it's no wonder that a lot of home remodeling ideas involve converting several rooms into one large open-plan area. It's all part of the growing trend for flexible living.

There are many advantages to open-plan living. Its fans are vocal about the way that it brings the household together, and stops people feeling cut off from each other by designs with separate rooms. It can also be an excellent way of bringing more light into your home, which adds to the feeling of space.

However, you should think carefully before your home improvement remodeling, because open-plan living has its disadvantages too. For example, you won't have as much privacy as you used to. If one member of the family is used to having "their" room as a lair to slink to for some much-needed peace, don't underestimate the psychological effects of suddenly taking away their hiding place. They may feel suddenly exposed or threatened, and this will cause a lot of household tension. Ideally, you should get the agreement of everyone in the household before you begin home improvement remodeling.

Leaving aside the potential damage to household harmony, your biggest practical worry when switching to an open-plan design is the effect on the fabric of the house. Find out whether or not walls can be knocked down without causing structural damage to your house. If there's any chance of damage, don't do it. You should also be aware that remodeling to an open-plan look may mean higher heating bills, once the insulating effect of all those walls has gone.

Planning your design and layout

Many home improvement magazines suggest that in an open-plan house, you should divide up the different areas. You may be tempted by the thought of dividing the dining room from the living room with an attractive screen. However, this isn't the great idea it seems. For a start, it makes the whole open-plan conversion seem pointless if you immediately demarcate the areas again. Secondly, screens won't keep the noise out like the walls did. If you're thinking of screens, you should think very carefully about whether open-plan living is really for you.

Finally, remember that open-plan living doesn't have to mean ripping down all the dividing walls on your ground floor. It's possible to have open-plan areas in your house without going the whole way. If you don't want dinner-party guests seeing the mess you make when you're cooking, keep the kitchen as a separate room. Then you can emerge into your trendily open-plan dining area with a serene smile on your face, shutting the dirty dishes behind the door. With open-plan design, it is possible to have your cake and eat it.


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