When it comes to designing a home that takes advantage of space and family time, there are few better options to consider than open-plan living. Now accepted as the ‘modern way of living’, open-plan designs work by removing dividing walls and taking advantage of wide, open spaces across your kitchen, dining and living rooms.

The result allows for a more communal living space, which is perfect for families who want to spend time together or entertain guests over a meal. But is open plan living right for you?

The benefits of open plan living

By utilising space in a new way, an open-plan design offers endless benefits, including that of being able to spend more quality time with your friends and family, and engage in a single dialogue, even if family members are all doing their own thing in the various ‘rooms’ of an open-plan space.

Open-plan design can promote outdoor living by increasing the amount of natural light in your property – especially when incorporated with wide, open windows. By increasing the connection you have with the outside world – whether that’s by landscaping your garden or adding decking from your kitchen and living room into your garden, you’ll enjoy a more relaxed, natural atmosphere.

Knocking down walls is also a great technique for small homes. In the highly competitive housing market, and during times when the cost of living is continuing to rise, utilising every centimetre of your space is the ideal way to add value – both to your property and to your lifestyle.

The drawbacks of removing your walls

Although open plan living can sound glamorous, there are some downsides to such setup. Kitchens can be noisy and let off smells during cooking, which is all too inconvenient for families who want to spend time together in their living space while people prepare food.

Privacy is another issue faced by those who remove their walls. Some architects have trialled open-plan bedroom and bathroom spaces, which although may work for couples, might not be the best option for busy families who all need to share the same facilities!

Alternatives to open plan living

The modern home needs to adapt to the changing needs of modern families, and open-plan living is a clear indicator that this trend toward more functional, practical living will continue. However, for families who do not have the resources – or desire – to go open-plan, removing individual walls or incorporating new uses for your existing spaces is another way to enjoy a more connected living environment, with sliding doors and room dividers also options to consider.

We’re here to help!

If you are looking to incorporate an open-plan design in your property, make sure you get your walls checked by a structural engineer before carrying out any work. If your walls are load bearing, or you don’t have the correct beam design, then your property may suffer structural damage.

For expert advice on your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the consulting engineers here at Amatrixce. With years of experience dealing with domestic building structures, we are best placed to offer the guidance you need to make the most of your space safely and effectively.