‘Flexible-Plan’ Living

For many years now open-plan properties have been favoured by homeowners, for offering a greater sense of spaciousness. But walls or at least partitions, are starting to come back as we are now seeking more secluded spaces in the home.

An unexpected change has taken place in recent years. People now want a kind of residence that can change to suit the needs of their changing family and social needs. This new trend can be described as ‘flexible-plan’ living.

The term refers to a layout that might include separate smaller rooms such as a study, snug, home cinema, utility/bootroom and perhaps a pantry, instead of one large space encompassing everything. Sliding partitions, bi-folding doors, interior windows and split-level floors are among the other features being used to help divide and define the more open spaces.

Interior Design & Interior Architecture

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New technology like tablets and smartphones are playing a part in changing the way homes are used. The interior layout needs to allow families to use their individual devices in private, or watch different TV shows in separate areas, or a movie together at the same time. Clients with younger children favour open-plan so that they can monitor their children’s activities while clients with teenage or even older children/young adults still living at home, prefer to have clearly defined spaces where each member of the family can retreat.

Technology has consequences to our traditional living patterns and routines and we are adapting to what is on offer. There is greater independence between family members and more out-of-sequence life styles, So a number of spaces are required to accommodate this. Therefore space planning is starting to fragment to reflect these changes & needs.

'Broken-plan’ is another term architects are using a lot at the moment. People are moving away from the vision of the sort of loft-living, open-plan where everything is floating around in a great big industrial space. ‘Flexible-plan’ living that integrates more intimate spaces, secluded corners or separate rooms, encompasses all family activities, allowing them to function in tandem.

However there is still a demand for a spacious kitchen combined with a dining space, featuring large countertops and an island, well-suited to entertaining large numbers of guests. The idea of having big social rooms where families and friends can cook, eat and talk are a constant part of being human.

open planning

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