Should I Consider An Open Plan Layout?

Before you get started on a building project that could take months, it’s important to think about whether an open plan layout would suit your home and your lifestyle.

Open plan layout with an open stairwell

Open plan layout with an open stairwell

Here are some points to consider:

  • It’s essential to check what category of building regulations your project will fall under. You might require planning permission, for example, particularly if load-bearing walls need to be removed. Your project will need to be assessed by building control or a planning officer, and you may need a chartered surveyor. More information on building regulations, the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) and planning permission can be found in our other guides.
  • Is this the right decision for you, your family and your property? Will the changes fit in with your family’s lifestyle and will it benefit your property? It’s worth noting that an open plan layout suits most families, and more often than not, will add value to a property.
  • Will it be beneficial to take down the walls? You’ll have a much larger space, but there will be less privacy. An open layout works well for families with children as it means a watchful eye can be kept on the kids whilst you’re cooking in the kitchen. For couples who love entertaining, it means you can spend more time with your guests and you have plenty of room for parties.
  • When removing walls you need to give some thought to storage solutions. Open shelves can act as storage and room dividers. You’ll need to consider an extractor hood to avoid cooking smells wafting from the kitchen, and when decorating, you’ll need to ensure the airy, open aesthetic flows through the whole area by using neutral tones and shades.
  • Without walls, your space can seem larger than life, so you need to use well-positioned furniture to create a more cosy and inviting feeling. You can take the opportunity to experiment with oversized furniture or a statement sofa, try some incredible wall art or dramatic lighting.

Still unsure?
 See what’s possible, explore this selection of open plan homes.