Going open-plan? Here's what you need to know
Posted 12 February 2016
The more cluttered and compartmentalised the modern lifestyle becomes, the more open-plan living seems to grow in appeal. What could be better after a day spent in an office with a steadily-filling email inbox and a stack of papers threatening to fall off the desk than returning to an open, light and spacious home free from partitions.
At Trivselhus by Esh, we design our homes in a way that enables each room to have its own identity, but also to flow seamlessly into the next area. A kitchen needs to feel like a kitchen and cater for the hustle and bustle of a fast-moving family, while a lounge needs to feel like a place for relaxation and peace. But the real trick lies in keeping those environments distinct without being separate. We love nothing better than a space where the lines run smoothly through barely separated rooms, instead using the shape of our homes’ frame to create more natural junctions.
Just look at the inside of one of our economically friendly, beautifully designed homes to see what we mean.
How to apply open plan principles to your own home
If you aren’t quite ready to move to one of our homes, there are ways to get that same light and airy space in your living areas. Here are a few of our favourite hints and tips
Play your colours right
To achieve distinct rooms without walls, it can be important to utilise what we might call a ‘unifying’ colour scheme. By using a shade of white, cream or any other neutral colour, it is possible to generate a feeling of continuity where there wasn’t one before.
Breaking up a space is often a case of creating distinct zones. Creating an open-plan living space doesn’t mean you can only utilise the room for one particular purpose. For a family with small children it may be that one corner is given over to children’s toys and seating, while mum and dad’s more sophisticated furniture dominates the other end of a room. Furniture such as sofas can even act as a way to create the divide, forming a waist-height partition between play zone and lounging zone.
Unless you are a fan of a truly minimalist look and feel, the large expanses of plastered walls in open plan homes can be a great place to experiment. You may wish to feature your own individual style of artwork on the walls, create a cluster of statement furniture in one corner or change up a section of the floor space with an eye-catching rug.
Make sure you have the house for it
Sadly, not all homes were created equal. If you live in an older property and are thinking of knocking all of your walls through, you may have to consider whether it is possible and practical to keep the entire space heated adequately.
In a Trivselhus by Esh home, the advanced technologies used to maintain an ambient temperature requires very little energy usage. Features such as the air source heat pump and heat recovery systems, distribute heat around the home so as to avoid cooler spaces during the winter months. This, combined with the incredible thermal efficiency of the timber frame and triple-glazed windows ensures that open plan never equates to ‘draughty’ space. A home built during the 19th or early 20th century, however, will be significantly less energy efficient, requiring constant heating during the winter months. This means that it may be uncomfortably cold or simply too costly to heat such a large, draughty space for months at a time.
Want to find out more about the layouts and technologies in a Trivselhus by Esh home? Read on.