“Hi Honey, I’m home”
Traditional homes with traditional, individual rooms. Every room with a solid purpose. Each one blocked off from the other. No room socially interacting or having anything to do with any other room. Organised grouped isolation.
For most people, the days are gone when homes with individual rooms were a practical necessity for keeping warm and saving money. Never having to heat every room in the home, which in itself would be quite difficult anyway, due to a lack of wall and roof insulation. Single glazed windows would be another factor for huge heat loss.
Central heating, cavity insulation and double glazing came along and ended all that, allowing you to heat the whole house from one source and keep it all at the same constant temperature.
Individual rooms can also mean empty rooms. Consider the dining room. When was the last time you were in there? For most households, very rarely. Perhaps Christmas?
British homes have never been known to be the biggest, so to have this amount of square footage sitting empty and not being used, seems crazy.
So what is the answer?
Let’s go all North American.
One of the most popular changes in new build properties over the last decade or so, would be the inclusion of open plan kitchen-dining-rooms, as an attempt at something new and very North American. A substantial change, though still not going the whole way to include the living room as part of the openness.
To achieve full open plan living, we must tear down those walls and look to open up the kitchen, dining-room and living-room into one great, big open living space.
Just for a moment, think how that would look in your own home….
Having lived in an open plan home for over fifteen years now, I could never imagine the day when I would wish to go back to a traditional living style, with rooms with walls and doors blocking off visual access from each other.
I could never dream of working all day, looking forward to seeing my family, only to come home and find that we all end up in various parts of our home, in isolation.
So what are the benefits of open plan living?
Having that open kitchen, dining and living room can’t help but bring your family closer together, allowing for more social interaction.
While cooking dinner, you can still be part of the discussion of what’s on TV. From the comfort of your sofa you can see your child sitting at the new kitchen island doing homework. You can now help them without leaving the room.
When entertaining, your new space will come into its own, with far more room to move around. It’s also far easier to be a great host when you never have to leave the room to go to the kitchen.
The area will be more uniformly heated. There will definitely more light flooding the whole of the floor area, giving a greater sense of space with each square foot being used to it’s maximum. No empty rooms. So many positives.
Remember, just because you have an open living space does not mean you will lose definition of the various areas.
By using different levels of lighting and floor coverings, individuality to each area can still be achieved and structure maintained to the overall space.
The next steps…
Finding a reputable local contractor to manage and co-ordinate the various trades involved in the renovations is crucial. Websites such as Houzz are always a great source of information, not only for design but also for finding the right company for your project.
Ensuring your contractor has access to local architects will definitely help with communication and the overall smooth running from start to finish.
Go on, tear down those walls……
Mark Conacher, Director of Liberty Fitting Service Ltd.
Liberty Fitting Service Ltd. are a multi-award winning home renovation company situated on the East Coast of Scotland in the amazing City of Dundee. 🏴