Family-friendly interiors: 5 tips for creating a broken-plan living space

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More time at home with the family has become the norm for 2020. And while you’re sure to have loved the extra quality time together, it can be stressful when you don’t have designated areas laid out for work and play. Here, Nick Acaster from Rugs Direct discusses how to create a broken-plan living space that’s friendly for all of the family.

Open plan living spaces have been a popular home design for years now. By knocking down walls and maximising the space available to you, it creates a multi-functional area for the whole family. But with the pandemic meaning we’ve all had to spend more time working in and relaxing at home, you may be feeling like the areas in your open plan living area need defining better. And, a broken plan design may just be your answer.

Whether you’re wanting to separate your work office from the lounge, or your dining space from the kids play area, there are plenty of ways you can do this — and best of all, it doesn’t have to cost tonnes! Here, I’ll be outlining some of my favourite ways to create a broken-plan living space that’s family-friendly and stylish.

Consider adding partition walls and features

If you’re looking to make home improvements that will add value to your home, consider adding some partition walls to your open-plan living space. For this, I’d suggest hiring a reliable architectural designer, such as Acre Design, as they’ll be able to analyse the best way of creating a transitional broken-plan space.

This doesn’t have to completely section everything off, but for example, having a fireplace wall that divides your cooking and dining space from the lounge is sure to make it feel like two separate zones without compromising on all of the lovely space you have available to you.

If getting a new partition wall built isn’t within your budget, you can take a traditional approach and implement screens that can separate the space. This is particularly popular in Japanese cultures, as well as Scandinavian interior design styles, so why not give a bamboo screen a go? It can be easily removed if you decide you want to open the space back up in the future.

Divide with soft furnishings

If you still want to make the most of the beautiful open-plan space you chose for your home, you don’t have to add something as drastic as partition walls or large pieces of furniture. Instead, you can use soft furnishings like rugs or carpet to define the different zones within the open-plan space.
For example, you could look at getting the lounge half of the floor carpeted to distinguish it from the tiled kitchen flooring. For a cheaper option, you could make use of area rugs. These will help you to define where the office, lounge, and kids play area is and separate it from other functional areas such as the kitchen. There are so many different types of rugs you can choose from, so there’s sure to be one that fits in with your interior style. Plus, as they’re much cheaper to switch around than carpeted flooring, you can add a new look to your space at any time.

Define the zones with storage solutions

If you’re transforming your open-plan living space to a broken-plan one, you’ll no doubt want to ensure any changes you make add to the functionality of your home. Implementing storage solutions means you’ll have separate zones, which all have their very own purpose and special features to match. For example, if you’re trying to break up the study and the kids play area, adding a large fitted bookshelf in your study will give you a space to store all of your books and folders, while still being in close proximity to the children while they play.
Similarly, you could break up the lounge and kitchen areas by having ottomans on the outskirts of the TV area. These will ensure you can store magazines and remotes away tidily after a busy day, so the mess doesn’t creep over into the dining area.

Make sure the changes appeal to the whole family

When you make changes to the open, communal space, you’ll need to make sure that any decisions you make will benefit and appeal to the whole family. For example, if your teenager gets distracted by the TV when doing their homework in the study, having a partition between them is sure to keep them focussed on the task ahead, and they’ll be grateful for getting through it quicker.  Similarly, if you’re considering adding a partition wall between the lounge and cooking space, you don’t need to compromise on functionality and features. You could look at embedding a TV in both sides of the partition so you can enjoy watching your favourite shows no matter where in the living space you are.

Maintain your interior style

You’ll need to bear your interior style in mind when making any changes to your open-plan living space. For example, if you’re going to be adding a bookshelf to mimic a partition wall, make sure it fits in with your current design whether that’s natural wood or something that’s painted to match your colour scheme. If you can’t find the perfect shade to suit, you could even try your hand at some DIY and paint it yourself to make a piece that’s unique to your home.

If you’re thinking of adding a rug to break up the space, consider whether plain or patterned designs will fit in with your décor better. Alternatively, if your living room design is quite modern and clean, you might want to stick to a neutral-style carpet, but if you have more eclectic interiors, a traditional mosaic-style rug will complement it nicely. For a super cosy and warm vibe in your home, you might also want to consider a carpet pile and opt for something more shaggy or furry that’ll be warm underfoot.

Define the zones in your open-plan living space to upgrade your interiors and give the whole family an area to enjoy. By taking my five tips on board, you’ll soon be on your way to designing a broken-plan living area that is the envy of all your guests.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation at your home

We considered an extension to our property, but had little idea how to proceed. We selected Acre Design from positive reviews posted and have not been disappointed. Help and advice was always available and the team led us through the process in a professional and timely manner. We have no hesitation in recommending them!

John McRiner

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North Shields, NE29 6DE

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