Open Or Broken-Plan? A New Design Trend

Multi-functional rooms have been popular for a long time, they allow you to use your space in a way that suits you, and this seems to be a practical option that appeals. Many of these rooms are open plan. However, once we have opened up our homes from many small rooms to one big one, this can cause problems. One room zoned into specific areas for cooking, dining and relaxing appears to be a dream, but is the reality somewhat different? Together with Harvey Jones, fitters of bespoke fitted kitchens, lets take a look at this new kitchen trend.

Living in open-plan spaces

When leading a sociable lifestyle, entertaining guests can be difficult if you are short of space. This is why open-plan areas can seem like such a convenient solution. For multi-functional rooms that include a kitchen, the benefits are clear. It prevents the cook from feeling isolated for a start, allowing them to feel part of the conversation or action. A bespoke kitchen scheme that includes an island or peninsula that looks out onto the rest of the space means that cooking and preparing food need no longer be a solitary process.

Going open plan is also great if you have children. From toddlers playing to teens doing their homework, for busy families a space that performs several functions allows the family to spend time together even when they’re performing many different tasks.

House sizes are decreasing year on year, and that’s why an open-plan kitchen/diner can seem like a good alternative to a separate dining room that may take up too much space. A kitchen/diner can be a good way of maximising space and design. However, you do have to be careful when planning a multi-functional room,  do all the zones work well together? You must also recognize and accept that this kind of layout will reduce privacy, particularly if you’re opening up the whole of your downstairs. Having nowhere quiet to retire while the kids watch TV or play can become a problem. Noise from appliances might disturb you or that clearly evident pile of washing-up could nag at you as you sit down for an evening of TV or a quiet read. Fewer walls also mean less space to put furniture, which can lead to a room that’s crammed around the walls or jumbled in the centre. And don’t forget those food smells that will now clog all spaces.

How can design move on from open-plan living?

As a new trend for 2018, broken-plan living can set the new precedent in interior design trends, replacing open plan in the future. The idea is to retain all the things you love about open-plan – particularly the light and openness – while at the same time zoning the space to allow for more privacy should you need it. Rather than doing this with colours and textures as you would in a true open-plan arrangements, broken-plan employs structural elements such as half-walls, dividing shelves, changing levels, walls of glass and even mezzanines to delineate and formalise areas for different uses.

How does this trend look?

By cordoning off certain areas to create new spaces, ‘walls’ can be created by using boxed shelving and other furniture to define spaces that weren’t previously there in the room. Of course, you don’t want to regress back to small poky rooms, so don’t cram the shelves full of books – instead, artfully arrange a few favourite pieces to signal the change between one room and another and leave some of the shelves open to allow light to freely cascade from one zone to another. If you’re just starting your project, consider just knocking down half a wall and leaving the top open, allowing sight-lines through but at the same time giving you more wall space to play with.

As well as this trend, Crittall-style windows have also become a popular interior design trend. Metal framed windows and sometimes doors traditionally used in industrial spaces or as exterior walls onto gardens have celebrity fans such as TV presenter and architect George Clarke, who celebrates their ability to cleverly divide an internal space without shutting off one room totally from another.

Broken-plan spaces can accommodate changing floor and ceiling heights – helping to bring spaces together that usually wouldn’t work as an open plan space. With broken-plan living, the options are unlimited when it comes to your interior design space.

Homes And Interiors: Alternatives To Carpet

Excuse the pun, but where do you stand when it comes to carpet in the home? Do you still have it in your living room, or, like me, is it now banished to bedrooms only? (Please don’t say you have it in your bathroom, perish the thought.) In the 60s, 70s and 80s carpet was a status symbol as well as a key home furnishing, with a thick shagpile being the height of luxury, something to sink your feet into.

But now there are many different kinds of flooring that are more suited to 21st century living, where we want the practicality of a floor that is easy to clean, especially if we have children or pets. We want it to match our decor, even if this is something we change often, and we want it to have a modern, stylish look, often aiming for a neutral, minimalist edge.

So what alternatives are there to carpet?

Vinyl Floor Tiles

Karndean vinyl flooring is a luxurious, durable choice for flooring in many different rooms including living rooms, hallways, bathrooms and your home office. Karndean is a popular choice because it looks stylish and comes in a wide range of finishes, tones and textures that can give your floor the appearance of a real wood or stone floor, but without the dust or coldness that can come with the real thing,

Karndean floors often come with a guarantee that ranges from 15-25 years so as well as looking good, you also get the piece of mind that comes with knowing your floor is protected.

Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring is a type of wood flooring made from small blocks or strips of wood. It is a flooring that was often used in civic buildings and school halls, but has now become highly sort after for the stylish look that is also hard wearing. Parquet floor can be expensive but you can find reclaimed floors at reclamation yards and antique centres.

This is my favourite sort of floor, beautiful and stylish and perfect for hallways.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate has become the most popular type of artificial flooring, and also one of the most reasonably priced. It is a hard wearing option, this makes it a good choice for families, and is a type of flooring that is fairly easy to lay, meaning those with a grasp of DIY can fit the floor themselves.

Laminate can come in the form of a wooden look floor, or a tiled floor, and the ease with which it can be cleaned is clearly one of its better selling points. It can work in pretty much every room in your home, from bathrooms to bedrooms, and is a most popular choice for living rooms.

What sort of floor do you prefer in your home?


Stunning Storage Solutions From Lumino

Increasingly we want our homes to be full of products that can do more than one job. Space is at a premium, so anything that looks like one thing, but can do another job is always something to be impressed with. Lumino, who specialise in Illuminated bathroom cabinets have long since realised that their products can be multi purpose and multi functional. One example of this is their bathroom cabinet with shaver socket , that can be used for storage, as a vanity mirror, and also for shaving too.
Lumino’s bathroom mirrors and cabinets have lots of features which make them both a practical item and yet something that adds a tough of luxury to your bathroom. A key product is the sleek LED illuminated cabinet. All Lumino’s LED illuminated cabinets feature energy efficient lights and come in a variety of styles to suit any contemporary bathroom. These can dramatically transform a dark and small sized room into a larger and more welcoming space. Easy installation with no re-wiring needed.
As well as the lighting, which can always be a good feature if your room is a little on the dark side, the Lumino mirrors also have the demister feature. Bathroom mirrors tend to mist up very quickly due to condensation from hot baths and showers. This can waste valuable time in the morning if you are trying to get ready in a hurry. The demister feature puts a stop to all this, You no longer need to clear the mist away using your hand  which can leave unsightly marks and can be difficult to remove. Lumino’s range of beautiful bathroom cabinets even include innovative and stylish features such as motion sensors to help give your bathroom that added touch of luxury.
A beautiful mirror can add light and the appearance of space to a small room. Lumino mirrors also add the appeal of the most luxurious of hotels. Definitely something that could completely change a room.