Do your family members all hang out in separate rooms? The dining room table collecting dust while you eat in the kitchen? Don’t always think you need to move and find a new home to get the open-plan layout that will suit the way you want to live. Expanding can bring you all the great advantages of open-plan living but minus the stress and expense of moving.

Many of our homes are built for a different way of life with cooking, eating, and entertaining take place in separate rooms. The kitchen was once just for chores and not a room to spend time in and bathrooms bore no relation to the spa-style sanctuary we enjoy today. In the 21st century, many of us prefer to opt for a layout that is more open – at least on the ground floor of our house.

image credit

Creating a new layout

When you plan this project, consider the ground floor of the house as a whole. Do you want to combine cooking and eating? Is a relaxing seating area important as well, so guests can be with your family when you prepare food?

Consider the natural light that reaches your room too. Instead of having a small, separate and darker room, creating an open space plan completely or largely flowing from the new extension can mean better lighting throughout the ground floor. Use plenty of glass on the back and side of the extension to increase the amount of natural light flowing in. Consider installing sliding, folding or similar types of doors which will enable you to open the room up to the garden during the warmer months and will keep the flow between the two areas even when winter arrives. Ceiling windows can also be incorporated in the design of the extension, which will further help increase the natural light available. Speak to Building Services at a site like https://www.piggottandwhitfield.co.uk/building-services/

Design problems

You should keep in mind the practical aspects of the open-plan layout that you create. The working area of the kitchen needs to be away from the area that people use to move through the space and a door to the garden must not be obstructed. Noise and privacy can also be a problem, so consider if you want to include half-height walls or partitions to the TV, or home work space. Make sure you choose an extractor that will not drown out the conversation around the dinner table or mean that the TV has to be turned right up while it is running. If the laundry equipment will be in the kitchen as well, choose an appliance that runs the quietest.

Image credit

Storage can also be a problem in an open design with walls being useful for space for cabinets and shelves. Plan built-in pieces in the new extension to open up storage spaces, so you do not end up negatively affecting the free-flowing elements of the layout.

Consider the areas outside of the extension as well. Having a deck or patio area immediately outside can mean avoiding any boundary between the inside and out- especially if you choose flooring that is suitable for both surfaces indoor and outdoor.