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To think open plan living is not actually that great?

(242 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 11-May-15 14:28:43

In almost every homes magazine, tv programme etc these days the focus seems to be on open plan living space. Same old story - the main cook of the family feels isolated in the kitchen, everyone is doing their own thing in different rooms, families are not being together. So the answer is to knock down walls to create one big 'space' so all the family members can be together.

We currently have separate rooms downstairs although some are connected with doors. Kitchen is big enough to have a table in where we have every day meals. Sometimes I do think about going open plan but I can see huge disadvantages:

-Sometimes (especially in a bigger family) you do crave a bit of space to do your own thing and you can't really do that in one big room.

-Dh likes to listen to sports on the radio in the kitchen while the dc are watching telly in the other room. This wouldn't be easy in one big space.

-Dd1 plays piano and flute and practices in the living room. Other family members can sit in kitchen or small tv room and can do something else without having to listen to music practice.

-We are a close family but don't feel the need to spend every waking minute at home in the same room.

Do you think this open plan thing is just fashionable at the moment and we'll start craving walls soon? Or am I missing something??

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 11-May-15 14:32:01

back in my grannies day, everyone lived in the same room, wow were they glad when summer came and they could all escape.

Fully with you, hate the idea, how do I escape when visitors come and put emerdale on the telly?

PurpleBananaPie Mon 11-May-15 14:35:18

I don't like open plan either.

On the days when I haven't washed up and there are pots lying around, I like to be able to shut the door so I can't see them. I also don't want to be able to hear the washing machine or have cooking smells everywhere.

meglet Mon 11-May-15 14:36:46


I have a hall/living room/dining room. One dc needs to do homework at the table, the other one wants to watch TV so an argument ensues. Thrown food can end up on the sofa or even tv (dd and coco pops angry). Shoes and clutter from the front door gets knocked around and ends up anywhere.

I would love a kitchen/diner and a separate living room. And a hallway.

VivienScott Mon 11-May-15 14:36:48

Personally I need my own space and so do my DC's, I hate the thought of open plan living and will never buy an open plan house. I've thought for a long time that the bubble will burst at some point. I won't even knock through kitchen and dining room (for a long time hiding in the kitchen 'cleaning' was the only way I got any time to myself!)

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 11-May-15 14:37:08

It's easier to take photos of spacious rooms without pesky walls and doors getting in the way...

Artandco Mon 11-May-15 14:39:06

But if you have a kitchen diner you already have semi open plan anyway?

We have one large open planned kitchen/ diner/ living room. One bathroom and one bedroom. Between 4 of us, it's fine tbh.

WeirdCatLady Mon 11-May-15 14:39:52

Open plan is a bigger to heat. We used to have our stairs coming straight out from the living room. All the heat used to go straight upstairs so the bedrooms were always roasting and the living room was chilly.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Mon 11-May-15 14:40:21

I would love a huge kitchen/diner, possibly with a sofa in it, but would always have the living room separate. I actually don't know anyone who had done totally open plan without another living room.

WeirdCatLady Mon 11-May-15 14:40:23

*bugger to heat, not bigger

SlightlyJadedJack Mon 11-May-15 14:40:46

I love it. I hate claustrophobic little rooms, I like big airy spaces and it was great when the DCs were little as it gave them lots of room to run around and have bigger toys out.

That said, we also have other rooms which can be shut off so I can hide the junk, watch a different tele etc. if need be. Each to their own.

RoganJosh Mon 11-May-15 14:40:56

I think you need a big enough downstairs that you can still have two rooms. So you have a big kitchen diner, perhaps with a sofa in if there's room, but a separate sitting room.
Our children are small still and we do all sit in the same room but I can imagine when they're older it will be useful for them to have somewhere else to go that isn't their bedroom.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 11-May-15 14:41:20

I hate it. Curry and fish, anyone? Living in Canada everyone is obsessed with open plan. I live in an old house so we have doors that shut!

ouryve Mon 11-May-15 14:42:17

YANBU. The boys have ASD and need their space. I sometimes like to be able to shut the door on everyone and have half an hour to re-group while I'm cooking dinner, in the school holidays. We have a through lounge-dining area, which is not in a straight line, so feels un-claustrophobic, but not too much like we're sitting on top of each other, but like that Ican shut a door at either end of it.

When we put new doors on, a few years ago, there was a period when we had no doors. It was impossible to watch TV, in the evenings. Either the noise from the washer drowned it out or we had it on so quietly we could barely hear it at all, or else it woke the boys up. We need to move, in a few years and any house with the stairs in the living room will be discounted immediately.

KoalaDownUnder Mon 11-May-15 14:42:52


I recently bought a 1980s-build apartment with the kitchen closed off from the main living area. At first I thought, ugh, will have to knock out the dividing wall and open it all up as soon as I can afford it. But after living here a while...yeah, it's actually quite nice to keep the cooking mess & noise separate from the entertaining areas. I think
I'm going to change my mind about making it open plan!

DurhamDurham Mon 11-May-15 14:43:47

I would hate open plan living. If one part is messy the whole place would look a mess.
I like to be able to shut the kitchen door and ignore the pots and pans whilst enjoying my dinner.

I also think it's difficult/expensive to heat open plan areas, my friend's open plan home is always cold despite the radiators being on.

HellKitty Mon 11-May-15 14:44:11

We're currently renting, this house has an open plan downstairs. Hall into living room/dining room and open stairs. The kitchen is thankfully separate. We can't watch a loud film without it drifting upstairs, can't have grown up friends over for grown up drinks without it waking the DCs, DCs have to tiptoe around at the weekend if DP has been on shifts. Upstairs toilet and gastroenteritis means everyone downstairs can share the fun while we're watching TV. I can't wait to move!

00100001 Mon 11-May-15 14:44:49

God can't stand it - all the kitcheny smells would be in the living space... all the living noise combined, pain in the arse to heat, no space to 'hide' - no where to put sneaky secret things on (eg. candles on a cake)


ouryve Mon 11-May-15 14:44:50

That was no doors downstairs.

OhNoNotMyBaby Mon 11-May-15 14:44:56

I agree with you OP. I had my kitchen done recently and everyone seemed to assume I would knock the wall between the kitchen & the dining room and make one big space..

No said I.

The dog would make 2 rooms dirty instead of 1. The DCs couldn't do their homework if I was cooking & listening to the radio etc etc. The list goes on. With 3 DCs all doing different things at different times, open plan is not practical or desirable.

littlemslazybones Mon 11-May-15 14:46:28

It's bad enough trying to keep a kamikaze toddler alive without having doors to close off the kitchen. YANBU

wigglesrock Mon 11-May-15 14:47:02

Ours is open plan downstairs although there's a door to the hall and upstairs. So the kitchen, living, dining area are all in one. I love it. It's worked out really well for us - our kids are young and it means I can cook, supervise homework, watch the kids out the back, faff about on MN etc and see everything going on smile

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Mon 11-May-15 14:47:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MitzyLeFrouf Mon 11-May-15 14:47:39


Big rooms are great but open plan is not so great. What do all these open plan evangelists have against doors? I'd miss being able to slam a door.

It's most perplexing.

littlemslazybones Mon 11-May-15 14:47:43

not having doors, especially when tired and cannot write a clear sentence.

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