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Completely open plan downstairs - yes or no

(83 Posts)
PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:05:55

We want to remodel the downstairs of our house, there is a redundant chimney breast in the centre of the downstairs and an internal kitchen causing issues. The cheapest and seemingly most logical thing to do is to knock out the wall and chimney breast and make it all open plan.

DH is keen, but I am worried about cooking smells, noise and privacy. We do have a separate converted garage as a playroom/study area and loo downstairs but the living room, kitchen and dining space would all be open plan and the stairs come into it too. Do you love or hate your open plan?

dotdotdotmustdash Thu 15-Sep-16 22:08:28

I would say not to go completely open plan. I would always want, at the least, a small separate room to use as a tv room or a study - even a spare bedroom with a sofa-bed.

PitchFork Thu 15-Sep-16 22:08:52

no way!
just imagine sitting down for the evening to the whooshing sound of the washing mashine or dishwasher.

PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:10:05

The garage has been converted and is currently a playroom/study and downstairs toilet and shower so there is that space. But the main body of the house would be open plan.

CocktailQueen Thu 15-Sep-16 22:11:10

How would that work? What about load bearing walls?

Lapinlapin Thu 15-Sep-16 22:12:21


We have open plan as you describe and I hate it.

I really would like more walls sad

PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:12:37

I think they put some sort of support in, Cocktail. We had an architect in who initially suggested open plan, but I wasn't keen so we discussed other plans but now I am kicking myself that we didn't discuss the ins and outs of it in more detail.

Palomb Thu 15-Sep-16 22:13:28

No way. My last house was open plan and it was awful. When we sold that house I remember saying to my DH than I'll be so please to be able to sit down in the evening and not hear the dishwasher or the tumble dryer and I wouldn't miss having to listen to stampy bloody long nose while I was cooking tea!

Doors are wonderful IMO. Open plan is nice when you have toddlers but beyond that, awful!

Footle Thu 15-Sep-16 22:14:38

Sounds obvious but don't forget there won't be many walls to hang things on or put furniture against.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 15-Sep-16 22:14:53

Yes I would, but with a separate utility room. I can never understand why UK houses have the washer in the kitchen

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 15-Sep-16 22:15:51

To need to bear in mind the possibility of putting the house on the market in the future and no-one wanting to buy it. Very open plan just wouldn't be suited to a lot of families. It's echoey and draughty.

SaggyNaggy Thu 15-Sep-16 22:16:25

A couple of moves ago we had open plan. It bugged the shit out of me. I couldn't watch TV in peace, couldn't sit to a meal, couldn't sit at the breakfast bar. Etc. Without someone else being around, in my eye line. It felt like the only way I could get alone time was if I went to the toilet and sat on the loo. Does that make sense?

PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:17:19

We could possibly convert current cloakroom into a utility but that would reduce the number of toilets in the house from 3 to 2. The architect mentioned something in passing about 'quiet cupboards' for the washing machine but I don't know much more about them than that!

SparkyBlue Thu 15-Sep-16 22:17:53

We are in a 1920s terrace and we did this as we had a poky kitchen and small living room so combined it made great use of space as we were able to really change the layout. I love it and hate it at times. It's way too small for us now so we have it up for sale and are getting very positive responses. The worst part is the constant noise. If the washing machine dishwasher and clothes dryer are on then forget about watching telly. One positive is that it is very easy to heat as we are all in one roomsmilesmile. Also our neighbour just copied us so it can't be all that bad.

PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:18:47

Curly, that is what I said to DH but we expect to live here for at least 10 years so I suppose how we want to use the house is most important right now.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Thu 15-Sep-16 22:19:02

I don't like open plan and would buy a house like this.

Whole house smells of whatever is is you're cooking.

Nicketynac Thu 15-Sep-16 22:19:07

We have open plan downstairs with hallway and stairs separate. We bought a nice quiet dishwasher and will buy a quieter washing machine when current one dies. Cooking smells can be an issue but we had problems with them before we knocked any walls down. We have an extractor fan and cooker hood which help a lot but again, are a bit noisy.
I love our house now but it might just be that I love having a new kitchen, new floors etc rather than the layout itself although we do get much more light inside now.

bojorojo Thu 15-Sep-16 22:19:17

We have quite a large house and we are partially open plan. We have very wide "doorways" with no doors between the hall, the kitchen and the lounge. This enabled a return wall to be unitised for the kitchen. This was needed as the kitchen is an orangery with two glass walls. The great advantage is the illusion of space. The house is no bigger, but it feels it. We have a separate study and family/tv room as well as a laundry and cloakroom but the house has a spacious feel to it.

I do have an open plan flat above my garage and our other flat is open plan too. Put the dishwasher or washing machine on when you go out or go to bed. It is a bit of a no brainier that one!

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 15-Sep-16 22:20:09

Open plan is lovely in a holiday cottage but not in a family home. You underestimate how noisy sizzling sausages or the tap running can be while you're trying to catch some crucial bit of dialogue on telly.

And yes to the problem of no walls to place bookcases and kitchen cupboards against.

You see some converted houses on rightmove and the furniture is laid out so awkwardly and there is often lots of dead space.

JasperDamerel Thu 15-Sep-16 22:21:27

If anyone in the household is an introvert, don't do it.

NicknameUsed Thu 15-Sep-16 22:21:31

No. I like to cook. I use a food mixer, food processor, stick blender etc when I am cooking. Plus, I might have the extractor fan going full blast, and /or the washing machine.

It is a really bad idea and will impact on the resale of the house.

PippaFawcett Thu 15-Sep-16 22:21:46

Sparky, if you would PM me a link to your house that would be amazing. Don't feel you have to of course!

I don't feel too worried about the noise from the dishwasher etc, we put the dishwasher on just before bed so that wouldn't bother us and the washing machine normally goes on in the morning so it can be hung out before work so again, not a time when we would be sitting around trying to watch TV.

Our other option is to have a much, much smaller L shaped kitchen diner which feeds into the living room and a separate study with walls!

ShatnersBassoon Thu 15-Sep-16 22:22:04

It doesn't appeal to me at all. We had walls put in before moving into a house with an open plan ground floor. I like a proper sitting room to relax in.

Would you have a separate utility room for the noisiest appliances? A washer and tumble dryer running would be very noisy in a room you're trying to relax in. Could the shower room be used for that?

LineyReborn Thu 15-Sep-16 22:22:27

God no.

I am so glad I have a separate living room.

mummytime Thu 15-Sep-16 22:22:39

We have music instruments and need at least two reception rooms. So you would be ruling out selling to someone like us in the future.
Are you planning to sell? Would it work for you?
In our first house with kids we had a through lounge and no study, which was tricky when DH was studying. It's hard keeping little ones quiet.

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