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Open plan v separate rooms

(21 Posts)
Missushb Wed 12-Feb-20 20:43:31

Hi all, I'm looking for opinions, at the moment we have a very large living space downstairs, the kitchen is through a door off it. 6.74m by 4.63 so quite big, we have a living room area eg telly, sofa coffee table, and a dining area with the dining table. The stairs to upstairs lead off this room, as does the door to an entrance hallway, and a door to the kitchen and a door to a conservatory! So it can feel like very busy and not particularly relaxing!
Do you think it would be an idea to half the space, with a separate living room and dining room? It's driving me stir crazy.
There is 4 of us in the house, me, Dh and two children's.

pallisers Wed 12-Feb-20 20:48:02

I would. It is invaluable to have a separate living space where you can close the door - especially when you have teens!

pallisers Wed 12-Feb-20 20:51:53

www3.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/03/06/miss-walls-cry-for-help-from-woman-living-home-with-open-floor-plan/qLl9QX8REvsQ5gKmaeCvFL/story.html?arc404=true

this was in my local newspaper a while ago. If you google open concept - you'll get a lot of similar articles advocating for walls.

AHorseCalledCroc Wed 12-Feb-20 21:09:23

Sounds like we're in the same house OP. I like it being a nice, big room as that's what attracted us to the house. But! We need a space that isn't overrun with the kids stuff so we're doing a garage conversion to give us a separate sitting room. I can't picture how to split it based on the stairs being in the room though?

Missushbb Wed 12-Feb-20 22:21:34

I know, it's nice at Christmas and when we have a big family get together but how often does that actually happen?! I would just love a separate living room without the constant traffic! Thanks everyone I wasn't sure if this was just me being fussy!

Missushbb Wed 12-Feb-20 22:23:10

Funnily enough, the large room is an extension, (bungalow) and in the original plans in our deeds, the room is split in two, so no idea why that never happened.

Missushbb Wed 12-Feb-20 22:24:40

Thanks Pallisers!

PerfectParrot Wed 12-Feb-20 22:27:24

Two rooms, definitely. As a pp said - a second downstairs room is a godsend when teens start wanting sleepovers or to have their boyfriend/girlfriend over to watch films.

strawberry2017 Wed 12-Feb-20 22:28:34

I purposely looked for a house that had separate reception rooms. I wanted a space that could be a mess and I could close the doors on it that would grow with us as a family too.
Personally I don't mind a kitchen /diner but would hate to have sofas next to my kitchen.

ritatherockfairy Thu 13-Feb-20 11:48:29

Yep. Separate rooms. When the kids were little I used to envy my friends with their huge open plan living areas. Now we're moving into the teen stage I have to say I like my cottage with it's multiple poky little reception rooms (we almost have one each grin). Especially now everyone has their own screen so there's no need for a TV to be the focus.

Packingsoapandwater Thu 13-Feb-20 13:36:00

Separate rooms. Definitely. Though, sometimes, an arch can create the feel of separateness without going the whole hog.

goingoverground Thu 13-Feb-20 14:04:04

Can you draw a plan? There might be a better solution. What is the issue? Is it movement, people having to use the space as a corridor, or noise, such as watching TV while someone else is using the dining table for a different activity like homework or craft? What do you use the different zones for?

If you do decide you want to separate the rooms, there are other options, like a sliding divider or bifold doors, so you can have the best of both worlds.

senua Thu 13-Feb-20 17:45:55

Instead of starting this thread last night, you should have been watching Love It or List It. Similar problem!
The mother, who wanted to LIst, was driven demented by the passage-way-ness of their open plan room. Kirsty did a re-design and they decided to Love It, saying that the house was much more relaxed now it was no longer just a thoroughfare.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Fri 14-Feb-20 09:19:48

Definitely separate the spaces.
From all I hear or read, all-open-plan has largely had its day. It was seen as ‘modern’ and desirable but in practice can be very difficult and impractical to live with, especially with older children/teens

An open plan kitchen-diner with a separate sitting/living room is different and usually works very well, for people who don’t have the luxury of a big enough eat-in kitchen and more than one other room downstairs.

Not relevant to the OP, but of course open plan has been beloved of builders of flats, since it enabled them to cram 2 bedrooms into the space that was really only enough for one.

scaryteacher Fri 14-Feb-20 22:37:01

Having done both open plan and separate rooms, I prefer the latter. You can close the kitchen door and hide the washing up!

I like being able to go and sit elsewhere when dh is having a box set marathon, and having a room that can be kept tidy without too much hassle. The sitting room is the non TV room in our house, so it's for reading, music, the papers with a mug of coffee etc.

I am lucky as we have three receptions in our house now, plus a kitchen big enough for our 10 seater table, so all bases are covered.

We thought we'd try open plan when renting abroad - looked great, but you have to be tidy and I'm not. There was no getting away from the TV if someone was watching something, and if dh wanted to work at the weekend, I couldn't watch TV or listen to music without disturbing him, so I ended up in the bedroom.

AnotherEmma Fri 14-Feb-20 22:44:05

We are planning house renovations including an extension and reorganisation of ground floor.

After watching lots of property shows and putting a lot of thought into what I want for my home, I've come to the conclusion that the ideal is an open plan kitchen/diner/family room (family room bit if you have young kids and want to keep an eye on them while you're in the kitchen) with a separate living room. If space allows it's also great to have a separate utility and study.

Difficult to say what would work best for you without seeing the existing floor plan. Also age of your kids would help.

NotMeNoNo Fri 14-Feb-20 22:45:52

Our house was knocked through by previous owners but we have re fitted oak doors between dining and sitting room which gives some flexibility. Also have a conservatory which is a spare TV space. People often say they want open plan so they can keep an eye on toddlers but toddlers soon grow up!

AnotherEmma Sat 15-Feb-20 08:56:11

But I'm guessing primary school children might still want to be in the open plan space to play or do homework in company of parents? Presumably it's not until they're older that they want to disappear into their bedrooms?!

1066vegan Sat 15-Feb-20 09:13:43

We've got an old house so separate lounge, dining room and kitchen. I'm so glad that none of the previous owners knocked any of the rooms through. I much prefer being able to shut the door on kitchen mess and smells, and having a quiet space for anyone who's working or trying to concentrate on a phone call.

echt Sat 15-Feb-20 10:05:21

Separation. Separation. Separation.

It's the clue to civilised living.

Peachi82 Sat 15-Feb-20 10:49:49

We are opening up. But our kitchen is so poky. No space for a table. When I was pregnant, we couldn't squeeze past each other! I am not planning on getting as gigantonormous without being pregnant though, but it is really really really tiny. We thought it wouldn't be a problem when we moved in, but I'm so fed up with carrying the entire kitchen for every meal into the dining room and back (that's what it feels like). Our kitchen also doesn't have heating, it is pissing freezing in there.

We keep a separate lounge though.

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