Advice • Tips • Inspiration

Is open-plan living right for your lifestyle?

Open-plan living is a popular option for new home owners.

Open-plan living combines multiple rooms into a single space to create the illusion of a larger area. Many new home designs feature open-plan living, particularly with the kitchen, dining and lounge area.

While there are many positives to this style of floor plan, there are still a few drawbacks. Read on below to see if open-plan living is right for you.


  • Open-plan living allows a family to spend time together while still completing different activities like cooking, eating or watching TV.
  • It creates the illusion of space and grandeur. Open-plan living works particularly well in smaller homes to help counteract narrow corridors and small spaces. It gives the home connection and flow.
  • There is better airflow and more natural light available with open-plan living. With no barriers like walls, a room will feel much lighter and airy.
  • Open-plan living is great for entertaining. Having one large, open space helps avoid segregation, and if this area connects to your alfresco the entire area can become the ultimate entertainment zone! Our Erskine 290 design enables direct access from the kitchen and dining area to the alfresco, as well as a window that offers direct access from the butler’s pantry to outdoors!




  • Without any walls or defined rooms, noise travels more easily through the home, especially if you have children. This goes for any cooking smells too.
  • If you are looking for a bit of privacy while cooking or watching TV, it can become difficult in an open-plan home.
  • The cost of heating and cooling a larger space will be more than if you can close off rooms or corridors. The heating and cooling units also become less effective.
  • Gone are the days where you can shut a door to hide the mess as a guest walks through your home. Keeping an open-plan living home clean and neat can also be more difficult.

Despite a few drawbacks, open-plan living remains a popular and often must-have feature in a new home. To make the most of an open-plan home, consider these points:


Even though you are dealing with one large room, treat each space as if it were its own. Define the areas subtly and avoid clutter by using clever techniques like area rugs or lowered or raised ceilings above the kitchen or living area.



Your furniture can also be used to help define the boundaries of the space without actually closing it off. Couches can be placed to cut off the living area, and large tables keep the dining space defined. Island benches in the kitchen are the perfect way to show where the kitchen ends and living starts.


Selecting the right colours for the right space is important. Keep a basic colour running through the whole space, and change up the accent colours in different shades from area to area. For a more definitive guide to colour selection, read our blog on choosing colours for your home.

Does your dream home contain open-plan living? Or do you like clearly defined rooms? Let us know in the comments below, or browse through our range of Hotondo Home designs now!

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