Broken plan and clever use of space

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Open plan living has been around a long time. Taking down internal or partition walls to create more space and light. In an architectural and interior design concept its become the "go to" of how we want to live in our spaces. But more frequently we are seeing designs that incorporate the principal of broken plan.

What is broken plan?

Its about being a bit more clever about space. So instead of exposing all the internal space, you define a specific zone by creating broken space. In my own example below, an old dining room was adjacent to a new kitchen extension. Instead of opening up the whole area we retained a half wall to create a media corner which backed onto the new kitchen. As the media area was completely internal and had no natural light, we created a rectangle of borrowed light from the kitchen above the bookcase. This has created another useful area which we use for listening to music or working on the laptop.

Benefits of broken plan

Broken plan has all the benefits of open plan, but provides an element of privacy by retaining a unique area for part of a room. This separation means that people can do different activities in the same area, but have their own space from each other. Other simple ways to do this is by using rugs or different floor finishes or using semi-permanent finishes such as bookcases or screens as partitions.

Ideas for broken plan

Bookcases are a brilliant way to do this. Taking up less wall space, a partition placed horizontally creates an element of privacy and separation. In the first image below the house owners have created a double duty pivoting bookcase which opens onto a secret bedroom.

Zoning and partial dividing

In the top right image above is a large unit placed strategically between living and dining area. This idea is great for storage as well as providing the separation of the two areas. Other ideas include using a fireplace (not a new idea - very common in the 1960s as a room divider) and using different flooring levels for a specific space. In the last image above, used to good effect as a hallway entry point and the the stairwell.

Broken space - the perfect option for you?

If you have open plan living, you may be thinking about dividing up the space, but wanting to be subtle about it. Broken plan retains that sense of openness, but offers more by creating little nooks or zones where you can find less distraction and focus. You may just want to escape the noise of the TV or gaming but still be with your family enjoying being together!

Contact me for a chat about creating your broken space!

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