How to Implement Broken-Plan Living

Broken Plan Interior In House

Open-plan living has been a popular trend for decades. But it’s not always the best choice. While large, multifunctional rooms can be light, fluid and sociable, this style can feel cold and very public – as many people discovered during the pandemic. ‘Broken-plan’ living helps to adapt an open plan space to better suit your needs.

What is broken-plan living?

Broken-plan living uses the wall-free structure of open-plan living, but with other methods to divide the space up into smaller segments. It allows for the benefits of open-plan living such as natural light and versatility, but combats the lack of privacy and cold feel. By creating smaller, functional pockets of space, the room feels less oversized and exposed.

How is broken-plan living achieved?

Even on a slim budget, broken-plan living can be achieved in a variety of ways. You can even use a variety of these methods within the same room.

Install doors

Floor-to-ceiling glass doors are an excellent way to preserve the natural light of an open plan space while retaining privacy and peace.

Opaque pocket doors can be a more costly option, but they allow you to convert between open-plan and broken-plan living at will. These doors slide away into walls, completely out of the way.

If your budget is smaller, curtains and screens will help divide up the space while still being mobile.

Use storage as walls

Installing a double-sided bookshelf in between spaces maintains the accessibility of an open-plan space. Larger pieces of furniture can reduce noise while providing functionality. This could be used for plates, keeping them accessible between a kitchen and dining room.

Embrace tall objects

Plant in open plan room

Tall, decorative objects can be placed between rooms to create different zones. Sideboards and tables with tall vases, lamps and plants can be used as statement pieces to add a pop of colour to the space, or simply blend into the room’s ambience. These can be positioned behind furniture such as sofas to isolate them.

Create cosy corners

A variety of smaller, functional spaces can make the room feel like a completely different place depending on where you sit. For example, an armchair in its own corner with a lamp can create an intimate reading environment completely separate from the rest of the world, let alone the rest of the room.

Work from the ground up

Rug in open plan room

Floor coverings can help the space feel less vast and empty, while naturally grouping specific areas. Rugs can be used to frame spaces, giving the other furniture something to centre around.

Different types of flooring can also create the illusion of separation while maintaining fluid movement between spaces.

Make your space work for you with InteriorNet

If you’re looking to divide your open-plan space into broken-plan living, InteriorNet has a free search tool that can match you with the right interior designer to help you. Our network of interior design companies and freelancers operate throughout the UK and work to a variety of budgets and styles.

Every single designer is vetted to ensure a high-quality experience. Simply pop in your requirements then let us find up to five suitable candidates.