Key considerations to achieve open-plan success
Open-plan living is a staple of contemporary home design, and for good reason.
A successful open floor plan can make a house feel more connected and help to create a natural flow from room to room.
However, there are some rules that should be followed; it’s not just about knocking down some walls.
New Homes talked to Pindan Homes Construction Manager Adrian Schneeberger and Design and Drafting Manager Steve Haylan about some common mistakes people make and how to make sure your open-plan design is not a failure.
Orientation is commonly overlooked, according to Mr Schneeberger.
“It’s best to have an open-plan layout with a northern aspect,” he said.
“Having windows to the north that are shaded in summer but allow the sun to penetrate during the colder months is important.
“Generally, the better the builder the better the finish. This is critical with open-plan living, as there is a lot more natural light entering each area. This shows up any flaws, especially in the ceilings, which will be laid bare by light refraction.”
For Mr Schneeberger, another necessity commonly overlooked was powerpoint and light switch placement, as there were less walls to place them on.
“Homebuyers and renovators should also consider the correct use of space and the location of entry points and thoroughfares and how to create a flow from one section to the next,” he said.
Tiled or polished concrete floors are dependable materials, according to Mr Schneeberger, as they are able to absorb the sun’s rays in winter and emit warmth in the evening, as well as keeping the home cool in summer.
Mr Haylan said acoustics could become an issue in open-plan spaces, but this was easily tempered.
“Open-plan living tends to have different acoustics to smaller rooms, as the sound bounces around, especially as most open-plan living areas have tiles or floorboards as opposed to carpet,” he said. “But this is not a major issue, as by the time you put furnishings in the area, this tends to soften the noise.”
Mr Haylan also said that because the kitchen was typically exposed in open-plan design, many leaned towards including a scullery or butler’s pantry to keep their appliances and dirty dishes out of sight.
It is also important to consider how many people will use the space, the angle of sunlight and the roof height, according to Mr Haylan.
“A good open-plan layout will take the orientation of the home into consideration, flow from one usable area to the next and have good lighting, air-conditioning, heating, raised ceilings and access to natural light,” he said.
CONTACT Pindan Homes, 6555 3728, www.pindanhomes.com.au.
Source: The West Australian- Rhys Prka