The open-plan layout was once seen as the pinnacle of modern living. But after a year of restrictions that have seen many spending a lot more time at home, some interior designers and architects are beginning to introduce a new concept; broken-plan living.

It’s no secret that open-plan living isn’t for everyone. After all, everyone needs their own space from time to time, and what could be more personal than your own home? With much more emphasis being placed on the spaces we live in, many people are beginning to shift towards a broken-plan layout.

What is broken plan?

Multifunctional living spaces are becoming increasingly popular as they allow you to use the same space for multiple purposes. The ‘broken-plan’ layout is an innovative new multifunctional solution that offers more flexibility and privacy than an open-plan layout can. Broken-plan layouts can be adapted to suit different days, seasons and occasions, giving you more options to can change up your living space for any occasion, whether you’re looking for a bit of privacy from the rest of your family or want to host a party!

Broken-plan home design

Whilst broken-plan spaces enjoy all the benefits of an open-plan layout such as increased light and socializing, but with more flexibility and privacy. With Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions across the UK and everyone spending more time indoors, it’s no surprise that spending all of our time in the same four walls has felt limiting for some.

report by John Lewis showed that during 2020, 20% of people in the UK reconfigured an open plan layout to allow for different activities throughout the day – this is where broken-plan designs come into play. Broken-plan design offers an attractive compromise which experts think it could be the next big thing.

After years of people advocating for one big, open space, people are beginning to shift towards a broken-plan layout. If you’re looking for a cosy home that doesn’t sacrifice on space, a broken-plan layout may be right for you!

We’ve put together a list of some of the key benefits to investing in broken-plan design…

Broken-plan layouts offer flexibility for different days, seasons and occasions

A broken-plan design isn’t set in stone, which is part of what makes them so attractive after a year of so much change and uncertainty. Even in normal times, every day is different, and our living spaces should be able to adjust. Features such as sliding curtains, moveable furniture, or rotating walls can be adjusted easily to offer some variety in the space on a day-to-day basis so there’s always the option to open the space up, or alternatively you can still find a quiet place to relax and binge that TV show whilst your partner entertains their guests!

Multifunctional Living

Multifunctional living is key to making the most out of a broken-plan layout. It’s easy to overlook the versatility of living spaces around your home, let alone the potential benefits from adding an extra room. Living areas can be used for different activities on different days, or different parts of the day, and if you create a room with multifunctional living in mind the results can be amazing! Multifunctional designs can incorporate ideas as simple as adapting a bedroom to double as a home cinema. could be as simple as having one area for eating and working, and another for relaxing and sleeping.

You can also use different areas of your home for different activities. If you need to work from home, but don’t want to be in the same room as your partner, set up an office in a separate part of the house. This will give you the privacy you need, while still allowing you to be close to home.

After the year we’ve all had, privacy is valued more than ever before

With lockdowns and travel restrictions, most Brits spent an average of an extra 8 hours per day in their house during 2020. This sort of adjustment can understandably lead to tension in households who aren’t used to sharing space.

In fact last year, 20% of us created space in our homes specifically for alone-time. A broken-plan layout strikes the balance between creating a hub for people to come together and offers nooks to escape to for some quiet. Furthermore a study by the University of Toronto found that people working in open-plan offices were 25% less productive than those in traditional office set-ups. The lack of privacy and distractions was cited as the main reason for this difference.

It’s not just work that benefits from a bit of separation, our personal lives do too! With children in the house, it’s more important than ever that we have spaces that can be used for different activities. A multifunctional living area is key to creating a well-rounded home. You need somewhere to sit and eat as well as work or study. Broken-plan offers you this flexibility by providing designated areas for each activity.

Multifunctional living requires multifunctional spaces

One of the main benefits of broken-plan design is the opportunity to use a space for multiple different purposes. Did you spend lockdown doing YouTube workouts in the same room as a school class and dinner being cooked?

A segmented approach also reduces the noise and smells travelling through the space. So cooking smells don’t linger and there are no cameo appearances on your zoom calls. 

Storage is also key in a multifunctional space. With everything you need close to hand, there’s no need for long journeys across the house to find your favourite jumper.

Broken-plan rooms are cosier

Whilst large bright open spaces are brilliant during Summer days, sometimes we all just want a little cosy and comfortable nook to spend our down-time.

Broken-plan living can be the answer to this. With spaces that can be closed off when needed, you can have your privacy when you need it most.

Whilst open-plan living can be great for socialising, it can be less desirable when you need some time to yourself. With people constantly walking past and hearing every conversation, sometimes a little peace and quiet is much needed.

Open-plan spaces are also notoriously expensive to heat. So your bank account, and the planet, will thank you for investing in a broken-plan design.

You will have more space for storage

One of the main disadvantages of open-plan layouts is the lack of wall space. When walls are knocked down, valuable storage space disappears too.

One way to combat this is to use free standing furniture, shelves and half walls. This not only helps to segment the room, but also provides handy storage spots. Meaning you can keep objects organised and reduce visual clutter. Out of sight, out of mind! 

Storage is also key in a multifunctional space. If you’re using one room for multiple purposes, you need to be able to store all of your belongings securely. Clever storage solutions can help to make the most out of every inch of space in your home.

We can help you source the best storage furniture for your space through HOKO shop, a collective of our most trusted product suppliers.

Open-plan is no longer the norm

According to The Telegraph, in 2020 over 60% of new-builds in the UK were designed with broken-plan living. So it looks like this flexible layout is here to stay.

We hope this has given you some insight into what broken-plan layout is and the benefits of using it in your home. We offer a range of services from full interior remodels to sourcing individual pieces of furniture, so if you’re considering a redesign, or are just curious about the possibilities, get in touch with one of our experts for a free consultation and see how we can help make your dream home a reality.