Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The family reunion

Open-plan living

    M&Y has defined kitchen/breakfast, study and garden zones within this open, light-filled space
    M&Y has defined kitchen/breakfast, study and garden zones within this open, light-filled space

    Open-plan living has caught the imagination of the British public. But are traditional homes with separate kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms really so bad? Mandy Chody, from M&Y Interiors, a Hertfordshire design consultancy, acknowledges that for some families separate living spaces are a necessity to accommodate their situation, such as a parent working from home.

    But for most of Mandy's clients, open-plan living helps families interact, as well as making their home feel airy and bright. For instance, she was recently contacted by a family who felt their house was simply not meeting their needs. Their small kitchen-diner was over-used and felt cramped, whereas the formal lounge, dining room and drab garage conversion stood redundant. A move to open-plan living allowed them to enjoy their whole house again.

    The biggest challenge when creating open-plan living areas is to ensure that the home retains character, as well as defined spaces for eating and relaxing.

    The rooms need to be practical but at the same time intimate and distinctive.

    "Installing coffers, which are dropped ceilings, are a great way of defining spaces," says Nigel Stanley, Mandy's husband and business partner. "We also love contemporary two-way fireplaces, which benefit two spaces in the room and look stunning."

    Sometimes a space needs to be made more private, for a study area or to prevent cooking smells from
    wafting through the house. In these situations, pocket sliding doors can be built in; allowing flexibility to create both
    open and closed spaces.

    Skylights are not just a wonderful way of bringing light into a home, but also help to create designated areas within an open-plan design and add more character to a space.

    Another key feature of open-plan living rooms could be expansive bi-fold doors, which open on to the garden. Even when shut, these doors let in lots of light as well as providing a good view of the garden.

Property Features

Is London still good value?

Charlie Jacoby

Friday, May 13, 2016

Is London still good value?
Property Features

Boris gives Hendon a boost

Charlie Jacoby

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Boris gives Hendon a boost
Property Features

Investors enjoy winter buying spree

Charlie Jacoby

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Investors enjoy winter buying spree
The Jewish Chronicle

Rise in stamp duty fails to deliver

Charlie Jacoby

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rise in stamp duty fails to deliver
Property Features

Bidding in the online ballroom

Charlie Jacoby

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bidding in the online ballroom
Property Features

Top award for penthouse

Charlie Jacoby

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top award for penthouse
Property Features

Auctions host ballroom darlings

Charlie Jacoby

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Auctions host ballroom darlings
Property Features

Herts breaks price barrier

Charlie Jacoby

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Herts breaks price barrier
Property Features

Developers dig deep to beat London housing shor...

Charlie Jacoby

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Developers dig deep to beat London housing shor...