What are the Pros and Cons of Open Plan Living?

After completing the loft renovation last year, my  mind has turned to other house projects. Honestly, we’ll need to do quite a lot of saving (and begging at the bank) if we’re to do any further work on the house, but a girl can dream. One of the main things that would be amazing is to extend the ground floor, adding to the back of the house and creating a large open plan living space with doors out onto the garden. I’ve seen other houses in our neighbourhood do a similar thing and they look incredible. It would certainly add to the value of our home, and as the children grow further, give us more space.I have seen lots of people talk about the pros and cons of open plan living though, and decided it would make a good blog post, helping me to focus my mind on this subject and help others who might be thinking of the tackling the same kind of project.

What are the real pros and cons of open plan living? What are the benefits, what are the issues, who does it work for and when does it not work? All these questions are answered and more in this post, so click through to read more #openplanliving #lovechicliving #openplankitchen #prosandcons

The Pros and Cons of Open Plan Living:

The Pros of Open Plan Living:

#1 Easy Living – A big open plan kitchen, dining and living space gives you the opportunity to coexist with your family and friends in a sociable, relaxing way. Entertaining has never been so much fun, you get to chat to your guests whilst you cook, and they get to mingle in a fabulous setting.

#2 Light – I imagine a big airy space flooded with light from velux windows and big doors into the garden. I’d use something like Bi fold doors from Quickslide, allowing us easy access to the outdoor space, letting the indoors flow seamlessly into the garden.

#3 Togetherness – So often I find us all sitting in different rooms, doing different things. The style of open plan living enables the family to be together more, to share each other’s company in a way that brings us closer. That’s got to be a good thing.

# 4 Freedom of design – with an open plan space you sometimes have quite a blank canvas in which to design the perfect space for you. Whilst this can be daunting, think about how to zone out the areas, making the most of the room and the best of the views and the light.

Open plan living and bifold doors

The Cons of Open Plan Living:

#1 Noise Levels – it can be tricky to escape the noise from cooking, washing up, music or the tv if you’re all in one room together. I’m sure this can be overcome though with the right appliances, incorporating a separate utility room, and remote controls!

#2 Privacy – If the whole house was open plan I might find it hard as I love a little peace and quiet. Open plan living doesn’t give you this, so consider how you might achieve it, if it’s an important part of how you live.

#3 Clutter – Now this can be a problem when the space is more minimal and open plan so design in some good, clever storage. Hidden cupboards, multi purpose furniture and storage benches at the table are great ways to keep the space sleek and tidy.

#4 Odour – many people mumble about how cooking smells permeate the area of an open plan living space, and it’s true this could be an issue. What can we do to minimise this issue? Well I guess you must invest in a really good quality extractor fan system to ensure it’s not too much of a problem. And then lots of fresh air, room atomisers and scented candles.

Beautiful open plan living spaceIf you are really keen for an open plan space I do think the pros outweigh the cons, and there are ways around all of these issues.

And you can get some great inspiration for open plan living design plans and ideas on sites such as Houzz and House and Garden.

Are you thinking of building an open plan kitchen and dining area? Perhaps you have one already and have something extra to add to either of my lists? I’d love to hear from you if you do, leave me a comment below and let’s see what else we can come up with .

Images Courtesy of Quick Slide

Collaborative post

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Hannah Ashton
    May 30, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Great post Jen. Having just completed our open plan kitchen/ diner/ living area it’s interesting to read your comments. I was aware of the possible pros and cons before we started so made specific choices to make the most of the space, light and functionality of the area. Having lived with if for three months we feel we made all the right choices. If asked what would be my top 5 best decisions, I would say putting in the largest possible roof windows we could fit and an apex window above the bifold doors, quiet appliances (e,g dishwasher, we have a separate utility), a room divider (we have steps along side a peninsula with sink that looks over the living area), different types of seating to accommodate everyone needs and finally ventilation (a powerful extractor and a motorised roof window).

    • Jen Stanbrook
      June 6, 2016 / 2:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment Hannah, great to hear some fabulous tips from someone who is actually living with it! x

  2. Sarah
    May 31, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    Yup… The cons are much more important to me, to be honest.. I really don’t like open plan living. I don’t like it when everything starts to smell of cooking…I’ve seen amazingly designed open plan homes, but this is not my thing 🙂

    • Jen Stanbrook
      June 6, 2016 / 2:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment Sarah, that’s a fair point 🙂

  3. Matt
    June 8, 2016 / 10:38 am

    I much prefer open plan living – just the feeling of air flowing around the apartment feels so clean to me.

  4. Emma
    June 10, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    I am always torn when it comes to open plan living. I love the bright airy feel but odour is one of my biggest issues. No one wants their lounge to smell like curry 😛 and we eat a lot of curry!!! The house we are buying has a “semi” open plan downstairs. The kitchen is its own separate room and the dining room and lounge have a dividing wall that only juts out hallway. It means you get extra privacy but the floorplan still flows nicely. Great post!

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