Gransnet forums


To Think That Open Plan Living Is Just a Fashion of The Moment

(133 Posts)
OldHag Mon 11-Mar-24 22:28:01

I originally posted this on Mumsnet, but am getting the vibe that it depends on your time of life, so wonder what you Grans think about it.

Me and my DH have recently moved house, and the plan for the place we chose was to integrate the kitchen, dining room, and living room. However, now that we've settled in, and begun getting prices for the work, I'm getting a bit worried that all this open plan living, is just a bit of a fad that will go out of fashion in a few more years, and then we'll all want all the walls that we knocked down put up again.

Thoughts please people.

dragonfly46 Mon 11-Mar-24 22:34:28

We have separate rooms. We have a large kitchen we can eat in, a living room and even a dining room and separate study downstairs. I like having separate rooms and they are easier to heat. I don’t like looking at the kitchen while I am relaxing.

SueDonim Mon 11-Mar-24 22:35:41

I don’t like open plan. Having to listen to other people’s music/TV choices or the washing machine chuntering away in the background would irk me. We have a large kitchen/dining/family room but can escape to the sittingroom if we want some quiet time.

It’s horses for courses, though, and it suits some people’s lifestyles.

Cabbie21 Mon 11-Mar-24 22:35:56

I can’t speak for others, but I would not want this arrangement.
I like a kitchen- diner but no more.
Maybe it is a fad.
Most homes need somewhere for separateness as well as togetherness. One person may want to listen to music, another watch TV. Teenagers have homework to do. Adults may each need a study. So it partly depends how many there are of you and if you have other rooms available.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 11-Mar-24 22:40:56

I don’t care for the open plan kitchen/dining/living room fashion. I prefer a good sized kitchen with dining area and separate living room. We had a separate dining room at our last house which was rarely used and I wouldn’t want one again. I think this current fashion for one big open space will pass. Give me a peaceful living room without a view of the oven, kitchen cupboards etc and cooking smells any day!

OldFrill Mon 11-Mar-24 22:56:34

All design trends change, that what keeps the designers in business. Do what makes your space right for you.

Gingster Mon 11-Mar-24 23:00:50

Heating a large area is expensive.

Theexwife Mon 11-Mar-24 23:27:56

I dont think fashion comes into it, for some open plan is right for others it is not.

I can see the benefits for families that want to spend time together doing different activities but personally I like separate rooms with different uses.

maddyone Mon 11-Mar-24 23:40:23

We have a kitchen big enough to have a small dining area, but we have a separate dining room which we use when the family come round to eat, which is often. I like my separate living room too, where we can close the doors and be cosy in winter. We also have a study which my husband mostly uses, but because it catches a lot of sun in the morning, we often have morning coffee in there, especially on the days when it’s too cold to go outside but is very sunny. If it’s too hot it has doors which open on to the patio. I like my house, it’s comfortable and warm and it’s home. I definitely wouldn’t want a completely open area, but a kitchen dining area would be okay.

Doodledog Tue 12-Mar-24 00:32:53

I’m another who prefers separate rooms so that people can do different things without disturbing others. I was in the dining room tonight with a group I belong to, and Mr D was watching James Bond in the sitting room. My meeting started early so we ate in the kitchen and I closed the door before anyone arrived. That couldn’t have happened in an open plan space - or it could, but I’d have had to clear up or eat even earlier, and the meeting and James Bond would have clashed. When the children were at home they would have been doing their respective activities too.

If I have friends over for coffee we don’t always want to chat with Mr Dog listening in, and he’s not always interested in what we are talking about either grin.

I’m not bothered about fashion, but I think open plan will go out very soon, because of heating costs and to keep architects and builders in work.

Chestnut Tue 12-Mar-24 00:41:15

Don't knock the walls down OldHag!! Open plan definitely is a fad and a horrible one. Who wants strong smelling fish or fatty foods cooking in the living room, or hear the dishwasher turning or the washing machine spinning. You will also end up with your sofa smelling of roast dinner which you then have to sit on. Then there's the aroma of boiling vegetables which puts a lot of moisture into the air, again this will travel to your soft furnishings and make them smelly. You also have the dirty dishes staring at you while you're trying to relax in the living room. I can think of countless reasons why this is a bad idea.

I prefer the kitchen/utility area to be completely separate if possible. It can be joined to the dining area if necessary, just not to the living room. No way.

Shinamae Tue 12-Mar-24 00:46:32

Not for me…🤓

Grammaretto Tue 12-Mar-24 01:57:31

I'm interested in this as I intend to downsize soon.
Currently I have a good size kitchen with a large table seating 6 or 8 at a squeeze.
Next to this is the sitting room, with fireplace, 2 settees , chair, TV, desk and extending dining table which I use for sewing. We eat in there for dinner parties. It can be cosy although a bit too big.

3 of my DC have a settee in their kitchens which is nice to sit on while watching them work 🤣

If you like the current arrangement why change it for a fashion?

PamelaJ1 Tue 12-Mar-24 04:43:11

I really like my dining/kitchen.
There is no way I would want totally open plan though for all the reasons already given.
At the moment I am in Australia where open plan is king and my builder SonIL is building a house for sale. I keep bleating away that three bedrooms is enough but he won’t listen to me!😂 Totally refuses to make the fourth bedroom into a lounge room (that’s Australian for sitting/living room). The area he is building in is a small coastal town that people retire to. Of course over here the doors and windows are open a lot more and there is a bbq area outside on the balcony but I would still want my quieter space.
Also mandatory is a huge garage to house the workshop, caravan and boat! In fact in his opinion that’s the most important bit.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 12-Mar-24 05:36:54

We are house hunting and aren’t bothering to look at anything that is ‘open plan’. Although I suppose we could erect some walls.

karmalady Tue 12-Mar-24 05:42:56

my home is 1300 square feet and I chose it because I have separate enclosed areas with doors. I can make any area cosy and all areas have their own function. Kitchen/dining, living room, utility, large hall with cloakroom.

Open plan is a fashion fad, cheaper for builders but much more expensive to heat and without privacy, everyone needs their own space

grandMattie Tue 12-Mar-24 05:44:32

The problem with this open plan fad, is heating. I understand becomes prohibitive.
In my last two houses I had big kitchen/diners with sofas and a tv, then a separate living room. It meant more privacy and if two of you wanted different live programmes, you could each be comfy…

BlueBelle Tue 12-Mar-24 05:51:14

Never had a kitchen incorporated in a living area The snells of cooking would be awful to me bad enough when you can shut a door and heating a great area would be prohibitive too
A fad …stick to doors and walls
Totally agree with Chestnut

J52 Tue 12-Mar-24 06:18:13

I’m not sure it’s a fad. Our first house in the mid 70s was open plan, it was built in the early 60s.
Our second house, built in 1850, had been ‘modernised to be open plan. Our third house was a traditional Victorian villa and had a large kitchen, separate dining room and sitting room.
We liked the separate rooms and each subsequent house has had separate rooms. Our current house has a dining room that is large enough for a sofa as well as dining furniture, so it’s comfortable to use as a second sitting room.
We will probably make one more move and will definitely be looking for separate kitchen, dining and sitting rooms.

kittylester Tue 12-Mar-24 06:37:15

I think the fashion for a big living kitchen is great - all 3 daughters have that arrangement but they also all have separate spaces away from the busy kitchen.

Curtaintwitcher Tue 12-Mar-24 06:42:28

I much prefer separate rooms. Once a meal has been cooked and eaten, I don't want to spend the rest of the evening with the smell.
Plus heating the large space can be a problem, especially if there is a flight of stairs.

Calendargirl Tue 12-Mar-24 06:44:11

No open plan living for me.

LOUISA1523 Tue 12-Mar-24 06:57:23

I don't think its fashion as such...more what suits your family life...I'm 59 , live with DP ... we have a separate big lounge .....but very rarely use it....prefer to live in the back of house in family area ( kitchen / dining table/ sofa and an easy chair.....even when we have DC and 3 GC we all tend to squeeze into that area ....its just peoples preference I think...neither is right or wrongb

M0nica Tue 12-Mar-24 07:05:35

Since open-plan has been around since the 1960s, when we all started knocking down the walls between living rooms and dining rooms, it has already been around a long time and it isn't gong to be going away soon.

Open plan is all the rage with builders because British new-build houses are so small, and getting smaller and nothing makes a small space look large than leaving out all the walls, but most usually have small cubby hole somewhere called the 'snug' where people can be quiet/work/or whatever.

In the past, before central heating we had lots of small rooms so that it was possible to get one or two rooms really warm. Central heating is more efficient if there are no small spaces but hot air can cirulate freely throughout the living space.

It is also easier for parents to keep an eye on children. If the computer is downstairs, it can be seen and be accessible to parental control at all times.

So relax, open plan has been with us a long time and is going nowhere fast. It will be here for many years to come.

Jewelle Tue 12-Mar-24 07:23:28

Ignore trends. Just do what feels right for you, if you like the idea of open plan then do it. And if you don’t, then don’t!