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Broken Plan Living

There’s a trend sweeping interior design right now, an evolution of open-plan living that keeps the sociability but also provides some privacy – the broken-plan room, or zoning. Director and architect at Giles Pike, Tom Pike, suggests the reason for this growing trend could be down to the way families now tend to interact with one another; gone are the days where you only had one TV in one room, we now have iPads, laptops and phones, which allows those living with one another to do their own thing in their own space.

So, what does zoning mean for your home interiors? It’s about creating subtle divides between rooms through the use of half walls or furniture. While still offering the space of open-plan living, by utilising contrasting textures, finishes and materials, you can make a distinction between spaces and how they are used, while still retaining the flow beteen the different areas.

So, what does zoning mean for your home interiors? It’s about creating subtle divides between rooms through the use of half walls or furniture. While still offering the space of open-plan living, by utilising contrasting textures, finishes and materials, you can make a distinction between spaces and how they are used, while still retaining the flow beteen the different areas.

Neptune co-founder John Sims-Hilditch believes this trend has multiple benefits. “Well- thought out zones make life more efficient,” he says. “Factoring in primary zones for cooking and socialising allows the kitchen, for example, to become a multi-purpose hub, bringing the whole family together. It also lets you make the absolute most of a room. With zoning in mind, every nook and cranny are explored.”

“This is going to be a big trend in 2018,” agrees Hub Kitchens co-founder Daniele Brutto. “And, in terms of kitchen design, as people continue to strive for more flexible spaces, the movement towards zoning open-plan areas will also see kitchen furniture evolve into versatile systems that can move and alter in form and function.”

Furniture is the easiest way to zone rooms but you can go further: “Distinct zones can be created by the use of different floor finishes, split-levels and semi-permanent partitions, such as bookcases,” adds Tom. “Mezzanines are also a beneficial way of creating extra room in the home.”

Don’t forget to factor in your family lifestyle when designing broken-planning, however, such as the age of your children. “Would a low- level shelving system cause havoc with three toddlers? Could a floor standing lamp not provide the light you require when working on your computer at night?” Daniele adds.

Naturally, there are pitfalls to avoid. For example, using too many varying types of materials can clash and cause the space to be confused. Broken-plan areas can often prove difficult to heat, and there’s the potential noise issue. With broken-plan living the space needs to be themed well with all the zones related in some form or another. “And don’t try to incorporate too many zoned areas,” Daniele advises. “We often have clients who want to include a sofa in their new kitchen/dining room extension and, more often than not, the space just isn’t big enough for it. Broken-plan living can make this issue more complicated by adding even more furniture and fittings, so it’s not for everyone or every space.

 The Cut by Record e Cucine available at Hub Kitchens Neptune - Suffolk medium kitchen shown as painted in Charcoal eggshell. Finished with Barlow cup hasp handles in Brass Giles Pike

www.gilespike.com, www.hubkitchens.com, www.neptune.com