Open Plan Living


Open plan living is gripping the nation, the way we live today means that the formal dining room is disappearing. Surveys have suggested that each year as many as half a million dinning rooms are incorporated into a larger areas. Its not just dining rooms, but sitting rooms, studies and extra bedrooms are also sacrificed. How we live has changed, we no longer set formal dining tables, we are a nation of kitchen counter eating and sofa dining. Kitchen design has changed so dramatically over the years that they now become works of art. People want to show them off to the friend and guess. The open plan living areas are zoned into kitchen, eating, play, watching television, work and relaxation.




When our client wanted to extend and modernise this bungalow, opening up the dwelling was a priority to them. The extension to the rear was to be one and a half storey with a large bedroom, en-suite and dressing room over an open plan living kitchen area.

Open plan living requires careful planning if it is to be successful, in particular care is needed in the design of the kitchen. It is essential that noisy items such as the washing machine and clothes drier are moved to the utility room. Try watching the TV will the washing machine is spinning.

photo of front of bungalow before renovation
photo of front of bungalow after completion
Click on image to enlarge

The Extension

Large deep rooms need lots of natural light if they are to bright and feel airy. In this particular case we decided to opt for sunfold doors. A solution that break down the traditional division between exterior and interior space. The doors we used on this project are eight feet high and almost reach the ceiling. When the doors are opened they fold neatly back into the reveals. The arrangement of the doors gives two large openings to the rear of the bungalow overlooking a patio and landscaped garden.

photo of kitchen area

living and dining area
Click on images to enlarge

photo of rear of bungalow
Existing rear elevation

photograph of sun fold doors in rear elevation
Finished rear elevation showing sun-fold doors
sun fold doors in rear elevation
Finished rear elevation showing sun-fold doors open

The Hallway

The design of the hallway required the ceiling to be completely removed. This was to allow for extra light that could brighten an otherwise dark hall. Two large velux windows provided the extra light. Removing the ceiling also gives the hallway extra height making it airy. Solid hardwood flooring was fitted to provide for a hard wearing and durable floor. The light oak staircase was fitted to match the light oak doors.


Extensive use was made of spotlights throughout the dwelling and in particular the spotlights to the hallway provided the same bright and airy feeling at night.

the use of natural light in a hall way

General Contractor
Damien Ward, Crossgar Tel: 07808797990