Out with open concept, in with broken-plan living

Elegant & minimal bookshelf in wood
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A renovation journey.

Join us for a continuing series as we bring a relatively untouched, tired-looking 1960’s builder’s-box bungalow into the 21st century.

. . . . .

By Masha Koyen

Social distancing has reshaped the way we view our living spaces, creating the latest trend in home renovation – broken-plan living. We’re not tearing down walls for our renovation project, but instead, maintaining purposeful spaces that make the home more functional.

What is broken-plan living?

Broken-plan living is all about embracing the idea of separate rooms or spaces without sacrificing natural light or flow. Designers are accomplishing this plan in different ways —creating zones with furniture, adding privacy screens, or defining spaces with different wall colours or flooring types. It’s not so much about rebuilding walls but instead, altering open-concept layouts to improve multifunctionality.

Creating purposeful spaces

Broken-plan living combines the connectivity between rooms and improved natural light, with design features that create more privacy. In the Ready.Set.Reno! project we have a great layout with generously sized rooms ideal for multifunctional design. Some examples of our purposeful spaces include a custom home office, guest suite and hideaway breakfast nook.

The benefits of broken-plan living

There are many benefits to broken-plan layouts, including:

  • Defined spaces with purpose
  • A cosier feel in your home
  • Improved heating and cooling efficiency
  • Maintained natural light
  • Less mess than open-concept living
  • Reduced distractions for quiet time, work, homework, or other activities
  • Improved privacy with separate areas to spread out
  • Versatile design feature options

Ideas for broken-plan living

Want to implement broken-plan living in your own home? Here are affordable ideas to try:

  • Use shelves as partitions: Open shelving is an affordable way to create a wall that doesn’t block off natural light but creates a sense of separation and privacy.
  • Glass walls: Glass walls are very on trend, with the bonus of creating a sound barrier.
  • Screens: Screens add a decorative detail, whether they are custom designed or a great find discovered at a consignment shop.
  • Salvaged windows: What better way to maintain more natural light than adding more windows? You can go rustic with old wood storm windows, industrial with steel warehouse windows or high-end with something more intriguing like stained glass windows salvaged from a church.
  • Drapes: Drapes provide privacy when you need it for areas like an office, or when guests are sleeping on your living room sofa bed.
  • Bifold doors: Bifold doors can be hinged together to create a wall when you need temporary yet substantial separation.
  • Beaded curtains: This might sound way too ‘60’s but it’s actually a big trend right now. People are also loving ‘70’s-inspired macrame and rope curtain designs.
  • Pony walls: The pony wall is quite retro and allows you to define spaces, while providing a cozy nook for a built-in dining/kitchen banquette or desk.
  • Two-sided fireplace: The two-sided fireplace adds a comforting feature and comes in all shapes, sizes, designs, and functions including wood-burning, electric and gas.

The key to broken-plan living is to maintain flow while improving privacy and functionality.

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Watch for the project website and YouTube channel coming soon! ready-set-reno.ca

In today’s pandemic-era environment, world-wide supply chain issues and construction delays are a reality, so plan your renovation well and be prepared. As things get underway, we’ll be sharing exciting before, during and after content, including a video series featuring top experts, and you’ll be able to virtually tour the project at various stages of completion.

Masha Koyen is the founder of Content Vertical, copywriting and content strategy for the design-build industry.

Photo credit: Decoist

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Ready Set Reno
Ready Set Reno

A Renovation Journey. Join us for a continuing series as we bring a relatively untouched, tired-looking 1960's builder's-box bungalow into the 21st century. ready-set-reno.ca

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