Home architecture has changed over the years substantially. As per the old school of thought, the focus was on compartmentalization. Each room in a house needed to be separate from the others. Each room had a purpose, and was to be used solely for that purpose.
Today things seem to be different. The idea of compartmentalization has slowly faded, and has been replaced by the concept of multi-purpose areas. Perhaps it is a consequence of life having become extremely fast paced such that people barely find time to move about, cook a proper meal or take a long relaxing bath. Or perhaps it is because the idea that specific compartments isolate people living in a house.
Either way, this change in thought has led to the popularization of what is called open space. Open space flats, as the term suggests, mean a common space for the internal parts of the house such as the kitchen, living area and dining area. There are limited partitions and these areas are basically public spaces. There are pros and cons to this kind of layout, which we list below.
Open space flats naturally make your apartment look bigger. This makes sense especially if you live in a relatively small flat with tiny rooms. It is also easy to move about, especially between the kitchen and dining area.
Open spaces enable more interactions within a household. When you have guests occasionally, such spaces make you feel more comfortable. Families with kids can watch over their kids as they move about the house.
Have a large open space also enables you to customize what items you want in each part of the space. If you have sufficient space between the living room and dining room, for example, you could perhaps set up a mini-gymnasium or a musical instrument to practice your music.
Everyone wants their house to be on full display when guests come. With an open space, it is easier to arrange works of art to decorate the house. If you are an enthusiast, you can even arrange a collection of artworks with the comfort of space or make some pop-art works of your own.
We see only one major con of open space, i.e. the absence of privacy. Privacy is important to each individual, and as a result we don’t recommend open spaces for a household of more than 3 inhabitants.
While you’re designing, check out our post on soundproofing. In a fully open space, soundproofing could be useful. http://www.designofhomes.co.uk/010-the-problem-of-noise.html