HomeDesignWhat is Broken Plan Living and How Can It Work for You?

What is Broken Plan Living and How Can It Work for You?

Whilst open plan living has dominated interior design trends for at least the past fifty years, the concept has received a renewed life in the form of the ‘broken plan’. Not unlike a classroom or office, with different breakaway zones, broken plan living is all about clever use of space. Subtle divisions within a large area, like bookcases, partitions or even different floor heights, can transform one big room into a series of smaller spaces. 


A transitional movement between traditional home layouts and more modern open plan living, a broken plan has all the benefits of the modern home with the privacy and separate functions of individual rooms. Broken plan living has a host of benefits for your home and kitchen upgrade. The main being that all the best parts of an open plan home can still be utilised. These include the amount of natural light that enters and fills the home, the flow of air throughout the entire space and the connectivity to the heart of the home. Another true benefit is the boundlessness of the broken plan. There’s no limit to how much or how little you do with your space, making it an exciting and dynamic opportunity for your kitchen upgrade, and the accompanying rooms. 


Broken plan can be advantageous for growing families who still appreciate the autonomy of separate living spaces but thrive on socialisation and connectedness. Wondering how you can create a custom kitchen that adheres to the principles of broken plan living? Let us explain.


Divide, but don’t segregate

The advantage of an open plan layout is the way it seamlessly incorporates opportunities for socialisation with housework like cooking and cleaning. The social aspect of open plan should be preserved in a broken plan layout to encourage connection between spaces. This can be done by incorporating temporary or moveable partitions, steps and even changes in decor. The main objective is to create the feel of different spaces without sacrificing the amount of light shed on each. Accessibility and moveability between each zone is also paramount, so be sure to keep open, clear pathways. The last thing you want in your home is the appearance of supermarket aisles. 


Create levels

Mezzanines are a great option for creating more space whilst maintaining connectivity and without blocking out light. If your home isn’t structurally suitable for an entire mezzanine, creating levels to distinguish separate kitchen and living areas can work just as well. Because the kitchen is such a hive of activity, it’s important to create a sanctuary of sorts for relaxing, entertaining and enjoying a meal. 


A popular look in older homes with new extensions is to position the kitchen facing out toward the living area, which is a step down from the rest of the house to create a ‘den’ style. The height difference may only be 20mm, but can make a big difference to the look and feel of the space. 


Let light in

Natural light is paramount for any home’s sense of vibrancy and life, but even more so in a broken plan layout. Positioning your kitchen and living space around windows will obviously do wonders for attracting light. The next important step is to recycle it effectively throughout the space. How can this be done? Where you might have a wall to section off two rooms, instead opt for internal bi-fold, concerto or french doors with glass panels. Instead of closing off the kitchen with walls, create a servery. This means your kitchen remains its own space, but the connectivity to the adjoining room has not been lost. 


What About the Kitchen?

A broken plan kitchen is essentially the same, with the kitchen separated from a formal dining or living space. It’s easy to create the same sense of connectivity despite division. Different floor finishes, half walls and shelving all work well. Even a peninsula bench free of upper cabinets facing out into the living or dining area will create a balance of connectivity between zones. This could also act as a breakfast bar, creating a casual dining spot and encouraging interaction from one zone to the next. 


When thinking about your kitchen upgrade, some factors will come into play to determine whether a broken plan will be suitable. These will include the structure of the space you’re upgrading (if you have load-bearing walls in your kitchen, you likely won’t be able to knock them out), the size of your existing kitchen and, of course, your budget. 

Speak to an experienced Apollo Kitchens designer today about transforming your kitchen and your home.


Still looking for more kitchen design inspiration? We created an exclusive eBook just for you! Download our 2020 Kitchen Design Trends guide here. 

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