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Open plan vs. zoned living - let's compare to find what would suit you best

When renovating, there are pros and cons to living in an open plan vs. zoned space and we are here to give you the benefits of both

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By Yashna Balwanth | November 16, 2022 | Living Room

There are plenty of benefits and problem areas when it comes to living in an open-plan or zoned space. Depending on your needs and your available space, we have provided an easy comparison between the two for you to make the best decision possible.

Open Plan Living

Much loved by architects around the world, the simplicity of open-plan living allows for simple building structures with unsurpassed views from every angle. With the increased amount of natural daylight, minimal walls and fewer dark corners, this space comes with the ability to do anything and everything all in one central spot. The freedom to have a multi-functional space certainly sounds appealing, especially when apartments are a bit on the smaller side of life. Being so open also allows for a more light and airy feel with a minimalist style.

Living in an open-plan space is not all sunshine and roses, as the inability to get away from other occupants if it is a shared space can be very frustrating at times. The removed boundaries of separate areas can sometimes cause too much of a clash where the office becomes the dining room, becomes the homework station and more. The loss of storage space is also prevalent without separating walls since there are no longer places for floating shelves or tall storage units that are generally pushed against a wall. Floor space becomes the prime property with too many things starting to feel like clutter.

Open-plan living areas are ideal for a minimalist way of life with little furniture and decor items around and a single occupant or couple at the maximum. If you also have fewer square meters, an open-plan room can help your space feel larger than it is.

Floating shelves against the wall with cupboard credenzas below provide great space options, Image Unsplash

Zoned Living

A way to fit all your requirements in one space, but with designated areas is the concept of zoned living. Separated by different flooring, glass panelling or a change in wall colour, zoned living helps keep the enjoyment of private areas possible but still allows for ease of flow between the spaces. Natural light is also not blocked from filtering through and this further creates the segregation of various tasks to various spaces. This helps keep the bedroom your relaxed zone, with the office having its own designated spot.

Unfortunately, if space is an issue, it is not always easy to zone out areas for specific functions, leading to some rooms remaining as a multi-functional space. It also requires a bit more planning to avoid clutter piling up against the walls as things are left to the side over time. Designated zones sometimes receive less light which make them appear darker and smaller and portray a cramped living situation, which is never the goal when designing a home.

Zoned living is perfect for the homeowner who needs defined spaces without complete rooms for each function. With area rugs and wall colours helping separate the space, it allows for the homeowner to live with multiple occupants and no one getting in each other’s way.