Open plan or broken plan? | PRODUCTS

Crown Imperial Textura in Lunar and Furore White

And CRL Stone’s Boocock agrees: “Broken-plan is a new twist on open- plan that employs some structural elements to delineate and formalise areas for different uses.”

But designers must make sure they choose the style of kitchen layout that best suits their clients.

An open-plan kitchen designed by Roundhouse

Lifestyles Richard Turner, Pronorm national sales manager for the UK and Ireland, advises: “Designers should ask clients about their lifestyles and preferences. Do they like to fully engage with family and friends during cooking? Or would they prefer a degree of privacy?” Interior designer and BIID member

cooking or the kids watching TV, not to interfere with each other. Tom Howley, owner of retailer Tom

Howley, adds: “Broken-plan kitchens provide more privacy and intimacy than open-plan. The lifestyle of each family needs to be taken into account. For families, broken-plan kitchens work well to separate ‘grown-up’ areas from spaces where the children might be playing or watching TV.”

Clever use of zoning works for Helena Myers, a director at retailer The Myers Touch: “Broken-plan can take the notion of flow and openness, but maintain areas of mystery, hiddenness or separation through clever use of zone division – using low-level walls, glass partitions, a change in room height, sliding doors, dividers, foldaway partitions or furniture”. Bushboard’s head of product Caroline Elliott adds: “Broken-plan uses zoning to retain a spacious feel, with clear areas for cooking, dining, working and socialising. It offers all the freedom of an open-plan layout, but uses furniture and other elements to mark out spaces without harsh lines.”

March 2021 ·

Jo Sampson agrees: “The key is to elicit how they will live in the space. Open-plan might be perfect for their ideal

party, but less practical for

accommodating day-to-day life.” Emphasising the importance of individuality, Julia Steadman, head of operations at retailer Brandt Design, adds: “A one-size-fits-all kitchen is a thing of the past. Get a feel for the client’s lifestyle – how they use their space. A broken-plan scheme can be zoned by furniture, dwarf walls, split- levels, colour and flooring to create areas

for more privacy.”

But Simon Collyns, group marketing and sales director at Symphony says not to ignore space constraints: “Design- ers must ensure there is enough space for an open or broken- plan design. The area will need to be quite big and furniture should be placed so there is plenty

of space

to move around it.” The popularity of broken-plan seems to have increased since the coronavirus

each activity and

Bifolding doors from Häfele can help hide appliances and other parts of the kitchen to act as a sleek room divider when closed

pandemic, with people spending more time at home.

Simon Bodsworth, MD at Daval Furniture, says: “Our research shows consumers have been attracted to ‘blended living’, rather than differen- tiating the kitchen from the rest of the living space. This has intensified during the pandemic as we make the most of time spent with family and friends.” Also in no doubt that broken-plan is gaining ground is Crown Imperial, commercial director Tony McCarthy: “In the past year, everyone has faced the challenge of having to stay at home for long periods. We expect to see a stronger shift to zonal kitchens, as customers seek to create clearly- defined working and social spaces.” Bodie Kelay, UK MD of Störmer, agrees: “We are seeing an increasing trend towards broken-plan designs, as today’s customers look to achieve a

different balance of form and function.” Rotpunkt’s head of UK operations Matt Phillips says: “With increasing focus on domestic life since the pandemic, we will continue to see a huge amount of innovation with extra- tall units and glass storage vitrines.” Also agreeing on the benefits of broken plan is Franke communications manager Jeanette Ward: “Differen- tiating between work and leisure time in the home is going to become more important. Broken-plan provides an element of privacy but with the emotional and social connection of open plan.”


Storage is an element highlighted by many of our experts. A survey of 2,000 homeowners carried out by Häfele showed that 46% of respondents cited lack of storage as a common

Differentiating between work and leisure time within the home is going to become more and more important. Broken-plan designs provide an element of privacy but with the emotional and social connection of open plan Jeanette Ward, communications manager, Franke

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