Furniture designer Steuart Padwick talks exclusively to kb-network about tackling open-plan living…
Open plan living is a nightmare for some, they like compartments, cocoons, defined spaces. I prefer to think of flexible spaces rather than open plan. Downstairs I have internal doors on a bathroom and a bedroom and that is it. There is a study, kitchen, dining and sitting ‘room’, all of which flow into one another. The dining area, defined by a slate floor (the rest is wooden) has a comfy armchair and the sitting room has a 2nd dining table. The study (because of the desk) has a running machine, but I work at the dining table.
Where I am sitting now in the dining room, I can see the main kitchen area before me, to the left the patio and garden, behind me the desk/study, and to the right through to the sitting room. I love feeling connected to all the spaces, but there are clear divisions. There are walls and pieces of furniture that define the spaces, but no doors or doorways.
There was a time when the kitchen was hidden away, and guests were only invited into the front room. Now the Kitchen is the heart of the house and where guests and all migrate. It is often where most money is spent and a room to be proud of. For many homes the kitchen dining and sitting rooms have merged – and the ‘living’ room has truly evolved.
But it is important to retain the ability to create our cosy/quiet/study/play spaces. This can be done with L, or other shaped rooms, lighting, shelving, furniture. Just putting a desk in an alcove can define a study, or carpeting one area can separate the sitting room from the dining area.
In my new home I am designing in London, I only want doors on bedrooms and bathrooms – If I can think of a way round that, whilst retaining much needed privacy I will! Main areas will be largely defined by movable walls and furniture…Steuart Padwick | steuartpadwick.co.uk