Many of us want to live in a house that looks and feels a bit more modern – especially if you live in one of the many properties that were built in the 1960s and 70s and haven’t received much attention since then! Modern design tends towards open plan living and an emphasis on space, which can be difficult to achieve unless you’re willing to knock some walls through and start again – but there are quite a few ways to give your rooms that open and airy feel without resorting to the sledgehammer.
One popular way to maximise space and achieve an open plan effect in a home is to make use of sliding doors. These use space more efficiently than traditional swinging doors (which necessarily take up more room due to the way they open and close), and while traditionally used more in connection with patios and conservatories, more designers are seeing the value of installing them throughout the interiors of homes as well.
Sliding doors contribute to the “open plan” style of interior design by allowing homeowners to leave them open or closed according to the situation – so, for instance, the living room and kitchen can effectively be joined together for a dinner party, then divided again into separate rooms for private family time. If you choose glass-fronted doors, they also allow light to flow through the house naturally, creating the spacious and airy effect so prized by contemporary designers.
This technique can also be carried over to other areas of the house and furnishings: for instance, glass-fronted cabinets in the kitchen rather than opaque ones create the illusion of more space and fewer boundaries, as do glass tabletops in the living room. Consider replacing the carpets with hardwood or laminate flooring: as well as giving the room a streamlined and modern appearance, these surfaces reflect light and sound better, adding to the open plan effect – without the need to knock through your walls!
There are all kinds of ways to enhance this effect by maximising the space in your home, from slimmer and taller cabinets to storage beds and fold-down tables and chairs. If your home’s rooms are on the small side, play around with the ideas in this article until you find an arrangement that works.