Blogs 17 Jan,2019

Broken Plan Living 2019 Guide

From glass walls to wooden partitions to shelving join us in the journey of understanding if broken plan living rooms are the new open plan. 

It is a fact that the open plan living has been among the most popular trend in recent times. No doubt, breaking down dividers and walls can instantly make space seem roomier and more spacious. Moreover, it can make the transitional process easier. On the downside, it can diminish security and solitude. It also reduces the number of walls and dividers and hence we struggle with furniture placement. Therefore, before knocking all the walls down, it’s better to consider all the up and downsides. Who knows, you might end up opting for a broken plan living room instead. 

So, before diving into the broken plan living room ideas, it’s better to know what it actually is. 

What is a broken plan living? 

The broken plan living is a trend that lies somewhere between open plan living and conventional segregated home designs. What it does is that it keeps all the cherished details of an open-living plan while keeping things separated. It creates separate living spaces, providing better privacy, and characterises each zone as a different capacity. Moreover, with a broken plan we have the benefit of customising it as we like. So, we can make it as open or isolated as we like, and it will still be open and airy. 

Until 2017, people were looking for open plan living room ideas but then the trend changed. This change made people more inclined towards the broken plan living. The development of open plan living proceeds, however, it isn’t as much about a large space as it is about its creative use. This means utilising diverse floor finishes, level shifts and semi-permanent divisions. 

For this purpose, several options can be used as shelves, separate zones for cooking, contemplating and unwinding. For instance, in one part of a large-scale room, we can place our living room furniture sets and use a bookcase to divide the area. On the other side, we can place a dining table or a work desk. 

Now that we know what a broken plan living is, let’s see how it differs from open plan living. 

How do broken plan and open plan living differ?

broken plan living

Open Plan Living – This type of living refers to a sort of studio style living, only with more well-defined style. It practically excludes all kinds of walls and dividers apart from the four encompassing walls. By doing this, it changes the house from an enclosed space to an increasingly extensive and airy space for living. In the open plan living room ideas what’s common is the lack of privacy. This is because of the scarcity of walls and dividers. Apart from the washrooms and in some cases bedroom, no other room is separated. So, imagine your living room furniture sets placed in the same room as the dining table and the sofa bed. 

Broken Plan Living – On the other hand, the broken living plan, while similar to the open plan in many features differs in some too. The major difference between the two is that the former features more dividers and partitions. The sectioning can be done in any way, like with the help of racks and shelves, half walls, fireplaces, pillars etc. However, the broken plan also doesn’t feature any walls within the space apart from the four surrounding ones. Moreover, it adds layers to the whole layout and creates a more harmonised effect. 

Pros and Cons of Open and Broken Plan Living 

We’re sure that by now you would have understood the major difference between the two types of living plans. But before moving forward, look at some advantages and disadvantages of both plans. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Open Plan Living 

There are several pros and cons of an open living plan. Let’s see what those are: 


  • It offers a great social setting with all rooms interlinking in a smooth manner. 
  • It makes the natural light seem increased by making it fill the room. This, in turn, makes the room seem more spacious. 
  • It is great for having guests over, as you can socialise with them in the lounge from behind the kitchen counter. 


  • Transforming a regular layout into an open plan living can be troublesome and expensive. It can be dangerous for the structure and foundation of the house, too. 
  • The noise and smell within the house can substantially increase. 
  • There is next to no privacy in an open plan living. 
  • Keeping the house warm in winter can be a problem with this style, too. This is because heat tends to escape easily from open and airy spaces more. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Broken Plan Living 

Similarly, there are several pros and cons of a broken living plan. Let’s see what those are: 


  • It offers increased privacy throughout the house. 
  • You get the best of both worlds by using shelving, storage, and partitioning options while keeping the space open layout of the room. 
  • Different storage options to hide the clutter are available. 
  • It makes identifying each room easy with the help of dividers and half walls. 


  • It can be a little difficult to find appropriate furniture for creating the layout. Looking through different oak furniture online stores might help but not always. 
  • It can be quite an expensive alternative to the open plan living. Shelving, low walls, or any other solution can cost more than you’d expect. 

So, now it’s time to take a look at how we can create a broken plan living. 

How to create a broken plan layout? 

broken plan living

Just like open plan living room ideas, there are several broken plan layout ideas that are quite popular. We can create a broken plan living with the help of several design elements. Some of the main elements used to create a broken plan layout area: 

  1. varying finishes 
  2. different levels and steps 
  3. unequal spaces (in shapes and sizes) 
  4. diverse roof statures 
  5. different wall, floor and ceiling textures 

So, instead of creating a broken plan layout with the help of colours and finishes you can also utilise architectural elements. The details like half walls, shelves, steps, glass walls, and platforms are all that can create a high-end outlook.

Readmore: Creative Ideas of Styling Your Oak Living Room Furniture: Sideboards

Need Inspiration? 

Take a look at following designs to decide what type of broken plan living suits your home. 

A Glass Partition Wall 

broken plan living

Separate your sleep and work area with this neat solution. Simply install a glass wall to divide both areas without preventing the light flow from reaching the work desk. 

A Half Wall 

broken plan living

 Use a half wall in the kitchen and attached dining area/living area. This way you can socialise with the guests while being inside the kitchen. 

A Fireplace Divider 

broken plan living

Breaking larger rooms into smaller spaces in a broken plan living was never as easy as it is with a fireplace. It divides the spaces in a classy and practical manner. 

Oak Furniture Online 

Buy solid oak furniture online from the best sellers at Furniture Villa. We deal in the best quality oak wood furniture that has durability and class combined. Bring the comfort and style that your home needs from one of the best online furniture stores.


Related Products