Open-plan living used to be the preferred layout for homes, now there is a new alternative that seduces more and more our clients: the broken-plan living. So what it is? A broken-plan living is a transitional movement between the modern open plan layout and traditional separated home layouts. It distinguishes the living spaces by using varying textures, steps, different sized spaces, different ceiling heights or even different floor and ceiling finishes.

Our building designers breakdown what you need to know about the broken-living space and explain its clever use of space.

  1. Allow the light to flow throughout the spaces.

Access to the natural light is primordial when designing these spaces therefore it is important to keep the same flow of light. The use of internal windows is a good way to solve the noise dilemma and still allows light to pass through unlike standard partition walls.

  • Use levels to divide spaces.

This approach works pretty well for kitchen and living areas by having the kitchen (often busy) on the lower level than the living room (relaxing atmosphere). Mezzanines can also be considered to maximise the air space when there is a high ceiling. The use of glass balustrade is a smart add-on to keep the spaces linked and allow natural light to reach the upper floor.

Look for professional advice from our building designers to turn your dead space into something liveable and functional. They work closely with our building surveyors to ensure that any additional space and elements such as internal balustrades or steps are compliant with the BCA and related Australian Standards.

  • Clever dividers

The whole idea with a broken-plan layout is that you can easily update your home by using non-structural dividers. Decor and furniture play a key part in how the spaces in your home are used. Choosing modular furniture/elements ensure it is “future-proof”. For instance, the use of partial walls with storages and fireplace integrated is a good way to separate major living spaces. The trend nowadays is the use of a hit and miss brick wall; either random or patterned bricks are missing from the dividing wall allowing light, ventilation and visual views to pass through the wall. Finally, the use of a simple change of material such as painting walls or laying different types of flooring to distinguish boundaries in open areas is another way to create division.

Whether you need advice in terms of the design, the compliance or even the structural feasibility of your project, get in touch with our team which is composed of building designersbuilding surveyors, engineers and energy assessors.

Due to constantly evolving legislation the information provided within this blog may no longer be valid. The advice given on this site is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Please email one of our building surveyors to check what is right for you.

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