Space in a flat – open or closed?

While designing a new flat, one has to face a lot of dilemmas. One of the first dilemmas is the layout of the flat. Should we combine the kitchen and the living room? Or had it be better to choose a closed space?

Making the choice between closed and open multifunctional spaces does not have to be tough. At the beginning we should ask ourselves a few questions about our ways of spending free time, how many people will live in the flat, what their main needs are, or how often we will host guests.

Let’s take the following example, if one person works from home, he/she will need to have a separate room to enjoy peace and quiet. However, if we are planning to throw a lot of parties at home, common open spaces will enhance collective cooking and never-ending chit-chats.

We can also opt for a more balanced option. When joining a room with the kitchen, we will get a spacious living room, whereas the other rooms, such as children’s bedroom and master bedroom, can be separated from the rest of the flat to ensure a little of privacy. Although the bathroom seems to be an obvious matter, there are some people willing to take bold decisions, such as installing a bath tub in the bedroom. And what about other rooms? Below you can find advantages and disadvantages of both designs – it might help you to find an answer to your questions.

Open space:

+ the space seems to be bigger

+ moving around the flat is comfortable

+ dwellers are encouraged to spend time together

+ flat is more convenient for the disabled

– less privacy

– there is no possibility to hide a small mess behind a closed door

– noises or smells can easily travel around, e.g. kitchen smells

Model flat Miasto Moje – an example of open and functional space

Model flat Moko

Closed space:

+ greater privacy for home-dwellers

+ possibility to separate the rooms which we are not willing to show to our guests

+ various arrangement possibilities

– the flat is optically smaller, darker

– dwellers might be more inclined to spend time on their own

– there might occur some obstacles to smooth moving around the flat