Open plan Living

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By Sara Anton

The days have started to draw out and spring is on the horizon. This is the time when everyone begins to look at their nest and make changes, whether it is small or large.

Having been involved in interior design for many years, I always feel in the month of February the ground moves and new life evolves in my world of business. The phone begins to ring and my work springs into action (hence the new season).

Having read an article from the Telegraph today Rise of Open Plan Living it has prompted me into writing this blog; ‘the open plan option or not?’

Open plan interiors look fabulous especially good in photography as shown in glossy Interior magazines like the ‘World of Interiors’, ‘House and Garden’ and those alike.  The openness also makes the best of a contemporary look. Whilst extending my house several years ago I took the option of designing a space that incorporated dining/kitchen/snug areas into one room. Personally I love it; it enables me to entertain friends, and family without isolation. However, I am pleased to have another room with an open fire that I can relax in whilst reading or watching another channel on the TV that another member of the family may not want to watch.

Yet, to live in a complete open space takes a very special persona, I am not sure if it would be for me….questions one would have to consider are:

 

1)      Would it be structurally possible? i.e. ask a structural engineer, some old property’s may not with stand the weight….steels may without doubt be very necessary. Thus:-

2)      Can I afford it? How long will it take? and does it mean moving out whilst work is done? And will I add to the value of the property at the end of the project?

3)      Another consideration to make is… am I a tidy person? And will it give me enough storage space? Getting rid of clutter quickly is impossible in an open plan situation …..Especially when unexpected guests arrive!

4)      The most important question is… will it improve my life style? And in so doing enable me to achieve greater harmony or will it do the opposite? Living without any privacy is not for all.

 

However, at the moment most open planning involves just a couple of rooms …the kitchen and dining area and occasionally a living space. Logically, our lives are changing we are becoming less formal and more open and relaxed which in turn calls for a change in our homes and the way we set out our space.

A reflection of the trends in Interior Design

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For those that haven’t visited my website yet, I have run my own interior design business since the year 2002 and have worked in it since I graduated in 1987.

I have been passionate about interiors since being a small child spending days with my grandfather whom was an architect …although unfortunately he died when I was too young to be guided…but not too young to be influenced.

I have worked in various fields of interior design, but my love is working with clients who want to give their homes a character which reflects style, passion and personality….  a space where they can be creative and relax in.

Over the last few years I have noticed that design had moved away from the personal. A large majority of  people desire to live in houses where we show little love for the past or future …’living just for the moment’….we seek the ‘wow’ factor…walls in varying shades of taupe and dressing our homes with objects of the moment. …processions that we must be seen to ‘have’ rather than really desire…and who is responsible for this trend…the designer… the media or changing society?

As a professional designer of 25 years and thus involved with the changing trends in interior design, I was beginning to feel slightly frustrated.

Several weeks ago I was asked by a client how they could achieve the ‘wow’ factor in their home …a home that they love and had lived in for many years and brought their children up in. They had put it on the market recently in view of selling it to move nearer their children….but alas, they had taken it off the market when they had had no interest….They had felt the potential visiting buyers wanted to walk through the front door and be immediately ‘wowed’…. ? Does that mean our homes should look like retails showrooms…not even show homes… and consequently does that mean we shall have to become a society were we all desire the same so we can move freely from one property to another without having to do anything with the interior?

As ‘Gok’ the fashion stylist, who wants every one to run around naked for a moment to regain their confidence in their mind and bodies….I would like to say to all…. lets stand still in our busy lives for a moment and allow our imagination to explore our environment and make sure that the possessions we have are for ‘our’ pleasure and not just for the moment.

On a personal level, I have been greatly inspired with the recent launch of various collections from our current designers. In the last year…’the pendulum’ has been  swinging!!  ‘Sanderson’ launched a collection this year called the  ‘Bloomsbury  Canvas’ comprising of fabrics and wallpapers, influenced by the Bloomsbury group of artists… it is not for everyone but it has exciting pattern and colour….which we are all guilty of dismissing in recent times.

I am a designer that doesn’t want to change the world  but would like to give confidence too… and guide those…who would love to be leaders of style and create their own unique homes to ‘live in’…

Passionately yours

Sara Anton-Watts

Sara Anton Interiors

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