Interior Architecture

Birmingham, B18 6NE

+44 (0)756 3552 347

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In recent months we have seen significant changes to our lives that no one could have possibly imagined. Suddenly, so much more is taking place inside the home – home schooling, working from home, and even aspects of our leisure time are now taking place indoors. This new way of life we find ourselves in has given us time to reflect. And consequently, we are having to analyse whether our homes really work for us and the new way of life that many of us will have to adjust to in the future.

It is often underestimated just how much the spaces we live in affect our mental health and well-being. A room flooded with light for example can help connect us to the environment, or an open plan space can allow for more socialising with family and friends.

This light filled space truly connects the home to the environment, something that has become even more important in recent months Design by Sustainable Kitchens..
This light filled space truly connects the home to the environment, something that has become even more important in recent months Design by Sustainable Kitchens..

The addition of intimate spaces is also important within the home. Secluded spots designed to give an element of privacy and a place to have a quiet moment to reflect and unwind are crucial for any family. It is vital to take the time to consider all aspects of your project, creating spaces that are both functional and beautifully designed to enrich all our lives.

A perfect spot for a good book. This seating area remains connected to the environment, whilst still providing a more private space to relax in. Designing architecture that gives you the opportunity to live in several ways is essential to creating a beautiful and functional home. Photography by Anna Stathaki Photography.

We believe adaptation is key for any home. As time moves on the needs of a family can significantly change. When we are in the early stages of a new project for one of our clients it is essential that we get an understanding of the family’s needs – both now and in the years to come. In the current climate the need for this has been highlighted even further with our main living spaces having to take on many roles.

For a number of years open plan living has been desired by many, creating large social spaces to cook, dine and relax in. We very much believe in the benefits open plan living can have, letting light spread throughout a home and allowing families and friends to spend time together in one space. However, in the current situation we find ourselves in, simply designing one large open plan room may not deliver the adaptable spaces that many families require.

A thoughtfully designed ‘broken plan’ layout that uses the change in floor levels to create defined zones. This helps provide the family with different areas to use, whilst still feeling connected. Design by Scenario Architecture.

It is important that there are also areas within your home away from a large open plan living space, for example a separate snug. In the same way that an open plan room is designed with particular needs in consideration, it is vital to create ‘zones’ within the space to help define areas within it. This can be done in a number of ways from furniture placement, floor treatment, right through to half walls and glass partitions. The shape of a room can also be utilised to create defined areas. For example, an L-Shaped room can allow for the placement of a kitchen within its own niche while still being connected to the rest of the room.

The use of this glass partition helps divide the living area from the kitchen whilst still retaining a connection and spread of light throughout the room. This solution also helps with the spread of noise and helps give the ‘separate’ living area a more intimate feel. Design by Jo Cowen Architects.

In time there will eventually be a move back towards our previous lives. However, we believe that the lessons learned during lock-down and the needs we have had for adaptable living spaces should not be dismissed. If you, like many, have found frustrations within your home, then maybe now is the time to re-think your layout and move towards an adaptable ‘broken plan’ living space.

A very clever use of existing openings with the removal of only some of the existing walls. This approach has helped create a ‘broken plan’ layout with clearly defined zones, yet still providing a connection throughout the space. The retention of the existing architecture also helps link the old and the new, adding real character to the interior. Design by REES Architects.

At Copper & Ash we truly believe that good design should be accessible to all. So, if you want your home to work for you, however big all small the job may be, we would love to discuss your project with you.