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The recent move towards working, exercising, homeschooling and eating at home more has identified a challenge when it comes to open plan living. Whilst the previous trend of opening up living space created large, light spaces, now many people are finding it hard to find their own space in such an environment. 

Helen Fewster, Director at Suna Interior Design has some suggestions on how to break the space up to achieve different functional areas,“When living within an open plan space whether large or small, it is important to differentiate the functions whilst still keeping a cohesive design throughout. In larger spaces it is easier to utilise physical breaks in the space by adding screens, to literally separate the areas. The bigger challenge is with smaller more intimate environments, but there are really simple solutions that everyone can try in their homes such as a lick of paint on the right wall, a large area rug within your living space to designate the relaxed seating area and lighting is always a great way to create atmosphere in a space and it also serves completely different functions depending on where it is used.” 

Timothy and Katarzyna found a new build home at Heatherlands in Heathfield, East Sussex that enabled them to separate their work and home areas.

Timothy explains: “As our job is mainly field-based, we can manage our work from home a lot of the time. When we were looking for a new home last year, it was really important for us to find somewhere that had space to be used as a study so that we can continue to manage our work from home effectively. We have clients that span across the UK, with many also based in London, so we also needed to make sure we found a home close to train links so we can travel around the country when we need to.”

Katarzyna continues: “Our new home is the ideal house for both of these things. It has three bedrooms, so we have turned one of these into a study so that we can comfortably work from home and keep our work space away from the rest of the house. We can also drive to Stonegate station which is about 13 minutes away. From there, we can get a direct train to London Bridge in just over an hour, and then take a tube to our destination from there or continue our journey to Charing Cross, Waterloo or further afield.”

Other new homes options that boast separate living areas for different functions are:

The Maltings in Biddenden, Kent by Millwood Designer Homes.

The Netherfield is a charming four-bedroom home currently available, with a large separate kitchen/breakfast room, living room and dining room, perfect for modern day lifestyles.

For homebuyers seeking a property that provides the very best of quintessential village life, balanced with the ease and style of a newbuild home, The Maltings by award-winning house builder Millwood Designer Homes is the perfect choice. Comprising a stunning collection of one to six-bedroom homes available with Help to Buy, prospective purchasers can experience the joy of the rolling Kent countryside for themselves every day. Nestled within the beautiful Weald of Kent, bordering the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, five miles north of Tenterden, The Maltings provides a unique hamlet-style collection of 45 homes that offer something for a wide range of buyers. From first time buyers and professionals looking to make their move into their first home, to established families wanting to second-step into a bigger property and even those looking to downsize their current home – every property has been thoughtfully planned and designed with this in mind. For more information, please visit or call 01580 828580.

Leighwood Fields in Cranleigh, Surrey by Berkeley Homes.

The Lesiter is a four bedroom home currently available and has a separate family kitchen room, dining room and living room, all filled with an abundance of natural light.

Comprising three, four and five-bedroom houses, Leighwood Fields by Berkeley Homes is a carefully planned development, making the most of the timeless local landscape. Residents have access to a large range of nature on their doorstep, including ancient woodlands, a community orchard, village green and a village pond. For commuters, Guildford Station is a 20 minute drive away, which has fast and frequent services into Central London. By road, a convenient network of A roads connect residents to the wider area, with Guildford, Dorking and Horsham all reachable in under 30 minutes. Further afield, the M25 is 20 miles away, connecting residents to the rest of the South East. For more information on the homes, please visit or call 01483 610 287.

Old Halliford Place by Shanly Homes.

These beautiful homes benefit from a spacious layout including a kitchen dining room, living room and large private garden. 

Located in the world famous village of Shepperton, Old Halliford Place by Shanly Homes is a development steeped in history. Positioned on Manygate Lane, the site was formerly home to Halliford Studios where films, including Michael Caine’s The Last Valley (1971), were shot and produced for 63 years. Now a collection of just 16 homes and eight apartments the striking show home takes centre stage. Available to purchase with all furnishings and accessories, the four bedroom property has been thoughtfully designed, with stylish interiors, generous living spaces and a professionally landscaped garden for its new owners to enjoy. Thanks to its famous roots, the street was previously a regular haunt to the likes of Sir Tom Jones, Marlon Brando and Dickie Valentine, and many screen stars still frequent the area owing to the famous Shepperton Studios being just around the corner. Shepperton Studios is renowned worldwide for being the filming location of a number of cinematic masterpieces including 1917 (2019), Maleficent Mistress of Evil (2019), Rocketman (2018) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) to name a few. A quaint village, Shepperton is ideally placed for those that enjoy community living whilst still being within reach of the hustle and bustle of London. The High Street is lined with a range of shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants whilst the River Thames provides a scenic backdrop for riverside strolls. Well placed for commuters, Shepperton enjoys excellent transport connections with regular train services reaching London Waterloo in under an hour and the M3 motorway connecting residents to the M25 and wider motorway network. The stunning show home at Old Halliford Place is offered to market at £735,000, for further information visit or call 01932 485282. 

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Sarah Canning

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