How to create zones in open-plan spaces
If your home has open plan spaces, then you’ll know how great they are. They are bright and airy and create a sense of openness that invites family togetherness and entertaining. However, for all the advantages they offer, there are a couple of disadvantages too.
The main drawbacks are noise and temperature control. Noise transmits easily around an open plan space making it difficult for various family members to do their own thing. For example, what if your child is doing homework and you want to watch TV? Or what if you’re catching up with a friend and your partner is watching TV? As you talk louder to hear one another, the TV will be turned up so they can hear it too. In the end, your open plan space becomes louder and more chaotic as you compete to hear yourselves.
The other drawback is temperature control. Heating or cooling your open plan space takes longer because the area is larger. It can also be less efficient if you’re not using the entire area.
The solution to open plan spaces
Thankfully these disadvantages can be easily solved by dividing the space into smaller functional zones. It’s important how you do this though to preserve that lovely flow of light and sense of openness. You don’t want to erect plasterboard walls and closed doors and be left with small, dark rooms.
Glass partitions, glass walls and glass doors
Instead, you can redesign the space with glass partitions, glass walls or glass doors. This allows you to keep the open plan feel that you love but have the functionality of zoned spaces, giving you the best of both worlds.
Options for zoning
Glass is such a versatile product and offers many solutions. You can erect a fixed glass wall or glass partition to permanently zone the room whilst maintaining a sense of openness. Or you can install glass sliding doors or folding doors to easily open or close a space depending on how you want to use it. This has the added benefit of helping with temperature control too. As you will be able to close of areas and restrict the heating or cooling requirements in that space.
Using the right type of glass
The type of glass you select in zoning will also have an impact. You can use a sound reducing acoustic glass to ensure those talking or doing homework don’t get disrupted by the TV. You can use a decorative glass to make a statement and create a talking point whilst entertaining. Or you can use a translucent glass to add privacy while still allowing in light.
How would you use glass to zone your open plan space? Tell us in the comments below.
Divisional General Manager – Jim’s Glass (Australia)
Board Member – Australian Glass & Glazing Association
President – Glass & Glazing Association of South Australia