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MBR x Ideal Home Show: Top tips for creating a family friendly home that works for you

We had the privilege of talking at the Ideal Home Show, giving you lovely people our top tips on creating the perfect family home for you, and making the most of your space. Don't worry if you missed us at the show, all is not lost! We thought we'd collate our favourite helpful hints into a blog post. This way, we can be infinitely beneficial for your home updates as your living situation evolves. Thank us anytime! 

 

The rise of broken-plan

The open-plan trend took the interior world by storm, creating sociable spaces for entertaining but now, when it comes to furnishing their ultra-modern open-plan space, people are stuck with the question: ‘what do I do with all this room?’. Introducing the broken-plan trend.

Broken-plan is the evolution of open-plan; it retains the sociable openness, whilst using clever layout solutions to make the most of the space, zoning to make distinct areas and allowing the option of more privacy within the open room should you want or need it.

Broken-plan isn’t just the perfect solution for large open spaces, but also for clever layout planning for those smaller family rooms, that you need to pack a lot into, without looking cluttered.

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Broken-plan allows the open room to be multi-functional. Partitioning the room so there are separate spaces for dining, living, cooking and even working or socialising, should you plan it into the layout.

 

Clever layout solutions are imperative for making the most out of your space. Bespoke bench storage not only provides a dining seat, but it can also continue on from the kitchen/island and provide super helpful extra storage. Win, win!

 Whilst bi-folds are great for connecting the indoors and outdoors and creating the ultimate entertaining area, large windows can also be just has handy in incorporating clever design into your broken-plan room. If the glazing is not being used as a door, it can be another place to add extra seating, and thus, zoning another area, whether it be for dining or relaxing purposes.

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Lighting is the unsung hero of layout planning. So often, spotlights are installed into new builds with no thought at all to the interior design. Clever lighting creates ambience, adds style and zones the distinct spaces of an open room. Pendants or a wall or floor lamp that hangs/leans over a dining space gives a more exclusive finish and makes the whole dining area feel cosier and more intimate.

Top tip: Layout commitment issues? Include adjustable wall lights so you aren’t pinned to one dining location.

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Image credit: Décor Pad

Another smart way to dissect your open-plan and bring it into the broken-plan trend is partitioning the room with shelving. This zones the room, adds storage solutions, gives opportunity for styling to give a curated finish to your interior and can also be a clever way to add your TV without making it the focal point of the room. 

 

Top tips for dining

Fitted dining bench

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Image credit: Home-Furniture.net

A fitted dining bench is the perfect bespoke solution to your family living needs. It saves space, can include storage, provides a seat and looks stylish and cohesive with your design, all at once! What a fabulous little multi-tasker. 

 

Utilising your island

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Image credit: decor pad

Kitchen islands are fantastic for extra worktop space, storage and a centrepiece in your kitchen, however, they can take up a lot of floor space and room does need to be left so the kitchen can be navigated with ease. Make the most of your kitchen island by extending it with a lower dining table, or fixing a fitted bench onto the back to either provide an extra relaxing seat or a seat for dining purposes. The island is your oyster. 

Flexible lighting 

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Image credit: Black and Blooms 

If you have an open-plan family living space, it's super important to make sure the different areas look like they're meant to be there. Lighting is a fantastic way to zone an area, but if you choose a ceiling pendant or wall lights, they can be more flexible than you think! An extendable wall light on an axis can be moved to lean over a dining space, and then pushed back if the table is moved. Similarly, you can hang a pendant above the dining table with just a hook and a longer flex or cable on the light fitting, so there is no need for an electrician (this is shown in the image above)!

Zoning with a rug 

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Image Credit: TLC Interiors 


Rugs are another amazing way to zone your space. I know what you're thinking, fears of red wine or spaghetti hoop spillages have come creeping in! Don't worry - there's a super easy solution: indoor/outdoor rugs. There is a huge variety of these on the market now, and some of them can even be simply cleaned with a hose outdoors!

Top tip: Mirror the shape of your dining table with the rug below.

 

Top tips for living 

Paint

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Image credit: Within the Grove

Paint is another amazing way to section your room in a really cost-effective way. Painting the walls creates an instant partition, whilst giving cosy depth and a whole load of character to the room. Also, you don't need to go bold! Just having a subtle different in colour, i.e. a mid-grey in contrast to an off-white wall does the job too. 

 

Disguising your TV 

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Image credit: Style by Emily Henderson

Even when a room is predominantly used for sitting back, with your feet up, watching the TV, we don't always want the big black screen to be the main focal point of your gorgeous interior. The tech-Gods have heard us and created The Frame TV. The TV has it's own abundant range of artwork in their Art Store or you can download/use your own artwork on the screen. You can use it as a stand alone piece of artwork, or alternatively part of a gallery wall. 

Not looking for a brand new TV just yet? Of course, we have a top tip for you guys too! Paint the wall behind a darker colour to disguise the TV better. 

 

Ambient lighting 

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Image credit: Lighting Stores 

Again, we're talking about the importance of lighting. Zoning spaces with lighting is ideal, but it's also important to include some low level ambient lighting. At the end of the day, you can turn off the brighter lights and switch on a table or floor lamp for a real cosy feel. 

Zoning with a rug 

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Shocker... we're talking about rugs again. Not only do they ooze comfort and style, they help zone your living space. We really believe in 'the bigger the better' when it comes to rugs (within reason). The rug helps ground your furniture; at a minimum we would suggest the front legs of your sofa sit comfortably on the rug.

Bespoke TV bench  

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

A built in TV bench is as versatile of the bespoke dining bench. They're amazing for storage, a sleek and stylish TV unit, and can also act as an extra seat or a fireplace! 

 

Top tips for working 

Building bespoke 

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Image credit: Live Journal

The need for a whole home office is getting less and less, with most people working almost exclusively from laptops and PCs, therefore you don't need a huge amount of room to create the ideal working space. Alcoves, the space next to a built in kitchen or next to wardrobes are all great places to build in a desk and shelving. 

Also, it doesn't have to be a desk for ever! The built in shelving space can evolve into a breakfast bar, display shelving or even a cocktail bar depending on your needs. 

Transient spaces

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Image credit: Adore Magazine 

Here at My Bespoke Room, we don't like to waste space, so think about those unused areas in hallways, landings or under the stairs as it's very likely you can squeeze in a desk and some shelving. Can't quite fit one in? It can always be used as a storage bench! 

 

Extra top tips (just for fun) 

Storage wherever possible

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Image credit: Angela Marie Made 

The opportunity for storage solutions are endless these days! As homes are getting smaller, the need for clever storage is getting bigger and side & coffee tables, modular sofas, ottomans and even floor lamps are all built with storage options and are widely available on the high street now! 

Bi-fold windows/indoor outdoor 

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Image credit: Hege in France 

We love bi-fold and sliding doors for connecting the indoors and outdoors, and we know you do too! However, they do often take up an entire wall and for smaller rooms, that can become problematic when you're planning your furniture layout. The perfect solution is bi-fold windows. You still get that amazing connection from the inside to outdoors, but you don't lose the space as you can create a window seat, or even use it as a dining bench! 

Children's artwork 

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Image credit: Paul & Paula 

 We know that children proudly present you with new artwork or gymnastics certificates at least twice a week, and you think, how can I present this so they know we're proud, but so it also looks aesthetically pleasing within our gorgeous home?! We have two solutions, and both are a whole load of fun! 

You could create a gallery wall of their artwork, and combine some of your own favourite pieces as well, to keep the balance of children's eclectic art and more curated pieces. 

Think your child is a future Picasso and don't want to commit to a hammer and nails for their glitter unicorn picture just yet? A picture shelf/ledge is your best friend! You can mix and match and change and update the artwork to your hearts content. 

 

Want more inspiration? Check out our Shop The Looks page. 

 

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