Open plan

Punctuating open-plan living

Open plan living is something many of our clients want to achieve. That feeling of space, the flow of activity from one space to another, those well-lit views through windows from every corner – it’s no wonder it’s a popular choice.

Open plan comes with its own particular challenges though. The obvious one is building in storage so that the impression created is of spacious calm order, not a really big room full of stuff. If we lose interior walls, we also lose some of the natural places to accommodate shelves, cupboards and drawers.

Another one, paradoxically, is the need to demarcate space. Long sight-lines are great, but our lifestyles tend to require certain areas for certain functions. It helps to design a series of open plan rooms to allow the space to be naturally ‘punctuated’ to create separation within an open-plan whole.

A home organistion hub designed by Bear Interiors separates an open plan kitchen and dining room

This custom-built home organisation hub elegantly solves both problems. Making effective use of the brick piers between kitchen and dining area in this listed 1960s home (but it could equally be free standing) this is the spot where domestic paperwork is done and immediately filed in robust office-standard filing drawers.

The home computer and phone are on hand with cabling neatly hidden, and the coffee machine helps make this the go-to spot to use and store useful home admin stuff.

The hub uses the same timber, veneer and genuine Formica finishes used in the rest of the kitchen, all designed, built and installed by Bear Interiors. Details like the polished chrome kickplate add an extra touch of luxury to a highly functional piece of custom furniture.

By separating kitchen and dining with a half-height unit, the family can enjoy the size and aspect of their open plan room but keep the more functional bits and pieces out of sight while they sit down over a meal. The feature is equally good to look at from the dining room side, providing a useful wall to site a radiator (another common issue when interior walls are missing).

A custom built altar table by Bear Interiors


This attractive altar table serves as a useful serving and display area. Designed and built by us and inspired by the 1960s aesthetic of the house, it also fits exactly around the radiator to ensure the heat can reach the room.