The past couple of years have driven us all, as a global population, to make some serious adaptations to the way we live our lives, and many of those changes are here to stay…

Open-plan, meet broken-plan…

You might have heard of broken-plan living recently. But what is it exactly?
In short, broken-plan means making intelligent use of the space in an open-plan area of your home with unique zoning methods like non-permanent dividers/partitions, flooring, furniture, or anything else you can use to create divisions and individual spaces.

It typically revolves around converting the layout to create a space with more separation and unique features without entirely closing things up.


Why choose broken-plan over open-plan?

More often than not, people are finding open-plan spaces in their homes simply don’t work for them anymore. With the new normal and people spending a lot more time in their homes, individual and personal space within the home has rapidly become a necessity for so many of us.

Whether it’s for work, study or leisure, having that individualised space can make a world of difference to both productivity and overall enjoyment.

Changing to broken-plan – how to do it


Changing to a broken-plan layout can offer you and your family a whole world of benefits. Here’s how you can create the perfect broken-plan space in your home with ease…

Create large dividing features

It is maybe one of the more obvious starting points, but creating that element of separation in a space can be done quickly and easily with some large-scale features.

Freestanding fireplaces are a great way to divide your space and provide room-carving qualities to make separate zones whilst giving you a striking centre piece.

Large sculptures, artistic screens or free-hanging art – these are a slightly less permanent option compared to a built-in fireplace, but can create that same distinctive feature area that still provides separation whilst being eye-catching and unique.


Feature shelving is a fantastic choice if you want a blend of the non-permanent artistic and expressive design with the functionality and storage capabilities of high-quality furniture, and with modular options like the Shelved system, you can change the look, layout and functionality as and when you want.

Shelving also maintains that natural open lightness associated with open-plan layouts whilst simultaneously giving you that separation and zoning.

Contemplate the use of half-walls


Half-walls are a great alternative to completely blocking off an entire space from top to bottom. Not only can a half wall provide a subtle but effective space division to give you two distinctive zones without completely walling everything off, but it can also provide a great place to add interest to other features of your space, too.

Build alternative workspaces

Particularly if you’re working from home, it can sometimes be difficult to feel entirely connected to your work without enough separation, but also make it more difficult to entirely disconnect from that same environment at the end of the day.

If you don’t have the option to create entirely separate work or study areas within your home, a work “zone” in any room could be just what you need for that physical and psychological separation both during and after your day.

You could use a modular home office systems to create the perfect self-contained space that can be transformed and adapted as your life and needs change. This doesn’t even have to be in an open-plan space – if the room you’re using is spacious enough, and you use it for multiple different things or even if there’s more than one of you working in there, this is the perfect way to give yourself and others that productivity-boosting zone that’s vital for a healthy work-life balance.

Plan a centralised media hub and experiment with furniture placement


In a similar way to both your dedicated office spaces or feature pieces, you could create something similar with your media devices and collections. By incorporating your TV and ancillary devices into something such as a bridged TV unit, you can effectively create a structured area for enjoying your favourite movies and shows that has a sense of its own zoning.

You can create a similar effect for your music collection with an all-in-one vinyl storage unit that holds your records as well as your audio equipment. It’s entirely up to you.

If you want to change things around or experiment with the size and layout of your units, the modular nature of the Shelved system is perfect.

Ready to get started with broken-plan layouts in your home?

It’s easy to see the appeal of broken-plan – the improved privacy, enhanced utility efficiency, boosts to productivity and quality of life – there’s so much to be gained from making a few select changes to your home. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to get creative and carry out a complete transformation, but with a lot less work than you might expect…


Don’t be fooled into thinking that these transformations are just for homeowners either. Whether you own your property or rent it, you can achieve a huge amount without having to worry. The modular furniture is one of the most effective ways to achieve it. You can create the perfect piece that fits your needs.

You can grow it, shrink it, or change it around entirely. You’re completely in control, and you’re never stuck with your choice. If your needs change, or you need to move it (or even move yourself to an entirely new property), Shelved systems can move and change with you.

Shelved make furniture that fits around you. To be a little more precise, they make modular storage furniture – furniture that combines clever product design with straightforward, simple assembly. Throw in some online configurator wizardry, alongside augmented reality capabilities, and they’ve created a system that allows you to tell your story, in the way you want to tell it. All made right here in the UK. And if your needs should ever change, Shelved furniture can change with you. Reconfigure it, add to it, take it with you. Furniture designed for today and tomorrow.