Open Home Plan: Connecting The Downstairs With The Upstairs

*This is a collaborative post*

The home as we know it has been in one main design lane for centuries. The ground floor is kept separate from the first floor and above. This is because downstairs is a place to relax but it’s a place of work and also, a place to host guests. The first floor is all about personalization, even more so than the living room and kitchen. It’s where your bedrooms are, so you have to see it as a guarded private space from even your most common guests. The big challenge nowadays is to create an airy home, one where the design continuity of the living space is paramount. You’ve heard of open floor plans, but what about open home plans?

Height and light

Whenever you’re making a giant leap in home design, you need to take it one step at a time. The lighting of both floors is the first thing to consider merging together. Teardrop, stem ceiling lights, with alternating heights, allows you to bathe the upstairs with light but bring the same level of brightness down into the foyer. This will mean you need to select a position on the ceiling, whereby the longest stem lights can drop down in between the staircase rail and the first floor structure. A strong yet abstract material like copper is what’s needed for the stems, while intricate blown glass teardrop light shades would be stylish for the light to be spread around. LED lights are more efficient, brighter and able to be controlled with better dimmer switches. 

A sweeping staircase

Staircases are inherently one of the most boring parts of any home. They present a potential hazard, one which could result in serious injury or worse. Therefore you’re bound to get very unimaginative straight staircases and rails, with carpeted flooring. However, if you were to speak with Residential Architects, they will show you what your home’s true potential is. They have designed many sweeping staircases, that curve naturally in the shape of the steps that have been set. They can also design the staircase right from the ground up. The guard rails themselves will be made from tempered glass, so you can see who is going down the stairs immediately without seeing their upper body. Connecting those at the bottom with a glass panel rail, you can see who is in the first floor hallway as well, great for keeping an eye on your kids.

Hole in the wall 

Structural redesigns are always complex but done right they can be the centerpiece of your home. By putting small rectangular or square gaps in the supporting wall, you can see through them onto the first floor. Thus your vision is not impeded and psychologically you don’t separate your home into different floors. You can also place LED lights in the gaps, creating light for both floors in a very stylish manner. 

The biggest challenge any home design lover will face is connecting both the ground and first floors. Start off with stem lighting, with multiple light bulbs at different heights. 

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