Phil Spencer says this popular home layout has 'had its day' and is on the way out

It's bad news for this fan-favourite floor plan

The last year has not only changed how we use our homes, but how we lay them out. Open-plan living has been a desirable feature in many homes since the 70s, however, according to property guru Phil Spencer, the fashionable set-up is on its way out.

Related: Open-plan living room ideas for a multi-functional, family space

Speaking exclusively to Ideal Home to celebrate the Wickes Home Office Awards campaign the Location, Location, Location presenter explained how the pandemic had impacted the trend for open plan living.

'I think open-plan has had its day,' says Phil Spencer. 'I will give you an example of that - we were making a Love it or List it program last February. A couple wanted to take down a wall and make something open plan.'

white kicthen with worktop and blue armchair

(Image credit: Future)

'Kirsty advised don't, just make it temporary, using doors or shutters that kind of thing. They took the wall down, and then of course we went into lockdown.'

'Mum and Dad both working, two small kids, zoom calls. A complete and utter disaster. Kirsty and I went back to see them in about October time, and they said  "I wish we hadn't taken the wall down, it was awful."'

'They had made it open plan and they had a tough old time. So I think the days of open plan are possibly over,' reveals Phil.

journalist phil spencer in attic room with wall clock

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Archive/PA Images)

The trend for communal living spaces started in the 70s, however, as many of us spend more time at home we're looking for ways to carve out private spaces. Instead, homes are moving towards a softer broken-plan setup. This new layout trend relies heavily on how to zone out an open-plan space, movable room dividers or double doors opening a living room into a kitchen.

While it is hard to imagine open plans completely disappearing, this trend reversal seems here to stay as working from home is set to become the norm in the future. A survey of 1,000 people, conducted by OnePoll, found that 57 per cent expect to work from home on average three days per week in the future – with 13 per cent expecting they’ll be doing five days per week from home.

living room with sofa and white lamp light

(Image credit: Future)

A significant factor in the demise of open-plan living has been creating space to work from home. To celebrate all the creative home office ideas Phil Spencer has teamed up with Wickes, alongside A Place in the Sun presenter Ben Hillman. The celebrities will be joining the judging panel for the Wickes 2021 Home Office Awards.

Out of five categories, one winner will be crowned ‘The Nations Best Home Office’ and receive £1,000 Wickes vouchers. To enter simply visit Wickes Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page before the deadline on 17th May.

Related: Open-plan kitchen design ideas to make your space the heart of the home

Has the last year made you rethink your open-plan living space?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.