In some ways, the nicest place I’ve ever resided was an open-plan built in 1992. It was half a duplex — each side a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath, 1,500-square-foot unit. Very spacious. Lotsa big windows, couple of skylights. But that place was designed from the git to be an open-plan house. It was organically that.
Mn. Designed well, a level of it can be fine - especially combined living / dining spaces, as so many of us these days (at least over here - houses do tend to be bigger in the US) don't have the space to dedicate to a permanent dining room that is not in daily use. I'm not a fan of a fully open kitchen along one wall of a huge living space (climate also comes into it, I suppose, where it's damp and/or harder to heat). That said - and this does go to your point - a well designed open plan space can give the desired sense of separation with the benefits of multi-use space. I would love to have a house that internally replicated Don Draper's New York apartment - that big living space, with discreet dining and kitchen spaces easily separated. And proper, separate bedrooms (I never cared for the 'loft' style where bedroom areas were visually separate but lacked any audio privacy).
Over on this part of the English-speaking world we've seen a growing prevalence and acceptance of accessory dwelling units — aka “mother-in-law” units, aka “granny flats” — in “single family” districts. My view of it is favorable, on balance. In this neighborhood, houses built for four to eight human inhabitants now are home to two or three, or maybe four, or maybe only one. Population density in this generic suburban subdivision is less than it was 40 years ago. Turning basements and garages into separate dwelling units, or constructing 400-square-foot “studios” in backyards, makes more efficient use of existing infrastructure and puts more housing on the market, which (in theory, anyway) helps hold rental prices in check. And it helps the property owners make their monthly nut.
Downside? More cars, more traffic. And it does change the “character” of the district. But, unlike some, I mostly favor those changes. More young adults, more single people — that’s what you’re gonna get. And you get the commercial services and whatnot that cater to that population. Fine by me.
Over here in our part of London, over-occupancy is an increasing norm. Partly cultural; we have a large South Asian diaspora who tend towards mutli-generational living, so houses are often extended or rejigged from the original intent to fit in more bedrooms; open plan reception areas are common to expand the social area to suit a larger family group. The same thing is happening with HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) for private let to young people (and often not-so young; we have friends sharing rental properties well into their thirties). The latter are often very markedly less well maintained. It's especially noticeable in a block of flats like our where a flat designed for two adults and two children of opposite genders would have been a three-bedroom with one bathroom and one lounge. Those in private ownership can be let out to anywhere between four and eight adults, with the bedrooms all turned to doubles and it being common for the lounge area to be used as a bedroom, with the kitchen then the common area. Unsurprising seeing a lot of this in an expensive city like London, especially in a university area, of course. I'd like to hope over time things will create a happy medium between the two extremes, though I'm not exactly keen on the notion of a market crash given that we are hoping to move in the next few years, and need to maximise sale price for that to be viable or worth it (the inevitable intent being to trade up in property against location, by moving a little further out of the centre, from Zone 2 into Zone 3).
Get in trouble for, what, a prank? Sounds like fun to me!
I'm just wary of some plod deciding I 'wasted police time', what with being recklessly in possession of an Irish accent in a built up area and all that already.
I grew up in the house my wife and I currently own. Built in 1951, it has a full bath and a half-bath. Both bathrooms had the traditional "medicine cabinet" on the wall--a recessed rectangle four or five inches deep with horizontal shelves and a mirror on the door. Long story shortened a little, by the time my wife and I took possession of the house the medicine cabinet in the full bath had been replaced by a 3' x 4' mirror on the same wall. Because it was hidden by the new mirror, the recess for the old medicine cabinet hadn't been covered over, so it's still there. If I can ever find the right plastic skeleton about 18" tall, I'm gonna' put it in that recess, include chains to make it look as if it has been held prisoner there all these years, and put the mirror back. At the very least, it might give someone a laugh.
Oh, yes.... Something like this? https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/876...-with-egg-fairy?ref=pla_similar_listing_top-6