Should we break the partitions?


Removing a partition enlarges volumes and enhances brightness. The downside: the loss of privacy and an energy bill often rising. Debate…

"The millstone pavilion we bought in the Parisian suburbs dated back to the 1940s." A quarter of the living space consisted of dark corridors and undeveloped slums. This testimony of Martine, school principal, is representative: it is usually to gain square meters and bring in the light we want to knock down the walls of a house. The second reason given: to appropriate the space. Habitable as it is, the layout of the rooms is not the one we dreamed of: "For two years, I have been reading the decoration press.I had in mind images of widely open volumes, plunging perspectives, stairs. I did not want to find it at home, "recalls Marie-Christine, a journalist.

First choice: open the kitchen

It is often forgotten, but the room called "stay" was born in the 1960s, on the model of the American living room, the meeting of a living room and dining room until separate. Today, lived as a progress in the comfort and the art of living, the living room-dining room has entered the mores. Better still, it includes more and more often the kitchen whose housewife no longer wishes to make a secret refuge from where it comes out, triumphant, only to put the dishes in the center of the table under the admiring glances of his guests.

The builders of single-family homes confirm this, the "American-style" cuisine is gathering more and more votes. Despite its detractors, the user-friendliness of such a provision outweighs the visual and olfactory discomfort that today is shrinking in the face of recent vacuum and ventilation systems (they combine both efficiency and sound discretion). The whole stay-kitchen is a progress towards the "more space" to which everyone aspires. The new rooms to live have free volumes that oppose conventional apartments, cloisonné and symbols of confinement. Psys even see in the choice to tear down the partitions a proof of openness. The owner gives to see because he would have nothing to hide. At home, no limit or constraint. We think what we want.

The notion of space is relative. Hervé, decorator architect
When a buyer visits an existing home or apartment, the ability to knock down walls comes on the carpet nine times out of ten, as a need to breathe better. I believe that in "impression of space" there is the word impression, with all the subjectivity that implies. For my part, I always recommend to my clients to consider half-partitions or sliding doors to recreate some privacy if the need arises. I believe that true luxury is not living in large rooms, but in rooms that can be expanded at will. I am in favor of moving partitions and pocket doors.

On the bathroom side

Another partition threatened: that separates the bathroom from the bedroom. A new step towards "always more space", this layout of the bathroom open to the bedroom is far from popular and even raises the passions.

The for defend the fusional side that implies this choice within a couple: "We have nothing to hide!" The libido aspect is not clearly evoked, rather implied. Less radical, some prefer the compromise of a glass brick wall that suggests rather than exposes.

The cons, meanwhile, have strong arguments: "Unless spend more time cleaning than pampering, a bathroom is often a mess, argues Marie-Christine. on the pictures of the magazines that the towels do not hang around, not to mention the moments when we do not go public ... The total transparency and permanent is not so easy to live. The open bathroom will banalize it as fast as the large living room or American kitchen? Nothing is less certain, as the bathroom without partition illustrates the reproach more and more often addressed to open spaces: the feeling of a loss of privacy.

The return to the cocoon

Long live the space! But there are times when everyone aspires to a protective cocoon. If one believes some "lofteurs" of long date, initially unconditional of the volumes landscape and the prospects without border, a day comes where one wishes to arrange a bubble of intimacy. A return to the "boudoir" would thus be in progress, which would take a more modern form of music room or reading. Or even the Internet, as it is true that it is only in his corner that the browser likes to open up to the world.

To this phenomenon is added the obligation to which we are more and more numerous to consider ourselves bound: to save energy. Because the choice of a space without partitions is not without drawbacks, foremost of which a higher heating expense. After cutting down the walls at arm's length, maybe it's time to rebuild them!

For or against cutting down the partitions?


Redistribute the space.
Restructuring an old house is often essential. The rooms are small and poorly lit, corridors tortuous and superfluous ...
A different way of life
Nothing is more normal than to adapt a place to his family and his way of life. For many of us, appropriating a space is an exciting project that stimulates the imagination.
An original interior.
One thing is certain, by breaking down the partitions, we stand out, we affirm our choices.


The lack of privacy.
What a single person or a young couple supports without difficulty is not suitable for families with children. The decompartmentalization raises the problem of territory: "When they are well marked, it is easier to rub the others," says a shrink.
The feeling of cold.
Detail that has its importance: a large volume is often accompanied by this impression not necessarily pleasant a good part of the year. Especially if nothing makes the atmosphere more warm: carpets, curtains, cushions, colors ... A prevention that perfectly summarizes one of our witnesses: "Nobody wants to live in a ballroom!"
The energy bill.
It is mainly due to insulation problems in the case of development of professional premises (workshops, sheds ...) transformed into residences. The problem is less acute if it is a house, especially if insulation "from the outside" has been achieved.


To divide the space judiciously makes it look bigger. Marie, CEO

I wanted to make an extension for my house with an obsession: "That it is big and without barrier!" Fortunately, the architect realized that I had little storage and suggested to me to create a service area, which would gather closets and bathroom in a part of the room to be built. Then he proposed to create a space with variable geometry in the remaining surface with a sliding partition which, open or closed, allows different perspectives. His arguments were simple: "Space does not happen at once, it must be discovered, it's like in a garden: creating hedges, flowerbeds and plant curtains adds mystery and therefore As a result, the space seems bigger. "

For large areas, but against the loft spirit. Béni and Charles, graphic designers

We first cracked for a workshop with work area on the ground floor, and private area on the mezzanine. But the place quickly turned out to be unlivable: little storage space (no partitions = no cupboards) and pharamino heating notes. Today we bought a former bistro in the suburbs. The layout is the same, but on the floor we have mounted partitions, especially so that the children have a place well separated from ours.