Ten home interiors with an inventive layout of broken floor plans

Since the pandemic has led to a move away from domestic open-plan interiors, our latest lookbook shows 10 homes with faulty plans that provide more privacy.


A broken plan is an interior that is divided into zones to meet different activities and levels of privacy without being divided into individual rooms.

This is usually achieved by using permanent or semi-open partitions, but sometimes cleverly arranged furniture, such as bookshelves, different floor coverings or dividing levels, can be used to create the effect.

This is the latest review of our Dezeen Lookbooks series that provides visual inspiration for the home. Previous lookbooks shed light on the conversion of residential attics, mezzanines and Scandi living rooms.


Fruit Box, UK, by Nimtim Architects

Adjustable, semi-open plywood and planed softwood partitions break up the ground floor of this London town house recently remodeled by Nimtim Architects.

Each partition is unstructured and is currently set up to distinguish the kitchen, dining room and living room. However, they are designed to be filled to increase privacy or easily removed to increase open space depending on the future needs of the family.

Learn more about the fruit box ›


Apartment divided by cabinets

Kevin, Hong Kong, author JAAK

The JAAK interior studio replaced the walls with custom cabinets during the renovation of this Hong Kong apartment in an effort to create a bright and flexible living space.

The bedroom, accessed from two steps, is located behind a built-in table with a Normann Copenhagen armchair to offer privacy. The only completely enclosed space is the bathroom which is hidden by a secret door.

Learn more about Kevin ›


Apartment divided by curtains

Apartment in Sant Andreu, Spain, from Oriol Garcia

The two-story floor, bookshelves and white curtains help define the different surfaces in this 45-square-foot apartment, which architect Oriol Garcia has remodeled as his own home.

Curtains and bookshelves separate the sleeping and bathing area from the cooking and lounging area. At one end of the salon, a small step and a change of floor covering were used to create a secluded sunny room.

Find out more about the apartment in Sant Andreu ›


Carpentry with open shelves

Knightsbridge Mews, UK, by Echlin

Echlin has renovated this London house with a series of clever layouts of broken floor plans, including a basement with a sunken seating area to ensure the spaces are connected but visually separated.

On the ground floor, open-plan shelves separate the study and living room from the dining room, which is equipped with reed and banquet seats.

Learn more about Knightsbridge Mews ›


Carpentry with open shelves

Architectural workshop, Russia, Ruetemple

A floor-to-ceiling plywood partition with built-in shelves creates special work areas and spaces for relaxation within this art studio, located in the garage of a house in Moscow.

The wooden structure also includes a work desk, a large L-shaped sofa with gray upholstery and a series of stairs that climb to a hanging sleeping platform with rope railings.

Learn more about the Architects’ Workshop ›


White living room with marble partition

Antwerpen penthouse, Belgium, by De Meester Vliegen Architects

A two-ton marble slab stuck between the ceiling and a steel fireplace helps create the broken floor plan of this penthouse in a 1960s building in Antwerp.

The marble works in tandem with a large volume behind it, which is lined with walnut veneer and contains functional rooms to divide the living room into a living room, bedroom, dining room and office.

Find out more about the penthouse in Antwerp ›


Kitchen with glass partition

Museum Square House, Spain, Pauzarq

The layout of the floor plan of this apartment in Bilbao was guided by the original concrete girders discovered by the Spanish studio Pauzarq during the renovation.

In one room, a U-shaped glass partition wraps around a dining table and separates it from the kitchen behind it. The goal was to close the kitchen and still allow light to enter the space.

Find out more about the Square House Museum ›


Penthouse broken by wooden partitions

Penthouse BV, Belgium, Adjo Studio

Large floor-to-ceiling wooden elements were used to reorganize this open-plan penthouse in Hasselt into more practical spaces.

Made of cherry wood veneer, the elements have the shape of kitchen cabinets, cupboards and bookshelves. Their layout also helps maximize light from the glazed walls that wrap around the outside of the apartment.

Find out more about Penthouse BV ›


Dining room with white walls

House CT, Hotel Italy, Pietro Airoldi Studio

When renovating this apartment in Sicily, architect Pietro Airoldi Studio removed all its partitions to increase the light. However, to define the interior into zones, a custom wardrobe was introduced.

The main living space of the apartment is separated from the dining room by a plywood and MDF partition that includes storage and openings to maintain a visual connection.

Learn more about House CT ›


Light blue staircase

Fin House, UK, RA Projects

A light blue steel staircase designed to look like a sculpture shatters the interior of the white walls of this London house, redesigned for fashion designer Roksanda Ilinčić.

Passing through the center of the house, the staircase is intended to create a division by offering a “degree of permeability,” according to architect RA Projects. It contains shelves on one floor and is used to separate the kitchen from the living room on the other side.

Find out more about Fin House ›


This is the latest in our series of lookbooks to provide curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For additional inspiration, check out previous books on mezzanines, U-shaped kitchens and quiet living rooms.

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