Anthony Hopkins simultaneously enjoys the benefits of open and broken-plan living with this sliding door solution

The actor quickly interrupts his open-plan layout with a versatile design feature that offers instant privacy

Anthony Hopkins
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The open-plan Vs broken-plan debate will always divide designers, and for a good reason. Both layouts have their benefits, and often, the answer depends entirely on the room in question. However, it is possible to simultaneously enjoy the advantages of both designs with the right planning – something Anthony Hopkins has mastered in his Pacific Palisades abode. 

In his home, the actor uses bi-folding doors to create a private sitting area that's separate from his open-plan living space. When the doors are open, as seen in the footage, the area feels like a part of the room as a whole – but this is changeable in seconds. 

Should Anthony want to enjoy the benefits of a broken-plan living room, the sliding doors offer almost instant privacy and the sense of a different 'zone' that, experts say, is desired in a modern-day home. 

'Our priorities when it comes to personal spaces have changed. Where once a large, uninterrupted ground floor was at the top of every homeowner's wish list, it's now more about how we can cleverly use the large open space, splitting it into different areas for cooking, eating, working, and relaxing,' comments Matt Baker, a designer at Harvey Jones.

The solution? A broken-plan layout that strikes the perfect balance between open-plan and separate rooms. There are numerous ways to achieve this, but bi-folding doors, much like Anthony's, are perhaps the most impactful solution. 

'It retains the openness and lightness that make open-plan layouts so appealing whilst introducing partitions that don't obstruct but still separate areas. It allows for different zones to give more privacy and serve a clearer purpose.'

Interior Design Expert
Interior Design Expert
Matt Baker

Matt is a designer at the bespoke kitchen design company Harvey Jones, based in the UK. From conception to the sign-off, he works with clients to ensure their requirements are met, and kitchens are designed to a standard I would expect in his own home.

home decor trends

(Image credit: Future)

As suggested, bi-folding doors allow us to break our living space into separate sections, but there are accessible alternatives, including freestanding furniture. We love the idea of using a bookcase (or multiple bookshelves) to make an area feel enclosed – or, for an intricate alternative, we could use a room divider (with an ornate pattern to make our space even more beautiful). 

'If you're creating your broken-plan space from scratch, rather than knocking out entire walls, use them to create half walls. You could also consider integrating different floor heights to create a raised kitchen or sunken living area.'

Bi-folding doors ahead, we're zoning our open-plan spaces with these room dividers, handpicked below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.