The appeal of open-plan living is obvious. Who wouldn’t want to create an expansive and inviting space for entertaining guests, showcasing vibrant furniture arrangements and exposing the home to more natural light? High functionality is another great advantage of the open-plan option, with different areas flowing seamlessly together, without the restrictions of unnecessary doors and hallways.
Though the perks are indeed plentiful, getting the design right is crucial. A poorly laid-out open-plan design will create the impression of an oversized and cluttered room, rather than an airy and relaxed space. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for creating the perfect open-plan home.
Get Creative With Your Dividers
One of the most exciting aspects of open-plan living is that it lets you get creative with the way you utilise dividers. If you want to cordon off a specific space to achieve greater privacy, you have the perfect excuse to use a gorgeous foldout screen. Bead chains and patterned plastic dividers can work wonders if paired with lamps, cabinets and adjoining sofas.
As with any renovation project, you should always keep storage in mind. This is particularly the case with open-plan designs, as the relative lack of walls means that shelving spaces are restricted. That’s where dividers come in. For example, in your bedroom or living room, your divider can also double as a bookcase or a space to showcase vases, flowers, trophies, or your favourite bric-à-brac.
Ensure Well Defined Travel Spaces
An open-plan space will give you the opportunity to adapt and adjust your décor with much greater ease than other design plans. However, you should always sustain a well-defined travel space (i.e the unimpeded path people will primarily use to travel between spaces).
Not only will clear travel spaces help eliminate the impression of clutter, they will also allow you to better picture the space available for furniture arrangement. If your main motivation for open plan living is the prospect of entertaining guests, travel spaces are even more important to take into consideration.
Diversify Your Flooring
A fantastic way to clearly (and stylishly) delineate the different areas in your open-plan area, without setting up dividers, is to use contrasting flooring designs. For example, you could use a different polished timber flooring style and colour for your dining area to the one you use for your kitchen. Adding raised or lowered flooring to separate your dining and living rooms can also be an effective strategy. However, it is important to pair this with the right furniture arrangements to ensure that the travel space and consistency of design is maintained.
Your open-plan space should be thought of less as one large room and more like many rooms without walls. To better enhance this impression, consistency should always be borne in mind. Some suggestions for maintaining consistency include colour-coding zones, combining similar furniture types according to different areas or simply laying rugs. If you favour the eclectic look, the idea of remaining consistent should not discourage you. In fact, arranging your furniture skilfully and creating striking visual boundaries (i.e with wallpaper, using different materials for your floors and ceilings, etc.) will allow a distinct eclectic charm to really shine through.