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Get the Best Out of Open Plan Living

Having an open layout is a great way to create space and light in your home, but it can also throw up a lot of issues when it comes to the look and feel of your space. Storage, privacy and functionality are things that need a bit more consideration than normal when thinking about your designand decor with such a layout. But we have a few helpful tips for how you can make your open plan space really work and look its best:

1) Create Zones

Light and purple open plan room Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

As you no longer have walls separating off different areas of your home into rooms, your space can risk looking like a mess of different functions. Define different 'zone' areas with different styles. This can help your eyes to focus on individual parts of the room rather than being overwhelmed by the whole space and also helps the functionality of the overall space. Just be sure to choose a range of styles that work well together within an overall cohesive design, allowing one area to blend comfortably into the next.

2) Sight, Light and Pathways

Beige and white open plan space Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Opening up your layout can create a vast amount of space and light, and you want to optimise how you use these qualities in order to get the best out your living areas. When designing the layout and what 'zone's go where, think about how the light will move through the space, and also how you will move through the space. Something as simple as switching a sofa to face another angle can create a better path through your space instead of becoming a barrier you have to move around.

3) Optional Separators

Beige and taupe open plan space Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

One big issue with an open plan design is a lack of intimate and private areas. This can easily be solved with some sliding or folding doors, or some decorative screens, so you can separate areas off temporarily, without losing the overall open feel the layout. For example, having a dining area within an open plan layout is great for in general for a family, but if you want to have a few friends round for an intimate dinner party, have some wooden or fabric screens that sit off to the side of the space as a decorative feature within the general design that can be pulled around the dining table to create the desired affect on special occasions.

4) Statement Furniture and Fixtures

Haywood sofa Our Duresta Domus Haywood sofa makes a great style statement.

Having a large, statement piece of furniture or decorative feature can really help to define a space, giving you something to work around.  A grand light fitting could help, particularly in darker spaces, to draw attention to a certain area, or you could make a large, luxurious sofa, such as our Duresta Domus Haywood sofa the focus of a cosy, comfortable lounge area. Again, having a big statement piece gives the eyes somewhere to focus when taking in the room, stopping the space from being overwhelming, and also helps you to identify instantly the different zones within your space.

5) Smart Open Plan Storage

Smart storage in open plan space Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

With less wall space to hang shelves on or place display cabinets against, you need to get clever with your storage. Turn one of your walls into a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit, to maximise your storage space or build it in to different pieces of furniture, for example, having a coffee table with cubby holes or a sofa with under seating storage, such as our Alexi sofa range which has some designs with a chaise seat that features a hidden storage area underneath it.


Post written by Julie Fisher.